HP has announced the release of two new tablets earlier today, the HP Stream 7 and the HP Stream 8 with Windows 8.1 on both of the tablets. The HP Stream line is designed to compete with tablets like the Huawei Honor Tablet, Lenovo IdeaPad, Acer Iconia, Toshiba Encore Mini and Asus Memo Pad. HP aims to offer customers tablets that run Windows 8.1 with full desktop integration and prices that can compete with the cheap Android tablets you can find on the market.
The HP Stream 7 and HP Stream 8 don’t differ very much, except for their sizes. The HP Stream 7 is a 7 inch tablet whilst the HP Stream 8 is an 8 inch one, both falling into the compact tablet line. Both these HP tablets sport HD displays and quad core CPUs, but we don’t what kind yet. The HP Stream tablets come with a free 1 year Skype and Microsoft Office 365 Personal subscription, as well as 1 TB of OneDrive storage for free. You also get 200 MB of free 4G data every month, for life.
The HP Stream 7 and HP Stream 8 will be available to US customers starting in November and will retail for $100 for the 7 inch version and $150 for the 8 in HP Stream 8. We don”t know whether the HP Stream line will only be available in the US, but we think it’s fairly likely that Microsoft would want to expand overseas with HP and get these cheap Windows tablets into the hands of as many customers as possible.
The advantage of the HP Stream line is that it offers Windows 8.1 with full desktop integration, which unlike the Windows RT, allows you to use all your desktop based applications on your tablet. The free subscriptions and data make for a pretty attractive package and will surely bring in a fair amount of customers. Although we don’t know much about the specs of the HP Stream 7 and 8 yet, we can only assume that they will be targeted at entry-level users who would rather use a tablet than a notebook. HP will probably add expandable storage options and maybe even a keyboard case to the HP Stream 7 and 8, so that it might compete with convertible tablets that are out of its price range, like the Asus Transformer Book T100.
Looking at the photos of the HP Stream 7 and 8, we can see that there is a considerable amount of bezel surrounding the display of the device and it will probably be intended to be used more in portrait mode, rather than landscape mode. This doesn’t exclude the possibility of using a Bluetooth keyboard, though. The HP Stream 7 and HP Stream 8 will certainly be no match for powerful tablets like the iPad Mini and Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet, but they will offer an affordable alternative for those who are keen on the Windows OS.