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HP Stream 14 Featuring Windows 8.1 To Battle Against Chromebooks

The success of the Chromebook had been kind of a wake-up call for manufacturers to develop portable computers at a lower cost. Tech consultancy Gartner said that Chromebook sales will nearly triple by 2017. The Chromebooks released for India (where people absolutely love low-cost devices) have been recipient to lukewarm response, the price of the laptops being the main turn-off. Nevertheless, hardware and software companies are focussing more on providing better performance at low costs. It is learnt (thanks to a leak from MobileGeeks) that Microsoft now has stepped up its game and is set to release an ultra-cheap netbook called Stream 14. The device will be manufactured by Hewlett-Packard and will run on Windows 8.1.


Quite surprisingly, the HP Stream 14 will feature not an Intel "Bay Trail" or an ARM but an AMD "Mullins" processor. The presence of a flash memory instead of a normal HDD is also surprising. The AMD A4 Micro-6400T Quad-Core 1.0 GHz (scalable up to 1.6 GHz) SoC comes integrated with a low power Radeon graphics R3 unit. The RAM capacity is 2GB (non-expandable). The netbook will come in two variants- 32 GB and 64 GB, both of which support the eMMC (embedded MultiMedia Controller) NAND flash. Users will also get a 2-year, 100 GB Microsoft OneDrive subscription; similar to the Google Drive in Chromebooks.

The HP Stream 14 has a display of 14 inches and offers a resolution of 1366 × 768 pixels. Rumor has it that a touchscreen variant of the Stream 14 is in pipeline. Other I/O ports include a 720p webcam, four speakers with Beats Audio(!), N-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, an SD card reader, HDMI output, one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports. The netbook weighs 1.75 Kg and has a respectable 2960mAh battery. More detailed specs can be found here.

HP may also put up a better equipped and more pricey version of this netbook with full HD and touchscreen display. The more powerful AMD A10 Micro-6700T Quad Core with 1.2 GHz base clock and 2.2 GHz turbo frequency may be used for this.

Priced at $199 (about Rs. 15k-18k including taxes), Chromebooks could have some serious competition incoming. What is your opinion about the HP Stream 14? Share with the world in the comments.


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