How much computer can you buy for $200? With the rise of Chromebooks, it's become an increasingly important question in the hardware world, particularly for Microsoft, but not all of the new hardware is running ChromeOS. Today at CES, Hewlett Packard unveiled a new take on the question, with two mini PCs designed to compete with the rising tide of Chrome hardware. Going on sale January 14th, the machines offer a Windows-based alternative to the new wave of cheap Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, supplementing local storage and processing power with the ever-growing power of the cloud.
At $180, the Stream mini is the cheaper of the two, offering just just 2GB of RAM and a 32GB hard drive, powered by an Intel Celeron chip. Since there isn't much room for local storage, the Stream also comes with a two-year subscription to Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage service, which will let users keep an extra 200 GB remotely. For $320, the Pavilion mini boasts a more powerful processor, an extra 2GB of ram and a full 500GB of local storage. Both use the same simple design: a few USB ports and a power button on the front, with display ports and an audio jack on the back, allowing for an unusually inconspicuous shell. The machines also get by on just 45 watts of power each, a little less than your average lightbulb.