We first heard of the HP Stream in July, when Microsoft COO Kevin Turner held the notebook aloft during his keynote at the Windows Partners Conference. He was making a point about Microsoft's intent to compete at the low end of the market, and the Stream was soon being described as a "Chromebook killer." HP was supposed to show the new machine at IFA last week, but the company postponed its announcement until Monday.
At the conference, Turner said HP would sell the Stream for just $199, making it much cheaper than many Chromebooks. The 14-inch model HP announced today, however, will cost significantly more than that: $300 and up when it goes on sale September 24. HP sells its 14-inch Chromebooks for about the same price.
The Stream is one of the few AMD design wins I've heard about, powered by an AMD AR Micro-6400T Quad. That APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) is designed to compete with Intel's dual-core Celeron product line.
The low-budget notebook will have 2GB of DDR3L/1600 memory and 32GB of solid-state storage that can be supplemented with a microSD card. HP will also provide buyers with 100GB of Microsoft OneDrive storage for two years, and 25GB of Dropbox storage for six months at no additional cost. They'll get only a 30-day trial to Microsoft's Office 365 productivity suite, though.
The Stream's 14-inch touchscreen display delivers resolution of 1366x768 pixels and has an HDMI out (Miracast is also supported, for wireless video streaming to compatible displays). It has just one USB 3.0 port and two USB 2.0 ports, along with a combo audio jack to support headphones or a headset. The Stream's wireless networking capabilities are relatively weak, with just a 1x1 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adapter onboard.
The HP Stream will be relatively thin at 0.70 inches, but it won't be a featherweight, weighing in at 3.8 pounds without its AC adapter. HP says its 3-cell, 32WHr battery will deliver 6 hours and 30 minutes of battery life. We'll post a full hands-on review as soon as HP can get us a sample to test.