Yes, Virginia, the $200 HP Stream laptop is real. And so is the $100 HP Stream tablet, which is arguably even more impressive. Both are shipping in time for the holidays, and both will be accompanied by bigger and slightly more expensive alternatives.
You may recall that Microsoft COO Kevin Turner at WPC 2014 revealed that HP would ship a $200 laptop this year, undercutting rival Google Chromebook. The specs for that PC, called the HP Stream, were leaked in August. But then in September, HP announced its new HP Stream ... at a $300 price point, $100 more than expected.
There were a few theories about the price bump, but the most common one is now known to be true: HP will in fact sell several different Stream laptops, and that $300 version is just one of them. As Mr. Turner previously promised, this line will indeed start at $200.
HP announced two Stream laptops this week, an 11.6-inch version and a 13.3-inch version. Each uses an Intel Celeron processor and provides 32 GB of eMMC flash storage. Each comes in two color choices: Orchid Magenta and Horizon Blue.
The 11.6-inch version will start at $199.99 as promised. The 13.3-inch version starts at $229.99. Both will be available in November.
But each Stream also includes a full one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal, a $69.99 value. This provides 1 TB of OneDrive (consumer) storage and of course the Office 2013 software suite. Still not convinced? You also get a $25 Windows Store gift card for buying apps or games. Let's be clear here: These are tremendous values.
HP also announced two new Stream tablets, the HP Stream 7 and HP Stream 8. As their names suggest, they provide 7- and 8-inch screens, respectively, and each also provides the same Office 365 Personal seen on the laptops, with its 1 TB of additional OneDrive storage. The HP Stream 8 also includes an optional 200MB of free 4G data each month with no annual contract for the life of the device. What the...?
Pricing: The HP Stream 7 starts at just $99.99, and the HP Stream 8 starts at $149.99. Availability is November.