What Makes HP Stream Notebooks Ideal for Budget PC Buyers

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-08-12
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    What Makes HP Stream Notebooks Ideal for Budget PC Buyers
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    What Makes HP Stream Notebooks Ideal for Budget PC Buyers

    HP has designed its Stream line of notebooks for budget-conscious consumers, offering the most popular features of high-end units but sporting an affordable price tag.
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    There Are Three Stream Models With Two Screen Sizes
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    There Are Three Stream Models With Two Screen Sizes

    Customers looking to get their hands on the Stream can choose from three options. Two of those models feature 11-inch screens and another comes with a 14-inch display. As one might expect, the computers all have slightly different weights and sizes, but they're still thin and portable.
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    HP Touts the High-Definition Displays
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    HP Touts the High-Definition Displays

    In a blog post, HP focused on the display built into the Stream. Although it depends on the version customers choose, some models ship with HD, touch-enabled screens with antiglare technology. Other options come with decidedly less-impressive screens. Still, they get the job done for those who want to save some cash.
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    Stream x360 Works as a Notebook or Tablet
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    Stream x360 Works as a Notebook or Tablet

    One of the 11-inch Stream models, the Stream x360, is actually a hybrid. The device comes with a hinged design that allows users to shift the screen, so the computer can be used as a notebook or a tablet. HP says it can also be used in "tent" mode to view content.
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    Stream Notebooks Ship With Windows 10 Home
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    Stream Notebooks Ship With Windows 10 Home

    All HP Stream models ship with Microsoft's Windows 10. However, be aware that the Stream only ships with Windows 10 Home. Those who want all the features in Windows 10 Pro will need to find another notebook or pay for an upgrade.
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    HP Banishes Fan From Stream Design
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    HP Banishes Fan From Stream Design

    Interestingly, HP has been able to design the Stream so it doesn't include an internal fan. That's important. A fan can increase power consumption and mass to what are supposed to be lightweight notebooks. They also can be annoyingly noisy. However, HP has engineered the Stream to run cool without an internal fan.
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    There's Support for Office 365 Personal
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    There's Support for Office 365 Personal

    Depending on the options buyers select, they might get a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal, which includes full versions of Microsoft's top apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. That's not a bad value, considering Office 365 Personal typically costs customers $70 per year or $7 per month.
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    HP Adds Improved WiFi Connectivity
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    HP Adds Improved WiFi Connectivity

    HP was quick to note that its biggest improvement to the Stream was the addition of 802.11ac 2x2 WiFi. While many more-expensive computers come with this feature, many budget notebooks have lower-end wireless chips. By adding a better wireless chip, users should expect improved video streaming and faster download speeds compared with previous Stream models.
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    Get Free Cloud Storage for a Year With Some Models
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    Get Free Cloud Storage for a Year With Some Models

    As part of HP's relationship with Microsoft, unspecified select models also will come with one free year of storage via Microsoft's OneDrive. Users will be able to get 1TB of storage before they need to start paying up.
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    There's Support for HP Connected Apps
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    There's Support for HP Connected Apps

    HP's computers come with support for HP Connected Apps, a suite of products that allow users to do more within the HP ecosystem. First up is HP Connected Drive, which stores music, files and photos in one place. The service also comes with Connected Music for accessing all music files and music streams, as well as HP Connected Photo, to see all of the pictures a person has loaded onto the machines.
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    It's Hard to Beat the Price
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    It's Hard to Beat the Price

    HP has yet to announce pricing on all the variants of the HP Stream notebooks. But the company did provide some baselines. For instance, the Stream 11 will be available for $199 when it launches as scheduled Aug. 24. The Stream 11 x360, meanwhile, will cost $249 when it launches, slated for September. Likewise, the Stream 14 is scheduled to launch in September, but will cost customers $219.
 

Not everyone wants to spend extra money on a high-end computer, and that's exactly why HP has unveiled improved versions of its Stream notebooks. The computers, which were announced Aug. 10, look nearly identical to their predecessors and similarly carry an affordable price tag. However, the new Stream notebooks come with several enhancements, including faster wireless connectivity, fast data transfer data with USB 3.0 and high-definition displays offering antiglare technology. Best of all, one of the models is a hybrid PC that can be used as a tablet or as a notebook, depending on what the user is doing at the moment. The Stream notebooks are consumer-first products that run on Windows 10 Home, and are perfect for kids needing an entry-level device, students heading to college or people on a budget who don't want to spend a lot just to surf the internet or get some work done. Simply put, the HP Stream notebooks address a slice of the market that desires affordable and simple products. Read on to learn more.

 
 
 
 
 
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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