HP Stream 11 $200 Windows Notebook Gives Chromebooks Some Thrills

Microsoft trimmed down Windows 8.1 so that laptop manufacturers can use the light version in their most affordable devices. HP’s stream 11 is one of the first devices to roll out with it and give Chromebook manufacturers a run for their money.

HP already has a few Chromebook models under its belt, so Microsoft’s move might be hard to understand. Maybe Redmond should have went for a notebook manufacturer that hasn’t launched any Chromebooks yet, so that there’s no internal conflict between various product lines, but nowadays it’s really hard to find such a manufacturer, as Google’s OS is getting a lot of love from everyone. Microsoft is trying to make sure that people will give the trimmed W8.1 a try by offering a $25 Windows Store gift card, along with 1TB of cloud storage on OneDrive, and a 1-year subscription to Office 365. That’s a tough deal to beat, and Google will have to be very imaginative to come up with a better offer.

In terms of design, the HP Stream 11 is quite playful, so maybe it’s not such a good idea to showcase it in a business environment. After all, this cheap Windows laptop is not gonna impress anyone with its performance, so you might want to keep it for entertainment. The keyboard is comfortable to use, but given the 11-inch 1,366 x 768 non-touch display, this should be nothing more than a backup solution for writers. Given the ports and the connectivity options, this notebook is only a Chrome OS away from a Chromebook.

Powered by a Celeron N2840 CPU and 2GB of RAM, the Stream 11 will run basic apps. At least in that department it will shine. Yet another aspect that should determine people to consider buying this notebook (or netbook, even though that format is officially dead): the respectable battery life. The Stream 11 will be up and running for 8 hours and 17 minutes, considering you’re not doing anything crazy on it, such as having the Wi-Fi connection turned on while playing videos. That doesn’t make HP’s offering the best in its class, but there are only 4 Chromebooks out there that can beat it. Either way, this should last you through an entire day at work (supposing you’d want to use it for that), and that’s really what matters.

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