When Neowin went to Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, DC earlier this year, one of the highlighted items was the $199 HP Stream laptop. The device, which features a 14in display, was supposed to be Microsoft’s answer to the Chromebook but those dreams appear to be fading quickly.
The laptop, which was originally announced to cost $199, is now going to cost $300, which is a big jump for the price-conscious consumer.
The device will be powered by an AMD A4 Micro-6400T which is designed to compete with Intel’s Celeron line of CPUs, and you'll also find 2GB of RAM and 32GB of solid state storage included. Microsoft is also tossing in 100GB of OneDrive storage for two years but, curiously, the device also comes with 25GB of Dropbox storage for six months.
The Dropbox storage option seems quite odd as you must have a strong dislike for Microsoft to start using Dropbox over the more generous OneDrive option as Microsoft’s storage options gives you four times the capacity for four times longer.
The 14in display is by no means going to wow the user with its 1366x768 resolution but Miracast is supported and there is an HDMI out. There is also one USB 3.0 port and two 2.0 USB ports; Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are also supported.
The device is far from a featherweight at 3.8lbs with its 32WHr battery that is said to be good for 6.5hrs of usage.
At $300, while still not an expensive machine, its specs look less desirable than the previously announced price of $199, which was much closer to the 'impulse' price range. Still, this device will be out in time for the holidays and will work well for those who strictly need to send email or browse the web.
The question left for the consumer to decide is if this is a good enough device to sway them from buying a Chromebook. That’s Microsoft’s hope but only time will tell if these entry level devices offer up a good enough value to keep shoppers from trying out Google’s new machines.