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HP Portables Windows Hardware

Will HP's $200 Stream 11 Make People Forget About Chromebooks? 232

theodp writes With an 11.6" screen, Windows 8.1, and free Office 365 for a year, the $199.99 solid-state HP Stream 11 laptop is positioned to make people think twice about Chromebooks (add $30 for the HP Stream 13). But will it? "The HP Stream 11 is clearly both inexpensive and a great value," writes Paul Thurrott. "At just $200, it's cheap, of course. But it also features a solid-feeling construction, a bright and fun form factor, a surprisingly high-quality typing experience and a wonderful screen. This isn't a bargain bin throwaway. The Stream 11 is something special." The HP Stream Family also includes the HP Stream 7, a $99.99 Windows 8.1 Tablet that includes the Office 365 deal. By the way, at the other end of the price spectrum, HP has introduced the Sprout, which Fast Company calls a bold and weird PC that's bursting at the seams with new ideas, from 3-D scanning to augmented reality. (We mentioned the Sprout a few days ago, too; HP seems to be making some interesting moves lately, looks like they're getting on the smartwatch bandwagon, too.) If you're looking at the Stream as a cheap platform for OSes other than Windows, be cautious: one of the reviews at the Amazon page linked describes trouble getting recent Linux distributions to install.
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Will HP's $200 Stream 11 Make People Forget About Chromebooks?

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  • No (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo&world3,net> on Sunday November 02, 2014 @07:31AM (#48292449) Homepage Journal

    Chromebooks are not just cheap, they are very low maintenance and easy to use. If you buy your mum a Windows laptop she will need technical support. If you buy her a Chromebook after the initial set-up you can forget about it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Install Ubuntu on it and don't give her the root password. Teach her how to access the web browser, email program, and LibreOffice. Problem solved for 99% of mums.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Will it run FreeBSD?

        If so, it might actually be useful.

        [boople woople twaddle twaddle, /. says I type too fast.]

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by SpockLogic ( 1256972 )
      Noooooooooo ....

      Sprouts make me fart.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Chromebooks are not just cheap, they are very low maintenance and easy to use. If you buy your mum a Windows laptop she will need technical support. If you buy her a Chromebook after the initial set-up you can forget about it.

      This is precisely the reason I recommended my mother buy an Acer Chromebook because after years of supporting her Microsoft Windows-running computer it was definitely a blessing to have a computer which I could set-up for her the features (email, web browsing) she cared about and be done with support. The only support request I get these days, which admittedly is as rare as hen's teeth, occurs when the track-pad mouse freezes - attributable to the suspend mode I dare say. For 99% of the things I use a compu

      • any software development work can be done on a virtual machine or physical server accessible via SSH from the Google Chromebook

        If you're SSHing and VNCing to the server on which you're developing software, how much data would that use per month? At $10 per GB (common price for cellular data in USA) that could get expensive.

    • Chromebooks are not just cheap, they are very low maintenance and easy to use.

      So:
        - buy this laptop
        - return Windows to Microsoft for a $100 refund
        - install Chrome
        - profit!!

      Seriously - if you can score this hardware for $100 and run some other OS, they'll sell like hotcakes.

      • - return Windows to Microsoft for a $100 refund

        Seriously - if you can score this hardware for $100 and run some other OS, they'll sell like hotcakes.

        Except you'd more likely get around the ~$15 (guesstimate, no citation) OEM unit license cost as a refund. We're not talking the retail license here, and it puts into light what a rip-off the retail license cost actually is (assuming the extra cost of for the "support" that comes with the retail license.)

    • Also: Chomebooks are know for very fast boot, and great battery life.

    • Is computer illiterate? Buy her or pops a Chromebook and they can't do their taxes on it.

      Anyway, computer illiterate parents are not the market where Chromebooks are selling. Most are landing in the hands of computer illiterate children via schools looking for a "cheap laptop." Schools love them. They are inexpensive and low maintenance. You don't need IT with Chromebooks and that's exactly what schools want to hear. Too bad the kids can't really use Chromebooks to learn anything about computers.

      20 years ag

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        Is computer illiterate? Buy her or pops a Chromebook and they can't do their taxes on it.

        Actually, I think they can, thanks to cloud-based tax software. Mostly because of the rise of OS X which means a bunch of Windows only tax software just won't work for them.

        Sure, there are plenty of issues when trust Intuit and others with your tax information (it's web based, after all), but with a Chromebook, I'm sure security of the laptop isn't as big a problem.

        And given the way people generally backup, at least use

        • by MacDork ( 560499 )

          Many states have locked PDF forms that can only be filled with Adobe Acrobat. The PDF can't even be saved once filled, so an electronic backup is out. The only backup available is a printed one. You're not going to be able to fill and print them on a Chromebook, even with Linux.

          Sorry. I don't trust other people with my tax returns.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      That one is easy: Put a notebook Linux like Mint on it and most maintenance issues go away. Question is, have they made that easy or hard?

  • on whether I can run a BSD or at least some Lunix on it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 02, 2014 @07:46AM (#48292539)

    Well Windows uses 24GB after all the patches, so the solid state storage is only 8GB or so. So that requires you use the 1TB online storage.

    So you're actually looking at a $200 + $70 a year to continue the Office 365 + storage you filled up in the first year. $99 a year for the professional version. All your files would be online so you'll have to migrate if you ever want to stop paying.

    It's maybe better to buy a Netbook and put OpenOffice on it, it will have a 500GB drive, and you can store your docs and files locally.

    Chromebooks are for Google fans, its sort of a poor mans Windows, but with only 32GB of flash and Windows taking most of it, this isn't really a Windows laptop.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      It's maybe better to buy a Netbook

      I thought netbooks were discontinued in favor of tablets [slashdot.org].

      • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

        Whatever. I never use a tablet for computing unless there is nothing else available. My dinky little Acer Aspire One is better at everything than my tablet with the exception of being a smart remote which is what the Samsung 7" tablet I have has become. It makes a fucking fabulous remote control though, I threw the logitech remote in the trash.

        • My dinky little Acer Aspire One is better at everything than my tablet

          I can see how this might be true. But what do you plan to buy once your "dinky little Acer Aspire One" dies?

      • Heh, everytime I go by the laptops section in any large store that sells electronics, there's always a few Netbooks (usually not described as such, just as small laptops costing around $2-300.)

        The "Netbooks are dead' meme has never made much sense to me. The marketing has changed. Indeed, I believe someone out there, maybe HP, is introducing some kind of small $200 laptop that runs Windows 8.1...

        • Perhaps what died at the end of 2012 was the 10" screen size on a device with attached keyboard. Most of the "small laptops" I see nowadays are 11.6", which may need something bigger than a typical man-satchel to hold one.
  • by drolli ( 522659 ) on Sunday November 02, 2014 @07:49AM (#48292553) Journal

    I for my part consider buying a cheap windows tablet, which includes a office 2013 version.

  • Answer: No. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Johnny Loves Linux ( 1147635 ) on Sunday November 02, 2014 @07:52AM (#48292573)
    It's a Celeron CPU. Office 365 is a rental. It's 2GB of memory. It's Windows. vs. http://www.google.com/intl/en/... [google.com] and the OS is ChromeOS which is automatically updated. And it's not a rental. And you can install Ubuntu/Debian if you want in a chroot using crouton if you want a fully functional OS for programming.
    • And it comes in blue and pink.

  • by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Sunday November 02, 2014 @07:55AM (#48292583)
    This will be a formidable low-end x86 machine if Windows 10 actual hits before the end of 2015, otherwise it's getting late into the game for these things. Then give anyone who buys one now a free upgrade. I would not want the tile interface unless I could use it like a tablet, and switching between tablet and notebook mode all the time just doesn't sound practical. A simple micro hdmi connector or even MHL compatibility would make this greater.

    So is this one of those situations where I have to say, "mod me down all you want.." in ordered to get modded up? Just for the record I have been a huge Linux geek since about 95 with Slackware. Computers, operating systems, and software are tools and I explore all available tools. I've been running the Tech Preview pretty happily. It would make this machine an impulsive buy.
    • Read the specs it has a full HDMI port. If you don't like metro, there are several free to commercial options that return the start menu.

      The Windows 10 upgrade is the big question. But it's been rumored that it will be a free upgrade for 8/8.1 users. But that's just speculation at this point.

  • Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Monoman ( 8745 ) on Sunday November 02, 2014 @07:58AM (#48292599) Homepage

    If people buy these simply based on price then most are likely to be disappointed. My guess is they will be marketing these towards students which is probably the best angle. Assuming they sell an acceptable number of them then only time will tell us if these keep customers happy for a reasonable amount of time. They'll need to make the upgrade to Windows 10 (and Office ?) free AND easy. They'll need to "just work" and stay that way. If these things things get easily infected with malware, spyware, or something more costly like Cryptowall then all money saved will be lost and then some. Windows has a reputation to fix and I'm just glad it isn't my job to try to fix it.

  • Impartial (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Sunday November 02, 2014 @08:12AM (#48292655)

    ..."The HP Stream 11 is clearly both inexpensive and a great value," writes Paul Thurrott....

    Now there's an impartial opinion.

  • by gaiageek ( 1070870 ) on Sunday November 02, 2014 @08:25AM (#48292735) Homepage
    No one would steal it, because they'd think it's a toy. But seriously, call me when it boots Linux Mint 17, and is available in black or silver.
  • Role reversal? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Sunday November 02, 2014 @08:27AM (#48292753) Journal
    I just saw in Costco a HP Chromebook, 13 inch full HD screen, 1 year of 4G service (I think capped to some ridiculous 200 MB per month. But still good enough for very occssional use), 10 sessions in domestic flights, etc. Priced at 300$. Paired with T-mobile. T-mobile has some great pay-as-you-go data plans too.

    So HP is pushing a souped up Chromebook, and a bare bones PC, along with bare bones chromebook and the usual standard formfactor laptops. Looks like HP is throwing everything on the wall and is waiting to see what sticks. It might drop the bare bones chromebook price down too. Come Christmas I would not be surprised to see same spec chrome book at 99$ or 129$

    Basic selling point of Chromebook is not just the low price, it is a low maintenance streaming device, with a full keyboard and better screen. HDMI out, bluetooth keyboard, ... why would I even think of buying Roku or chromecast, or smart TV?

  • It's ironic that it doesn't run Linux well, given that [a] Linux can be installed on everything from mechanical watches to dead badgers, [everything2.com] and [b] Google insists [acer.com] on the non-release of Windows drivers for their Chromebooks.

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      No actually new hardware is often problematic for Linux. It's the driver issues see? New proprietary hardware has to have drivers reverse engineered and that takes time. Give it 6 months to a year then try, by then these will be all over ebay at a fraction of their new prices.

      • Next thing you'll tell me is that I can't run Linux on my clockwork zombie badger. That, sir, is the kind of nonsense up with which I will not put!

        TBH getting Linux to run on a Chromebook is a bit of a process, too, and some of the drivers just made it to the kernel in 3.17. While we're on the topic of irony, it's strange to think that it's normal for closed-source drivers to be reverse-engineered for Linux, but no one is likely to use the open-source Linux drivers to produce Windows drivers for the Chromeb

        • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

          It's that pesky GPL. They can't just take it and run.

          • Well, that's true to some degree, but it's still possible to do a "clean room" implementation. These sort of things have been done before, perhaps most notably by ReactOS. It's a hell of a lot better than starting with nothing in any case. I suppose it's less common to have a device for which Linux drivers exist but not equivalent Windows drivers, but it's still a little odd for reverse engineering to be normal in Linux-land and completely unheard-of (by myself, at any rate) on the other side of the fence.

            • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

              The biggest reverse engineering project I remember was the one where the original PC bios was reverse engineered thus creating the clone market.

  • I run some auto diagnostic software on a Mac using a VM running WindowsXP. If these devices are backwards compatible a Stream 7 would be an ideal device to replace my Mac. It's cheap, portable and has enough screen space even with the small screen to display diagnostic results. A micro USB -> USB adapter would to let me connect to the OBDC and a bluetooth keyboard would complete the setup. The 11 has full size USBand a keyboard but if the 7" works there is no need to shell out an additional $100.
    • If these devices are backwards compatible a Stream 7 would be an ideal device to replace my Mac.

      Well, they probably won't run XP properly. Anyway, you're better off keeping that stuff in a VM, and not letting it autoupdate. That way it never bones itself.

  • by fygment ( 444210 ) on Sunday November 02, 2014 @08:59AM (#48292943)

    Hell no! I want the vacuum tube version. Better yet, get me a steam powered version with 1.2 cycles per second pistons.

    Seriously, since when is 'solid-state" anything but all-pervasive in the world of laptops?

  • We test piloted Chromebooks vs Windows laptops last year, and the decision was made to go with Chromebooks by the district's tech committee over the summer. 700 Chromebooks were purchased and rolled out to a complete grade level plus classes in other grade levels.

    The decision to go with Chromebooks was purely political. There was a staff member on the committee (who is no longer with the district) that hyped Google Apps, but when September came, everyone found out you could not run Office on them, and many

    • They'll take a second look, and the smart ones will go with chromebooks. The chromebook world is full of boxes which perform acceptably at a low cost. They have no recurring costs. They're disposable. When one is smashed, you can use can replace it with without any setup at all. Work is never lost due to a disk crash.

      The kids can install Linux and mess with that on these things. It runs reasonably well.

      You can still have some Windows or Macs around to do the hard-core crap (that wouldn't work on under

  • I frequently see new ThinkPads on sale for less than $400 brand new through Lenovo. I don't see what the advantage of this crippled $200 netbook would be; I would sooner spend a little more money to buy a vastly more useful system. Or spend a lot more and get a really nice thinkpad that won't need attention or upgrades for many years to come.
    • It's market is in places where you need cheap hardware. I used to have National Grid as a client; many hours trying to troubleshoot their mobile collection laptops (mostly toughbooks) that where honestly far over-powered and complex for that situation. Schools too; low-powered systems might be more secure and have less "after class chicanery" than with a fully-functional laptop. Unfortunately, this product doesn't fall under that idea since it's Windows 8.1 lol. I doubt it would even work for companies
    • Or you can buy a refurb'd Thinkpad for $125-150 with specs and durability that will blow away these toys. Works just fine.

      • Or you can buy a refurb'd Thinkpad for $125-150 with specs and durability that will blow away these toys. Works just fine.

        I do the majority of my work on a thinkpad that matches that description. It was ~2 years old when I bought it used and it's still humming along just fine 2+ years later. I've had previous ones meet those kind of reliability numbers as well, and I'm not exactly easy on my hardware.

        Frankly it baffles me how much people will pay for hardware that won't last this long.

        • I'm still using a T42 that I bought new ~11 years ago. Granted, I don't use for any heavy work, but with Arch Linux and XFCE, it handles basic everyday tasks just fine.

          The battery is down to ~10-15 minutes of runtime by now, it's heavy, the screen resolution is low, some of the plastic has broken off one of the corners and I'm on the third (IIRC) mini-PCI WLAN adapter. Firefox/Chrome really doesn't like more than about 10 tabs open at any one time, multitasking in general is not advised.

          But it plays 720p vi

  • Is anyone else amused by the rapidity of this race to the bottom?

    Enjoy bankruptcy.

    • by l0n3s0m3phr34k ( 2613107 ) on Sunday November 02, 2014 @09:55AM (#48293279)
      lol thus why Enterprise Services is going it's own way. My division at HP is far more concerned with up-time, reliability, meeting SLA's, and 24/7/365 monitoring and troubleshooting than profit...probably stemming from the massive fine we got a few years ago from the Feds lol. Now every time I see some new product I wonder which side it is on...

      But personally I think Meg's ideas are mostly working...the split puts both sides in better shape, faster reactions as a corp, and a finer tuned "vision". Of course I'm unhappy seeing some of my friends loose their jobs but that's just corporate life ESPECIALLY in IT and from what I've seen no one was "singled out" it is pretty random. Even while some divisions are laying off people others are hiring...we lost some help desk people but are adding mainframe operation techs and they get paid almost twice as much! Honestly I'd much rather see HP having more "mainframe" level activities going on than expanding contracted help desk operations but we have to leverage the capabilities we have in-office.

      I think though that my location might be a "special case" since we're the site of IBM's 360 SABRE location and this system can't be "moved" easily. It's all underground, multiple bubble doors, iris scanners, password-of-the-day stuff. I work a few hundred feet away for almost two years and haven't seen the inside of it but walk around the top of it during my smoke breaks every night...yet I have worked deep inside the Cherokee Data Center for months on end so I have whatever "clearance" to be inside of it technically. Our location is quasi-government entangled and is kinda it's own entity inside of HP lol.
  • this is a direct result of the split; it's why HP did it (I think). This, along with the 3D printing, Moonshot, etc shows how much faster two smaller corps can move instead of one big corp going multiple directions.
  • by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Sunday November 02, 2014 @09:58AM (#48293297)
    I think unfortunately these devices are very misleading, with 32gb of (very slow) local storage they simply don't offer anything more than a Chromebook. There isn't space for installing programs (or games), nor is there enough space for local media.
  • Another HP 2000 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Deathlizard ( 115856 ) on Sunday November 02, 2014 @10:11AM (#48293393) Homepage Journal

    Awhile back, HP made the HP 2000 Laptops running low end AMD Processors and sold them at Walmarts at $279.

    Piece of Crap doesn't even describe this PC. These are easily the slowest PC's I have touched in years, and it's not because of Windows 8. (Hell, I think Chrome OS Would struggle on these things.) It's the Hardware components they chose to use with them. Using Low end AMD C and E processors coupled with hard drives with embarrassing slow speed and latency times, it's built to be as cheap as possible and it shows. HP seems to have a track record with this as well, Slipping Tablet, Phone and NetBook Components in full size laptop form factors to convince Granny that she's getting more Laptop than she actually is.

    I constantly get these in the shop and I tell the customers there's nothing I can do to them speed wise to make them any faster. Even if you reset them to factory (Which Amazingly removes all of the bloatware down to only essential Hardware necessary items) it's takes practically 30 minutes to boot before you can actually use it. Patching it takes about 1 full day between waiting an hour for it to actually register updates, to installing Windows 8.1, which takes 4-5 hours, and another 6-8 hours installing the Windows 8.1 patches. With just about any other laptop (short of the Toshiba's that follow this same Price model) I can go from windows 8.0 factory to fully 8.1 patched in under 3 hours.

    If $279 Gets you crap like the HP 2000, I can't imagine what these $199 systems would be like, Unless MS is seriously giving HP Money each time they sell one of these.

  • What's up with the Amazon links? HP doesn't have product pages anymore?

  • Seriously, I have been waiting for years for the 'Lovecraft' model from HP.

    *runs* *ducks* *hides* :)

  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Sunday November 02, 2014 @07:16PM (#48297139)

    No. Chromebook is actually the better package for most people.

    8 hrs. battery time. Boots in 8 seconds. Zero maintenance. Zero worries about backups. Zero worries about installing programms. Zero virii. Zero synching your photos, videos, audios, whatnot with your tablet and/or phone. Everything in the cloud. Drop your laptop, have it stolen, pour coffee into it - no problem. Order a new one, log on, all your stuff is there and you didn't even have to archive. While the the one is being shipped you can use your friends computer or your cellphone to do the most important stuff until it arrives. I gave my fiance a laptop (IBM Thinkpad, Ubuntu 14.04, all ready and set up) and an android tablet. She used the laptop once. The tablet she uses constantly. Just watching her is a real eye opener.

    Anther Point in case:
    I'm your type A slashdot computer geek and even *I* would prefer a chromebook over a windows laptop (typing this on Linux btw.)

    I'm quite convinced that my next portable computer will either be an android tablet with an extra bluetooth keyboard or a chromebook - routing a chromebook with crouton and installing linux on it is quite easy, and 8 hrs battery time for 299 has a nice ring to it.

    The truth is: Google is set to bring the second half of humanity online. They are basically the budget Apple. You pay significantly less with at least as much convenience, if not even more. Google takes care of you and all your computing stuff for free and in turn the may observe you 24/7. That's the basic deal and there is no upside MS can offer to that.

    With MS it's pay premium, and get observed, and functionality degraded over time and virii and we want to know all your details before you can use windows unencumbred. Oh, and MS Office is a subscription now. ... Who the eff wants that? ... MS only has a chance to do that for historical reasons, and those are wearing off quickly.

    No one I know would want this ugly laptop with windows on it.

    My 2 cents.

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