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New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices 215

Posted by timothy
from the is-that-a-bargain? dept.
New submitter nrjperera (2669521) submits news of a new laptop from HP that's in Chromebook (or, a few years ago, "netbook") territory, price-wise, but loaded with Windows 8.1 instead. Microsoft has teamed up with HP to make an affordable Windows laptop to beat Google Chromebooks at their own game. German website Mobile Geeks have found some leaked information about this upcoming HP laptop dubbed Stream 14, including its specifications. According to the leaked data sheet the HP Stream 14 laptop will share similar specs to HP's cheap Chromebook. It will be shipped with an AMD A4 Micro processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of flash storage and a display with 1,366 x 768 screen resolution. Microsoft will likely offer 100GB of OneDrive cloud storage with the device to balance the limited storage option.
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New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @11:16AM (#47704071)

    And that game is Calvin Ball.

  • by Nutria (679911) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @11:16AM (#47704073)

    But will it run Linux??

    • by wed128 (722152)

      of course it will...only a matter of time.

    • by mariox19 (632969)

      You mean, but will it run Windows 7?

      • by tepples (727027)
        Windows 8.1 + Classic Shell basically is Windows 7, so yes.
        • by bored (40072)

          Classic shell gives you a start menu, and some of the customizations back, but your still up a creek if you want to say, customize the coloring of your window controls at a fine granularity, or a large number of other less noticeable UI changes.

    • by tsqr (808554)

      Why wouldn't it, with an AMD A4?

    • by yuhong (1378501)

      This reminds me that I hate when Chromebooks use different firmware. Using different firmware for different OSes defeats the purpose of firmware standards like UEFI or ACPI.

    • by Ravaldy (2621787)

      Do you cut your hair with he lawn mower?

    • by magarity (164372)

      With those specs it will barely run anything.

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @03:19PM (#47706331) Journal
      Its an AMD APU and AMD has opened their specs so I don't see why not. The bigger question is will the $100 model coming later this year with the quad core Atom be able to run Linux...does anybody know if the new Atom is running a PowerVR GPU?

      In any case it just goes to show what many of us system builders and VARs knew all along, that they market for netbooks never went away, the OEMs simply priced them too high to be competitive. The sweet spot for a netbook should be between $99-$299 depending on size and features and yet when the last Asus EEEs rolled off the line the price was $449 a pop, while a 17 inch lappy was $299.

  • Here's the rub... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon (813062) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @11:17AM (#47704095)
    loaded with Windows 8.1
    • by OakDragon (885217)
      And it's an HP.
  • 2GB of RAM? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @11:18AM (#47704099)

    Is that even enough for Windows 8.1? And I don't mean enough as in bare minimum to run the OS, I mean enough to actually run more than four applications and a browser with at least ten tabs opened.

    • Well, if they're competing with a Chromebook, it just has to handle the browser part of the equation.
    • Is that even enough for Windows 8.1? And I don't mean enough as in bare minimum to run the OS, I mean enough to actually run more than four applications and a browser with at least ten tabs opened.

      My testing has shown that Windows 8.1 at bare minimum grabs about 600MB on startup (no services or other stuff disabled). So yeah, provided that you have some swap available (just in case), 2GB of RAM will allow you to do some browsing with a dozen of tabs open, and have a couple of other lightweight apps running at the same time.

      • by toejam13 (958243)

        That could be further reduced if Microsoft were to release another thin client edition of Windows.

        Windows XP Fundamentals [wikipedia.org] was great in this regard as it was based upon XP Embedded and not XP Workstation. It required about a third fewer resources, making it ideal for older PII and K6 machines.

        • Graphics drivers take a lot memory these days. Try replacing your normal GPU driver with basic one and you'll see. You can free a cool 100MB.
      • "Grabbing" and "needing" are entirely different things. Its likely that some of that is cache that will be released when theres sufficient memory pressure.

    • I can confirm that Windows 8.1 x86 on 2GB RAM runs great--even on a 5-year old netbook. I loaded Win 8.1 Pro on a 2009-era Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (it had a now-unsupported XP) with an x86-only hyperthreaded Atom processor & IDE SSD--and it flies. I even put a new Intel 802.11ac WiFi-Bluetooth miniPCI card in it. I can't use Metro apps (1024x600 screen doesn't meet Metro's 1024x768 requirement, darn it), but after loading Start8, I don't care. I have a very portable little desktop machine that flies with
      • by bored (40072)

        My only complaints are that Chrome actually performs quite poorly on sites with heavy AJAX (specifically Yahoo Mail), and that Flash is better off left not installed (darn). But Firefox appears to be much better optimized for low-end hardware, so I just use Firefox with no Flash.

        On low end hardware I've been installing qupzilla [qupzilla.com]. Its a webkit based browser minus much of the junk. It actually runs pretty good on windows2000 era machines, something that cannot be said for chrome/firefox at this point.

    • by 4wdloop (1031398)

      yes, that's enough of ram to run browser and few apps fairly well.....(win8x improved somewhat in this respect over Win7)
      32GB of flash is another matter,,. leaves _maybe_ 10GB free for apps and media...that will fill up quickly with updates and will wear through

      My experience with T100TA made me understand why MS is loosing mobile/tablet...took half day to recover from botched auto-update (had to reimage...a normal user would throw this back at Asus&MS). And it's a clanky M-UI compared to androids...

    • It has nothing to do with 8.1, and everything to do with the fact that browsers are incredible memory hogs. 8.1 is generally less resource intensive than Win7, so it will probably run-- just dont expect to load up the tabs.

    • by Narishma (822073)

      Windows 8 ran fine with just 1GB on my old netbook.

  • 2 GB of RAM (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bit trollent (824666) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @11:21AM (#47704135) Homepage

    I think Microsoft gives manufacturers a discount if they limit their ram to 2 GB.

    They are really shooting themselves in the foot, because a web browser can easily use 2 GB by itself, bringing the computer to a crawl.

    Seriously.. my cell phone has 2 GB of ram.... This laptop will be nearly unusable without more memory.

    This is as counterproductive as outlet stores. Sure, you pay a little less but the clothes shrink or fall apart.

    And there on my ruined clothes it says Gap or Banana Republic - 2 brands I've bought lots of stuff from before, and will never ever buy again. But they made a little money, and I 'saved' a little money.

    This laptop is the outlet mall version of an HP laptop - itself a brand that doesn't exactly exude quality these days..

    • by pecosdave (536896)

      and of course the browser will be

      INTERNET EXPLORER

      • by Kingkaid (2751527)
        IE uses less RAM than Chrome... so given the freak out of 2GBs of RAM it makes sense.
        • by mythosaz (572040)

          Sure, less, but not when you're talking about filling up 2GB.

          My IE threads are each running about 130-150MB ea
          My Chrome threads are running 70-170MB ea

          • by exomondo (1725132)

            My IE threads are each running about 130-150MB ea My Chrome threads are running 70-170MB ea

            Threads? Threads are a completely different thing to Tabs, the terms aren't interchangeable. Most of the chrome tabs I have open have 10 threads each and the tab processes use anywhere from 35 to 200mb of RAM.

    • Re:2 GB of RAM (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @11:55AM (#47704433) Homepage

      Seriously.. my cell phone has 2 GB of ram.

      Your phone costs two or three times as much as this computer.

      • by tepples (727027)
        The phone also has a cellular radio, which involves extra hardware, patent licenses, and stricter certification by FCC and foreign counterparts than a Wi-Fi-only device.
        • by vux984 (928602)

          Doesn't add as much as you think.

          Bestbuy charges $100 between an LTE tablet and the wifi only one.
          Apple charges $129 between an LTE tablet and the wifi only one.

          Much of THAT is just profit.

          So your $600 to $700 phone? Less than $100 goes towards the "cellular radio" capabilities.

          • by tepples (727027)
            Good point. Now I'll try a second hypothesis. I noticed that you quoted price in $, and the biggest currency to use that symbol is the United States dollar. The United States has a history of most customers buying their phones through a carrier. How much of the high price of smartphones when purchased up front comes from an expectation that hardware will be subsidized by an inflated monthly bill for voice and data service?
            • The companies manufacturing the phones are not the ones subsidizing them. Samsung doesn't care if you pay $600, or you pay $200 and the carrier pays $400.

              I just checked Galaxy S5 prices in the UK, France, and Germany, and they were all higher than the US unsubsidized price. I don't know how much of that is taxes.

            • by vux984 (928602)

              How much of the high price of smartphones when purchased up front comes from an expectation that hardware will be subsidized by an inflated monthly bill for voice and data service?

              I actually think you are right here, that a considerable amount of the price is inflated due to the cost rarely being directly paid, preventing competitive pricing to take effect.

              We can however, use wifi tablets as a proxy for the pricing. A basic ipad Mini wifi runs $400, a galaxy tab pro 8.4 runs $329; the cheaper galaxy tab 4

    • Newer cellphones are running 3 GB ram, and I've seen specs for upcoming ones with 4 GB Ram. This is just Microsoft wanting to get people to Office365, where the apps are running in the cloud.

    • by beefoot (2250164)
      > Seriously.. my cell phone has 2 GB of ram.... This laptop will be nearly unusable without more memory.

      ... except your cell phone is $700 while this cheapo laptop is $200. Sure enough you could pay $500 for a laptop with 10GB of ram. You're not comparing apple to apple.
    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      But can you upgrade the ram? Put in a bigger SSD? If so then it could be an interesting device.

    • by ihavnoid (749312)

      Did you actually try using Windows 8.1 under 2GB of RAM? I do use it on my 3 year old tablet (Samsung Series 7) which was Windows 7 preinstalled.

      I actually use it for light development work - virtualbox with Ubuntu(configured to use 512MB of RAM), tens of gvim, both Chrome and IE11, and still no big issues. RAM was rarely a problem.

      Oh, and I even keep Microsoft Security Essentials on. Annoying some times, but usually a CPU issue.

      However, storage is a big problem - with only 64GB, and Windows eating up ro

  • At the same price point you can get last few years model of a real full featured laptop on ebay or newegg with much faster processors, more RAM and ... ah... usable amounts of storage. 32GB?

    • At $199? I doubt it. You almost have to chuck a double amount of cash on the table.
    • Nope.

      The only laptop on Newegg under $250 is a refurbed Thinkpad with 2GB of RAM.

      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834317733

      There are some solid selections in the $300-$325 range, but that's a decent price jump from where HP is talking about.

  • the cost of virus and malware scan software, monthly cost of Office whatever and the RAM the previous additions sucked up. Think I will pass.
    • by mythosaz (572040)

      Virus and Malware software is free, and your decision to use Office or not is up to you.

      At least with this platform you get the option of using Office if you'd like.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @11:44AM (#47704325)

    I bought my Lenovo Mix (8" tablet) with full Windows 8.1, 4GB RAM and Office 2013 Home for just $200. I added a nice bluetooth keyboard and case for another $60 and now it's my primary "walking around the company campus attending meetings" device (replacing a laptop). $260 was already in the ballpark of my son's Nexus 7 table.

    I hope Microsoft (and HP and all the interchangeable PC providers) keep this up - if Apple's not going to drop price it helps consumers to have another company with deep pockets engaged in the tablet price war.

  • by technomom (444378) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @11:45AM (#47704337)
    Here's the thing. Part of the problem is that they're not really beating Chromebook on anything, just matching the price. I still am going to need to load an anti-virus program, still going to have to sit through a long startup, and still have to sit through Update Tuesday. Yeah, I know Chromebook isn't perfect, but for most of what I do, it's really good enough and with my Macbook covering the 10% of things I can't do with my Chromebook, I'm really not seeing the need for Windows at all. Office? Please. I've been using OpenOffice and/or Google Docs for the past 4 years and no one has even noticed a difference so long as I save to .doc format.
    • by Kingkaid (2751527)
      Try to be a bit impartial. You are comparing the two saying they are equivalent in terms of functionality. Let's say that is the case - why wouldn't a chromebook need antivirus? It is a computer system that has vulnerabilities, like any OS. Maybe nothing has been written for it (that we know of at least), but your comparison isn't reasonable. The boot time from shutdown on a Windows 8 machine has always been under 10 seconds. I have an old PC with a mechanical hdd and it boots up in 8 seconds. From sleep th
      • by Windowser (191974)

        why wouldn't a chromebook need antivirus? It is a computer system that has vulnerabilities, like any OS.

        Not all OS are created equal. I've been running Linux on my laptop for years, without an anti-virus, and never got anything.
        Windows is crap security wise, get over it

        • by sinij (911942)

          Not all users are created equal. I've been running Win7 on my desktop for years, without an anti-virus, and never got anything.
           
          Java/Flash are crap security wise, and many Win users run full admin and trained to click 'Allow' to everything completely negating OS protections. Do the same on Linux, and you will be in as much trouble.

    • by sinij (911942)

      'Antivirus' signature-based solutions are largely ineffective at mitigating anything. You should just use hostfile-based blacklist and secure your java/flash.

  • And are not trendy anymore. I don't think Chromebooks are only appealing because the hardware is cheap..
    • by Hadlock (143607) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @12:23PM (#47704645) Homepage Journal

      They're still incredibly useful... it's just that people stopped buying them because Intel stopped making Atom processors faster/more powerful to choke the life out of the 0% profit margin netbook segment... only to have them revived as "Chromebooks" and are again eating up Microsoft and Intel's bottom line. The only reason Netbooks aren't trendy is because Google wasn't a market disruptor when Wintel made the decision to stop updating Netbook hardware. Now Google is.

  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @11:57AM (#47704445)

    I picked up an Acer C720 about a year ago that was good enough that I don't even carry around the Mac Air that my company gave me. 2GB RAM, Celeron 2955U haswell processor, 8-9 hour battery life, hdmi/USB3, SD slot, 16GB storage, same video resolution as the HP above. All for US$199 and in a 2lb package.

    I thought I'd need more storage, but it's a year later and I haven't used more than about 10GB of the internal storage. One of these days, I'll upgrade it to 32GB or 64GB, but I've just been storing my personal files on either a 64GB SD card or 64GB USB 3.0 fob.

    Having something this thinly provisioned running the bloat that is Win 8.1 wouldn't be attractive for me at all, regardless of the price point. However, it's great for ChromeOS and Ubuntu Trusty.

    • by Scutter (18425)

      I will sacrifice storage for RAM any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I cannot fathom why portables continue to be shafted with an anaemic 2GB (4 if you're very lucky) of RAM. Memory isn't that expensive these days, but holy crap does the OS run better with 6 or 8GB.

      My last one was an 11.1" netbook with 8GB. I bought it because it was the only netbook with 8GB, which meant I could run Windows 7 and also one or more applications AT THE SAME TIME!. It has served me far better than any 15" laptop I eve

  • by raymorris (2726007) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @12:12PM (#47704571)

    If they can make their 2015 machine cold boot in under four seconds, and come up from suspend in under one second, it'll be almost as good as a 2013-2014 Chromebook. Here's to hoping Microsoft can catch up.

    • Don't see why not. My current Win8.1 machine boots in under 4 seconds.

    • by HannethCom (585323) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @12:59PM (#47705023)
      My 2012 Surface Pro "Cold Boots" in 2 seconds. Flash Drive. My 2010 netbook boots in 20 seconds. 5400rpm hard drive. A lot of the boot process is dependent on the hard drive, so a low end 2015, should probably boot as fast as a higher end 2012 machine. I put "Cold Boots" in parenthesis because Windows 8.1 almost never really cold boots. It uses a form of hibernate where it figures out what is exactly the same each boot time and stores an image of that on the hard drive, then just loads it into memory. That combined with UEFI makes Windows 8.1 boot really fast on new hardware, even if it is low end.
  • potential. Although it may not perform like a potent end notebook at its price point it can be very compelling in a number of scenarios:

    1. As a standalone device to run a specialized program. I use several programs to trouble shot car problems and a $200 laptop means I would not have to risk busting my expensive laptop in the garage and still have portability vs a desktop.

    2. Similar to 1, schools and other organizations would have a low cost machine that could be used in large scale implementations and woul

  • HP laptops always feel so "Playschool kids playset" to me. The keys have a terrible tactile feedback, and the gloss is tacky. I'd like them to fix that first.
  • by Triv (181010)
    Specs are nice, but what does the thing WEIGH? One of the major advantages to chromebooks etc. is that they're light enough for you to carry around without feeling like you're strapped to a gold brick.
  • by bored (40072) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @02:17PM (#47705713)

    If this device is anything like the dell venue pro with 32GB, it works out to something like 17GB usable when you turn the device on, but by the time windows update runs its going to be less than 10GB free.

    Lots of discussion about this on the internet, for example:

    http://en.community.dell.com/s... [dell.com]

  • I'd like to give it a test drive but it does have some appeal when compared to the Chromebooks...namely:

    1) It's $100 less than a comparable Chromebook with similar specs. $100 is a big deal in this price segment.
    2) It is fully functional offline. Chrome OS has some functionality offline but it's not even close to Windows in this respect.

    The limited storage (32GB) in the base version has me a bit concerned but you can always put in an SD card or USB stick for additional storage. Couple that with Dropbox and

  • Tiny Chromebook-sized Windows laptops are already about there. Acer's E3 series has basically Chromebook specs (Celeron Dual-core and 2GB RAM) and a 320GB hard drive and can be had quite easily for $250. I just recently picked one up from Best Buy for $199 (may have been a sale - not sure).

    I may eventually put Linux on it (I run Mint on my desktop), but for my needs something like this works great. I use my laptop maybe 10 times per year while traveling. I just need something functional with a keyboard, scr

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