Chromebook Competitor, HP Stream 11 Laptop Offers Windows 8.1, Office 365 For A Year For Just $199

Back in late September, HP unveiled its affordable "Stream" line of Windows notebooks and tablets with expected availability in early November. Well, we're into the first week of November now, and as promised, you can hop on the web and order a Stream 11 or Stream 13 laptop with Windows 8.1 at a rock bottom price.

How low? The HP Stream 11 runs $200 and the HP Stream 13 costs $30 more for the luxury of a bigger display (13.3-inch versus 11.6-inch, both with a 1366x768 resolution) and optional 200MB of free 4G data each month with no annual contract for the life of the device. Otherwise, these systems share the same specs -- Intel Celeron N2840 dual-core processor (2.16GHz-2.58GHz, 1MB L2 cache), 2GB of DDR3L-1333 RAM, 32GB solid state drive + 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage for one year, USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports (one each), HD webcam, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Dolby DTS sound, and up to 8.25 hours of battery life.

HP Stream 11

On the software side, the HP Stream 11 and 13 laptops run Windows 8.1 and come with a year of Microsoft Office 365 Personal. Let that sink in for a moment -- the OS and Office subscription nearly cover the cost of the entire laptop. But are the Stream laptops worth it?

We haven't tested one of these ourselves, though early reviews hitting the web are mostly positive. Granted, you probably won't replace your primary machine with a Stream 11 or 13, though it's certainly a compelling option in place of a Chromebook. For the same price (or cheaper), you get a system that's more functional than a Chromebook and one that isn't so heavily reliant on the cloud.

You can order the Stream 11 or 13 from Amazon in choice of Horizon Blue or Orchid Magenta.