A few years ago PC makers seemed to be focused on driving up the prices of portable computers by emphasizing premium devices such as thin, light, and powerful ultrabooks priced around $1000 and up. These days it looks like companies are moving in the other direction by launching laptops that are priced competitively with smartphones and tablets.

Microsoft and its partners are promising we’ll see a number of laptops priced at $249 or less this fall. One of them is a the new HP Stream Notebook which is expected to sell for just $199.

HP isn’t taking orders for the laptop yet, but support documents posted to the HP website tell us just about everything there is to know about the HP Stream (other than the launch date and what the assembled laptop looks like).

hp stream_02

The notebook features a 14 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display, an AMD A4 Micro-6400T “Mullins” processor which is a 4.5W quad-core processor with Radeon R3 graphics, 2GB of RAM, and either 32GB or 64GB of eMMC solid state storage.

The HP Stream features 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI output, and it has an SDXC card reader, 1 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, four speakers with Beats audio, and a 720p webcam.

HP includes a 32Whr battery and the notebook runs Windows 8.1 software and comes with 100GB of cloud storage for 2 years, courtesy of Microsoft’s OneDrive.

The HP Stream notebook measures 13.5″ x 9.5″ x 0.7″ and weighs about 3.9 pounds. While it looks like HP will brand the system as the HP Stream Notebook, it also appears to have the model number 14z-z000.

It doesn’t look like the RAM or storage will be easy to replace, as they’re affixed to a rather small system board that looks more like something you’d normally see in a tablet than a notebook. But the repair manual does show that you could probably open up the case and replace the battery, keyboard, touchpad, display, wireless panel, or other components… if you feel the need to do any of those things to a laptop that sells for just $199.

Interestingly, the HP Stream is only the second device I’ve heard about that features AMD’s new low-power “Mullins” chip. The other is also made by HP. The HP Pavilion 10z is a 10 inch, $250 laptop featuring a  slightly less powerfulversion of AMD’s new chip.

via Mobile Geeks

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19 replies on “HP Stream 14 inch notebook coming soon for $199”

  1. It has 3 cell battery, so battery life will probably be a letdown. But hey, it has 4 Beats speakers – that’s what I’ve always wanted in my netbook!

      1. At $200 what would you expect? But I think to compete with Chromebooks, they are going to need to get that battery life up. Power Users are not going to be buying this system, and other than hackers looking to buy it to install Linux on (a bit more flexible in that regard than the Chromebooks which limits you to either Crouton or Chrubuntu), I expect the average buyer is not going to be looking to to much more on it than you can already do on a Chromebook.

        That being said, with the extra storage (the 64GB option), it would make a cool little system to install a small footprint linux system on (Though frankly I would prefer it if it had 4GB or ram).

  2. This would be even better if it came with Linux instead of Windows 8.

    1. Windows is not at all resource-friendly, making just 2Gb of RAM not enough as time goes on. Almost any Linux distribution, however, can do fine on even less than 2Gb of RAM. I just wish that Ubuntu notebooks and ultrabooks would have gained more ground, with much more functionality than that of Chrome OS as a main laptop. It would sure beat paying the full price for a Windows-loaded system, just to wipe the drive and install Ubuntu for free.

      1. the windows license for corporations isnt the same as the retail channel.

      2. I have one of these and it does just fine on 2gb of RAM. You aren’t going to be doing heavy photoshop, heavy gaming or running 50 tabs on chrome but for normal usage it isn’t as bad as one might expect. It is entirely useable.

  3. It sounds good on paper. I like having new (basic) laptops in the $200-$250 range. I’m curious to see the final product. I wonder how many corners will have to be cut to get it to $200. It sounds a lot like the HP Chromebook 14, but with an AMD processor and a larger hard drive. I like the quality of the Chromebook. (Yeah, I know the screen isn’t great, but it’s good enough for me.) If they can keep a similar level of quality, then I’d happily buy one. The Chromebook normally sells for $349 though, so either one of three things is going to happen:
    1) Someone is subsiding the cost of the product (likely Microsoft)
    2) HP is going to be selling them at cost
    3) They are going to be of very poor quality

    Maybe I’ll be surprised. Maybe the cost of parts has come down that much in the past few years. I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

  4. This would be perfect for me if it releases within the first couple of weeks of September, but the announcement is a bit late for that. It’s just that I despise Windows and, in fact, the only Microsoft products and services that I’m a fan of are the Xbox 360, Xbox One and Skype, so I use Ubuntu 14.04 on my current notebook. The issue is that I’m taking a compulsory introductory computing course in my first semester at college and an entire unit is focused on using Microsoft Office, so using LibreOffice won’t be permitted. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to use the cloud-based version of Microsoft Office for the course, but I’ll have to find out.

      1. Well, it turns out that I’m lucky enough to be exempt from the introductory computing course. My college offers assessment testing (multiple choice questions only) to get out of taking introductory computing and introductory college communications courses. My course load is now two courses lighter. I’ll still consider one of these as an alternative to a Chromebook if it turns out that replacing Windows with Ubuntu is straight-forward, but I’m sure that there will be some sort of block making it more difficult than it should be.

  5. Quite interesting … overall I like it. Would really be nice if they made the RAM and disk upgradable…

    1. I like it as is, I wouldn’t worry about upgrading, I would just use it as it is, for that price sounds good to me.

    1. I doubt you will see that, but I have been wrong several times in life. The price point is just too low.

      1. Personally I don’t see windows 8 making much sense without touchscreen. Maybe it does but IMHO you might as well use windows 7.

        1. Install Classic Shell or similar. Set it to boot direct to desktop. TADA. Windows 8 is much better than 7 if you set it up right. Unfortunately due to Microsoft the average Joe the Plumber can’t configure it that way and they end up hating it.

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