Microsoft is pulling out all the stops when it comes to battling an insurgency from Google with Chrome OS. Microsoft has resorted to offering Windows 8.1 with Bing free to OEMs that provide low-cost laptops and desktops to consumers as a way of stopping Google dead in its tracks.
The latest assault on Chrome OS (and Chromeboxes) is coming in the form of a tiny little machine from Hewlett-Packard called the Stream mini (which measures 5.73” x 5.70” x 2.06”). The Stream mini packs comes with an Intel Celeron 2957U processor, 2GB of RAM, Intel integrated graphics, and a 32GB SATA-based SSD. HP has even managed to fit in four USB 3.0 ports, a GbE port, HDMI, DisplayPort, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11n wireless. All of that hardware is wrapped in a blue chassis that looks a bit child-like to my eyes.
The Stream mini is priced at a reasonable $180 and will go on sale January 14.
If you prefer more mature looks and more power, the Pavilion mini uses the same basis chassis design as the Stream mini without the candy coating. It also ditches the Celeron processor for a more powerful Intel Pentium 3558U and doubles the RAM to 4GB. The 32GB SSD is also tossed in favor of a 500GB HDD. All of the external ports featured on the Stream mini carry over to the Pavilion mini.
Unlike the cheaper Stream mini, the Pavilion mini comes with a full-blown version of Windows 8.1. And while 25GB of Dropbox storage is included, you won’t get receive 200GB of free OneDrive storage.
The Pavilion mini will also go on sale on January 14, but will be priced at $320.