HP launches Stream notebooks, tablets

There are only 12 weeks until Christmas, and Hewlett-Packard Co. is determined to remind us with a launch of a new series of tablets and laptops available just in time for the holidays.

HP’s promising low-cost, lightweight notebook functionality with a lot of online value-add, including a terabyte of online storage through Microsoft’s OneDrive, a year of Microsoft Office 360 Personal subscription, and a $25 gift card for Microsoft’s app store. HP Connected also offers music, photo and file-sharing services across multiple devices. In the U.S., the larger 13.3-inch model has an optional 4GB per month wireless 4G subscription.

In addition to the 13.3-inch touch display model, there’s an 11.6-inch HD model (a 14-inch Stream was released earlier. And while HP promises a “full Windows 8.1 experience” with an Intel Celeron processor and 32GB of flash memory, this line is clearly lined up as a successor in the netbook market; you’re going to be doing most of your processing online. Fortunately, it’s aligned with low-cost netbook pricing: the 11.6-inch model starts at $199 in the U.S., the 13.3-inch model at at $229.

HP boasts “eye-catching” gradient finishes in Orchid Magenta and Horizon Blue.

Netbooks were all the rage only a couple of years ago, but have recently fallen off the radar. Since they’re dependent on the Internet for cloud-based applications and storage, HP’s value-adds make the Stream line a more attractive proposition.

HP also announced a pair of Stream tablets, in 7- and 8-inch diagonal formats. They share the same value-adds as the notebooks (including the 4G access for the larger model) and add 60 minutes of Skype access per month. The 7-inch model starts at $99, a breakthrough for name-brand tablets. The 8-inch model is priced at $149.

All models will be available in November from select retailers and online at  www.hpshopping.com.

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Dave Webb
Dave Webb
Dave Webb is a technology journalist with more than 15 years' experience. He has edited numerous technology publications including Network World Canada, ComputerWorld Canada, Computing Canada and eBusiness Journal. He now runs content development shop Dweeb Media.

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