The HP Stream 11 runs a full version of Windows 8.1 yet costs only $200. But wait, there’s more: It also comes with a free year of Office 365 and 1 terabyte of Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage — a $70 value. Buyers even get a $25 gift certificate for the Microsoft Windows Store. Do the math and this laptop costs $105.
It really does sound like one of those too-good-to-be-true, TV-shopping network deals, minus, of course, the “four easy installments” plan and “Call right now!” instructions. But this isn’t even a holiday special or a clearance deal. It’s Microsoft’s new strategy to try to destroy Google’s low-cost, cloud-based Chromebooks.
I’m not entirely convinced that Chromebooks are popular because they’re cheap. I think it’s also because in some contexts, people want simple devices running Chrome OS. With that in mind, I think the actual effect something like this HP Stream 11 will have on Chromebooks will be pretty minimal.