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HP's new cloud-optimized laptops are cheap PCs with little RAM and storage

HP's new cloud-optimized laptops are cheap PCs with little RAM and storage

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HP is expanding its Windows-based Stream PC lineup this month with a new 14-inch laptop and a revamp of its older offerings, including the Stream 11 and the x360. HP is branding its whole effort as delivering an "affordable cloud computing experience" that is tailored to how people use their computers today. They’re using cloud-based apps and storing photos online, HP says, and "they’re more concerned about the strength of the web connection rather than the power of the processor."

So in response, HP’s 14-inch laptop comes with:

  • 32GB eMMC storage
  • Intel Celeron N3060 Processor

The revamped 11.6-inch offerings come with the same specs and were updated with a better processor. (The old ones had the Intel Celeron N3050.) The laptops are made to be affordable; The Stream 11 will start at $199 when it’s released at the end of the month, and the Stream 14 will start at $219 on September 7th.

Most other comparable laptop options are Chromebooks with similar specs. Acer's Chromebook 11, which we declared the best Chromebook available, comes with the dual-core Intel Celeron N2840 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. HP's decision to go with the N3060 might make it a better choice because it's newer (released this year as opposed to 2014), although at least one tester found that the older 2840 performed better. That being said, the Acer costs significantly more at $460.99. How badly do you want Chrome OS?