HP’s ultra-low-cost Stream family of Windows 8.1 devices isn’t only meant as a direct competitor for budget Chromebooks, it also targets the cheapest Android tablets around.
Microsoft’s no-charge strategy for Win licenses on small screens is working, as it allows HP to price the Stream 7 at $99.99.
The bad news is inventory is likely to be limited at first, since Amazon is already listing the 7-inch Stream as “out of stock”. The online retailer lets you order it anyhow, and pledges to ship it “when available”. The much better alternative is to simply take your business to Microsoft, where the Stream 7 goes for $99 and is delivered immediately.
Even better, MS offers you the Signature Edition of the uber-affordable slate, including not just a complimentary one-year Office 365 Personal subscription, but free “premium” anti-virus software as well.
Meanwhile, Stream 7’s bigger brother, aptly named Stream 8, is MIA on Microsoft’s online store, but available for pre-orders on Amazon. Alas, with no shipping date. We don’t need a crystal ball to tell us the 8 incher is coming before the holidays, and retail costs are more than reasonable, at $179.99.