Skip to main content

Meet the HP Stream: A $300 Chromebook Killer?

After a tentative showing last month, HP has officially announced its super-budget-friendly Windows 8.1 machine, the HP Stream notebook. Already being dubbed as a "Chromebook-killer," the AMD-powered Stream is expected to hit shelves around Sept. 24. There is a caveat, however, as the laptop is retailing for $100 more than previously announced. 

When it ships, the 14-inch Stream will have a thickness of 0.7-inches and weigh approximately 3.8 pounds. The laptop will feature a 14-inch, 1366 x 768-pixel display and run full Windows 8.1. Powered by an AMD AR Micro-6400T Quad process, the Stream will be completely fanless. HP estimates that the Stream will get up 6.5 hours of battery life. 

MORE: Chromebook vs. Tablet: Which Should You Buy?

Other specs include 2GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. If that's not enough, the Stream will have expandable storage via a microSD slot. HP is also offering 25GB of Dropbox storage for 6 months and a whopping 100GB of OneDrive storage for 2 years -- at no cost to the consumer. As per ports, you'll have a USB 3.0 port, USB 2.0, HDMI and a headphone jack. 

While the initial specs look solid for the price, it remains to be seen how the Stream will stand up to the current generation of Chromebooks -- particularly HP's own Chromebook 14 ($289), which comes loaded with a 1.4-GHz Celeron CPU and boasts nearly 8 hours of battery life. 

Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.