HP Stays in Mobile Game With Stream Notebooks, Tablets

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-10-01
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    HP Stays in Mobile Game With Stream Notebooks, Tablets
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
 

The Hewlett-Packard Stream line of tablets and notebooks shows that the company is still willing to take chances and make major new investments in the mobile device and PC markets that haven't been very kind to the company in recent years. After all, HP has watched its efforts in the mobile space fail on a couple of occasions even as its place as the dominant force in the PC market slipped out of its hands, with Lenovo taking hold of that prize. Still, HP presses on in hope of changing its luck and increasing its standing in those markets. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the company's new line of Stream devices. While the focal point of the Stream lineup is its rash of notebooks, HP is also redoubling its efforts in the tablet business with slates that run Windows. This slide show looks at how HP is positioning the newly announced Stream models in an increasingly crowded market. While the Stream products are not necessarily the most powerful or groundbreaking, for anyone who's looking for new tablets or notebooks for personal or business purposes, they are worth checking out.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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