HP Stays in Mobile Game With Stream Notebooks, Tablets

HP Stays in Mobile Game With Stream Notebooks, Tablets
It's a Totally Mobile World
Free Cloud Storage for a Year
Free Office 365 for a Year
Bring On the Free 4G Data
Different Display Sizes for Different Uses
Affordability Is the Name of the Game
The Specs Won't Blow Your Socks Off
HP Is Trying the Integration Scheme
Interesting Features Dot the Landscape
Look for U.S. Availability at Select Retailers
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HP Stays in Mobile Game With Stream Notebooks, Tablets

By Don Reisinger

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It's a Totally Mobile World

HP's Stream line is made up of lightweight notebooks and tablets. The company said in a press release announcing the line that the move is designed to appeal to "today's consumers [who] demand mobile products that fit their personal style and allow them to work and play wherever they are." At first glance, it appears HP has hit the mark.

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Free Cloud Storage for a Year

So, what do customers get with a Stream device? For starters, HP is offering one year of free Microsoft OneDrive access. Customers will get 1TB of storage for that period. The offer, which is available for a limited time only, is extended to both notebooks and tablets.

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Free Office 365 for a Year

In addition to cloud storage, customers who buy an HP Stream notebook or tablet will get one year of Office 365 Personal for free. The offering includes fully installed Office applications for a single PC or Mac and a tablet, and access to Microsoft's services on the Web. Customers will typically pay $6.99 per month for Office 365 Personal.

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Bring On the Free 4G Data

Since the HP Stream devices come with 4G connectivity, HP is offering a data deal to customers for a limited time. On select versions of the HP Stream (tablet or notebook), users will receive 200MB of free data each month for the life of the device. The deal is available only to those customers who have a data contract in place, however, so the first 200MB are free. Beyond that, buyers should expect to pay for additional data storage.

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Different Display Sizes for Different Uses

HP is not taking any chances of leaving customers out with its Stream line. The company's tablets start at 7 inches and go up to 8 inches, while the notebooks kick off at 11.6 inches and go all the way up to 14 inches. HP says that its product sizes will appeal to different customers seeking different features.

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Affordability Is the Name of the Game

With mobility comes an expectation of lower prices, and in that respect, HP delivers. The company's Stream 7 tablet starts at $100, while the 8-inch model comes in at $150 to start. The 11.6-inch Stream notebook will set customers back $200. The 13.3-inch model goes for $230. That's awfully affordable for Windows-based devices, and it puts the notebooks in direct competition with Chromebooks coming in at around the same price.

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The Specs Won't Blow Your Socks Off

Don't expect to find specs in any of the Stream devices that will shock and awe you. In fact, HP has kept the specifications for the devices off its press release and its purchase pages, leading many to wonder why the company might be keeping everything so close to the vest. HP has, however, confirmed that the devices won't be ultra-powerful, and judging by the pricing, they likely won't compete very well against higher-end products, like the iPad or MacBook Air.

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HP Is Trying the Integration Scheme

Like Apple, Samsung and many other companies in the space, HP is trying to get its hardware buyers to invest in its software platforms. So, with the purchase of every Stream, users will have access to the company's Connected suite of apps, which includes its Connected Music and Connected Photo platform. It also includes the company's cloud-based storage locker, Connected Drive.

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Interesting Features Dot the Landscape

There are some interesting features that are available across the Stream lineup. The Stream 7, for example, comes with the full Windows 8.1 experience, despite being a 7-inch tablet. The HP Stream 11 has a fanless design that will make the device quite quiet. The HP Stream 13's battery will last for nearly 8 hours, giving it all-day functionality.

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Look for U.S. Availability at Select Retailers

So we know the price, but what about the availability? According to HP, the Stream 7, 8, 11 and 13 will all be available on its Website and at "select retailers" starting in November. The company's previously announced HP Stream 14, which starts at $299, is listed as "coming soon" on the HP site.

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