By Shirley Siluk / Top Tech News. Updated September 30, 2014.
With its eyes clearly set on the holiday market for Chromebook-like devices, Hewlett-Packard has unveiled a new lineup of its HP Stream Windows notebooks and tablets. The cloud-storage-based devices include one free year of Office 365 Personal and 1 terabyte of storage for a year through Microsoft OneDrive, as well as a $25 gift card for either the Microsoft Store or Xbox game purchases.
One new notebook -- the 13.3-inch HP Stream -- also comes with the option for 200 MB of free 4G connectivity for the life of the device.
The new lineup, expected to be available in the U.S. starting in November, includes the 11.6-inch HP Stream notebook ($199.99), the 13.3-inch HP Stream notebook ($229.99), the HP Stream 7 tablet ($99.99) and the HP Stream 8 Tablet ($149.99). HP said the new notebooks offer the benefits of being light and thin without the pricetag usually associated with such devices.
On the Heels of Stream 14
The new notebooks feature a high-definition display, with the 13.3-inch version including a touchscreen option. Both models offer fanless cooling, an Intel Celeron processor and 32GB of eMMC flash memory.
The notebooks will be available in two colors: "orchid magenta" or "horizon blue."
Both are less-expensive alternatives to the HP Stream Notebook 14, which was announced on Sept. 8 and is priced starting at $299.99.
The new Stream Tablets also come with 60 minutes of Skype service each month, offered through the subscription to Microsoft Office 365.
The HP Stream made its first appearance in July during Microsoft's Windows Partner Conference in Washington, D.C. During a keynote presentation, Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner took the stage with an HP Stream 14 in his hands to talk about Microsoft's plans to grab a larger share of the market for low-priced computers.
The HP Stream quickly took on the nickname of "Chromebook killer." When the HP Stream 14 was released in early September, however, it was priced considerably higher than promised at the Windows conference: $299 instead of $199.
With Tuesday's announcement of the new models, the HP Stream will soon be available at that lower price point. Whether that indeed proves to be a "Chromebook killer," however, remains to be seen.
Chromebooks have gained rapid momentum this year, with sales expected to reach 5.2 million -- a 79 percent increase over last year, according to industry research firm Gartner. The Chromebook market is dominated by the education sector, which accounted for nearly 85 percent of sales last year.
Worldwide, Samsung was the dominant Chromebook maker in 2014, with 64.9 percent of sales. HP, by comparison, had 6.8 percent of the market, according to figures from Gartner.