While they may not have had an impact in South Africa as they have had in the US, Google’s Chromebooks have begun to take valuable market share away from Microsoft by offering something that the Redmond-based company and its partners simply cannot – a notebook that costs just $199 (R2 115).
Or at least that would have been the case if I was writing this last week as yesterday afternoon details of a new $199 notebook from HP surfaced.
The leak comes from our friends over at MobileGeeks.de who managed to uncover the repair manual for the notebook which includes a full spec sheet. The HP Stream 14 will have a 14 inch display with a very entry-level resolution of 1 366×768. It will be powered by an AMD A4 Micro-6400T 1 GHz (turbo boost to 1.6GHz) quad core processor, 2 GB of RAM and will have 32GB of solid state storage which can be upgraded to 64GB. The graphics power will come from the integrated Radeon R3 GPU.
Rounding out the hardware is the requisite WiFi aerials along with Bluetooth 4.0 and an SD card reader with a HDMI output, one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports also available.
The operating system will of course be Windows 8.1 and will probably be the edition that carries Microsoft’s Bing search engine as its default. The HP Stream 14 will also have a two-year, 100GB OneDrive storage subscription bundled with it in much the same way that Google bundles additional Google Drive storage with its Chromebooks.
Microsoft has been trying out new licensing models with its vendors for the last few months in an attempt to sell more computers and get more users onto its cloud services like OneDrive and this new, lower price point could very well entice a host of people looking for a cheaper notebook to jump on the Windows wagon.