Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft are developing a low-cost laptop, called the HP Stream 14, with an expected price tag of $199.
This will put them in head-on collision against Google’s Chromebook.
No word yet on a release date.
HP Stream 14 is a 3.9 pound, 14-inch laptop powered by the stripped-down version of Microsoft’s Windows 8.1.
It is equipped with an AMD processor, 2GB memory, a choice of 32GB or 64GB internal storage capacity, 100 GB of OneDrive cloud storage free for 2 years, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HD webcam, HDMI, SD card slot, Beats audio system and 4 speakers.
The features are strikingly similar to Google Chromebook, all the way to its low resolution screen.
The main difference is the operating system powering these competing devices. Even at this early stage, some tech experts believe this Microsoft ecosystem gives HP Stream 14 a distinct advantage because consumers are more familiar with their setup and their roster of Microsoft software.
Chromebook, on the other hand, runs on its proprietary cloud-based Chrome OS and is currently limited to its pool of apps.
The hype continues to build up to a point that some gadget bloggers and enthusiasts are hailing this as the “Chromebook Killer” even before it becomes available.
The market for ultra-affordable and cloud-based laptops is expected to grow over the next few years. However, this is not a substitute for standard laptops available in the market today.