Microsoft Replies To Chromebook With HP Stream 14; How It Fares Against Acer Chromebook 13
Acknowledging the threat of small but growing market of Chromebooks, Microsoft announced last month that it will be offering low-cost laptops ranging from $199 to $249. Microsoft even published an advertisement showing limitations of Chromebooks that are not found in laptops. For example, Chromebooks cannot run both native and web apps, they can’t work well offline and with limited bandwidth, and four others.
Acer, Toshiba and HP were partnered with Microsoft in pursuing their plan of manufacturing low-cost laptops. Kevin Turner, Microsoft Chief Operating Officer, revealed last month that HP will be launching a new series called “Stream” to complement Microsoft’s plans. Details about this series were not revealed at that time, but now they are.
HP recently uploaded support documents for their Stream series showing detailed specifications of the low-cost laptops (Update: the page has now been removed). But thanks to a leak from MobileGeeks, it gives us our first look at the upcoming HP Stream 14.
Like Acer Chromebook 13, Stream 14 will have 1366 x 768 pixel display but will have a slightly bigger screen — 14-inch as compared to Chromebook 13’s 13-inch screen. AMD A4 Micro-6400T “Mullins” processor which is a 4.5W quad-core powers Stream. It has Radeon R3 graphics, 2GB of RAM and either 32GB or 64GB of solid-state storage.
Other features that Stream 14 supports include SDXC card slot, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI output, 1 USB 3.0 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a 720p webcam, and four speakers with Beats audio.
Acer Chromebook 13 offers a day-long battery. In contrast with this fact, HP has included a 32Whr battery. HP has also moved towards mobile architecture by including low-power AMD Mullins, which is a mobile chip, just like Nvidia Tegra K1 that powers Acer Chromebook 13.
HP Stream 14 comes with Windows 8.1 and with 100GB of Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage for 2 years. It has a 13.5″ x 9.5″ x 0.7″ design and weighs about 3.9 pounds.
The only two things unknown about the upcoming HP laptop are its price and what it looks like, but according to rumors, it will cost $200. Microsoft is not going to stop at HP Stream. We can expect low-cost laptops like Stream from other vendors as well.
Microsoft has dominated PC market for quite a time. They are not willing to surrender to Google’s Chromebooks just yet.