I’ve just ordered the HP Stream 8 5900ng 8-inch Windows tablet because of an amazing European 3G deal. The HP Stream 8 5900ng includes an unlocked 3G module and comes with 200MB of Europe-roaming data per month for 2 years. You can top-up on a regular or one-off basis. According to information on the HP Germany website, USA is included from the 1st Feb 2015. Is this the ultra-mobile PC deal of the year? My company just paid €149 after entering an offer code and taking into account the sales-tax rebate. Office 365 is also included in the deal. Even without Office 365 this the best 3G-enabled ultra-mobile PC deal I’ve ever seen in Europe.
The HP Stream 7 and HP Stream 8 have been launched and the cheapest version will cost just $99.Both models come with just 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage . That’s all I’m going to tell you right now.
Above: HP Stream 7 advertising
What can I say? Having had a bad experience with 1GB RAM on the Toshiba Encore 2 WT8 I just can’t get excited. I’m also confused about why manufacturers think this is a good idea? The platforms are likely to have been developed, tested and approved by Intel leaving HP and others to build the casing but there are major issues that will affect user perception of Windows tablets. Windows Desktop will slow down to a crawl after you’ve opened a number of browser tabs and a few apps as the Pagefile works overtime to switch data to and from memory. 16GB of SSD becomes a major issue after a short time unless you know all the tricks that can help keep it in order. Without a microSD slot though some of the tricks won’t even be possible.
Thank goodness there’s a 1280×800 screen with wide viewing angles on both of these tablets but that’s not enough for me to recommend them. Yet…
Will Windows 9 bring cheap Windows tablets to life?
Windows does need a cheap tablet option but it won’t happen with Windows 8.1. Late today Microsoft will be talking about Windows 9 and we hope to see better support for small form factor devices and low-end platforms. The ability to turn off the desktop and have an RT-style default might be a help too and if we could just have support for Windows Phone 8 apps, that could solve the problem. The Cortana assistant and a notification center will help too. Windows 9 should be a free upgrade on small-form-factor devices (it’s already free) so here’s hoping.
Until then, unless you have a specific need, a specific single task or RT-based need, be careful with these low-end Windows 8.1 tablets.
Mike Cane often highlights low-cost Windows tablet news on his blog.
New ground is being broken in the Windows laptop world today as HP announces the HP Stream 11 and HP Stream 13 low-cost Windows 8 laptops. Built around the Baytrail-M platforms we see an many recent Chromebooks (and possibly using exactly the same motherboard) these Windows laptops will go head-to-head with Chromebooks such as the ASUS C300. In order to sweeten the deal, which to many is already going to look attractive to many mainstream users, HP have announced that the Stream 13 comes with free 3G data. 200MB from T-Mobile won’t cover everyone’s needs but we’re sure that top-up packages will be available. The price: $249 with a 7hr 45 min battery life.
The HP Chromebook 14 was popular and well-received. Maybe it was because of the 14-inch screen but I think in general it was the build quality, the keyboard and the Haswell-architecture performance that did it. It was an all-round quality Chromebook. The new HP Chromebook 14 has an updated design, screen options and has switched from X86 to ARM in the processor department. Battery life is improved as a result.
Off the top of my head I think this is the lightest 10-inch 2-in-1 PC that I’ve ever seen. The HP Pavilion X2 is a Baytrail-T quad-core tablet with a 1280×800 screen and a 34Wh battery which is going to give you a reasonable battery life. There’s a full-size USB port, MicroHDMI, MicroSD and charging port and the keyboard isn’t bad either. This ultra mobile PC will launch at $330. My tip: A version might be available with 1GB RAM. Avoid that and go for 2GB RAM and 32GB storage. Total weight: 800 grams, 1.75 pounds.
I briefly mentioned the Acer Aspire ES1 in an article about the Acer Chromebook 13 last week but I think it’s worth taking a closer look at it now because this could be the next $199 Windows laptop. Given the specifications it also hints at a widening of the free Windows OS offer from Microsoft.
It looks like the Intel Atom/Celeron CPU has really found a niche in the latest Chromebooks. Here’s another Chromebook using the platform and in this case it’s replacing an ARM-architecture SoC that was in the previous version. The HP Chromebook 11 G3.
A PDF file (now removed) was spotted by Google Plus user Alvin Chin and the details showed that although the HP Chromebook 11 will stay much the same as in the G2 version it will get the Intel N2820 as seen in the ASUS C200, Acer CB3 / Chromebook 11 and Lenovo N20p making it a ‘lose’ for Samsung and ARM who originally had the Exynos 5250 inside.
As with the Acer CB3 vs the ASUS C200 it’s largely a price war between the three although detailed reviews are highlighting small but important variations so check reviews before you buy.
To assist you in Chromebook purchases we’re currently updating our database to include all the current models and will link into reviews as we find them.
As I continue my review of the HP Pro X2 410 G1 [first impressions] I’m acutely aware of what’s going on around it this week. The Surface Pro 3 and new products and announcements at Computex have us all thinking about larger-screen tablets and 2-in-1s. One competitor was from HP themselves as Microsoft held up the Pro X2 612 on stage at their keynote. It offers a full HD screen, SSD and Wacom options that aren’t available with the X2 410. It also offers a range of CPUs that start with a Celeron (4th gen Core) and go up to Core i5.
$399 buys you 1.7KG of 14-inch Android smartbook. Maybe this isn’t something for ultra-mobile computing fans but it will be worth tracking the HP Slatebook 14 to see how it’s received in the market. The unique specifications and a ton of local apps (and a ton of great games) will differentiate it from Chromebooks and cheap Windows laptops.
Video and gallery below.
64GB of storage is good (16 and 32GB also listed in the specifications) and when you pair that with 9 hours battery life, the dynamic OS that many many people know and love from their smartphones, a fullHD touchscreen, three USB ports, a MicroSD slot and HDMI you have indeed got something unique. We assume the Nvidia Tegra 4 processor is fanless too. Try getting FullHD on 14-inches with an SSD in the Windows PC world for $400!
The HP Split X2 is one of a confusing range of 13-inch 2-in-1’s from HP that includes the Spectre X2, Split X2 Ultrabook and Pavilion X2 13. Each offers a slightly different specification and design. HP have just made it a little more confusing by re-launching the Split X2 as a new fanless 2-in-1 with Baytrail and Core CPU options.
It’s possible that this new HP Split X2 simplifies the range of HP 2-in-1s by offering all the options under one banner but as we don’t see an SSD listed, we hope not. Yes, the SSD has been replaced with a hybrid hard drive (which also removes the hard drive option in the keyboard.) There’s a new hinge design which allows the ports to be re-positioned on the rear of the unit. You’ll find an HDMI port, two USB ports, headset port and a power port there which is more in style with a true docking station and looks like it will provide more stability for wider screen angles and laptop usage.
HP haven’t listed full specifications but for $599 (starting June 29th in the USA) you get a 13.3-inch tablet that weighs 2.45 pounds (1.11KG) and is 0.53 inches thick (13.5mm.) Battery life is quoted at a rather poor 5.25 hours although there’s a keyboard dock with battery available.
Again, it’s fanless so that’s a step in the right direction [I’m testing a fanless 11-inch HP Pro 2-in-1 right now.] and there’s up to 8GB RAM available. A full range of Baytrail and Haswell options are rumored. At this stage we can’t confirm the screen resolution but the previous HP Split X2 had a full HD screen option so we expect that to be carried forward.
We’ve pinged our sources out in Taipei and hope to have more details, pics and videos soon.
I’m reviewing an 830 gram / 1.83 pound 11.6-inch Core i5 Windows tablet for Notebookcheck.net this week and after 24 hours I’ve got a good feeling for where this HP Pro X2 410 G1 is going. There are some really impressive specs and performance figures here but they’re sitting alongside some fundamental issues. One of those issues always will be an issue and it’s something that also affects the Surface Pro 3 that was launched this week.
Weight. The Pro X2 proves to me once again that large format tablets need to be exceptionally light to be truly useful. Yes, there are some of you out there that have a need for a powerful tablet and I accept that you’re happy with a trade-off, but there’s not many of you – especially when this has a 1366×768 screen, doesn’t lean back far enough in the dock to allow ‘lapping’ (because the tablet weighs too much and it would tip over) has no tablet stand and doesn’t have a digitizer layer. Total weight: 1.6KG.
The really sad thing about this design is that internally it’s looking very good indeed. I’ve just tested the SSD and seen some amazingly good speeds. The speakers are great, the backlight is strong, build quality is good, keyboard is great, there’s a total of 50Wh of battery and that Core i5 (4202Y) is running fanless. This is great electronic engineering. I’ve never had so much fanless PC power in my hand.
HP are pitching this into the business market but I’m struggling to see any major demand for it at the price they’re asking. Over $900 / 900 Euro for a Core i5 with 4GB and 128GB SSD. You can get more power, in less weight, with a recent Ultrabook. Go for a 256GB SSD option on the HP Pro X2 and the Surface Pro 3 looks like a much better option, especially as you get the digitizer and 8GB RAM.
I believe in 2-in-1s. I believe that one day the technology will allow us to build some amazingly light large format mobile screens that have the power of todays mainstream PCs. It might take a next-generation wireless display technology (WiGig is one to watch) or it might take a ‘screen as SoC’ technology to get things slimmed down but the modular approach seems like the sensible option. Right now the 11.6-inch screens are too big for workable 2-in-1s which means that 10-inches is the way to go right now. Truly table-top productive 2-in-1’s may take a few more years.
I’ll be continuing my HP Pro X2 410 G1 testing over the next week and you’ll probably see an overview on the YouTube channel in a day or two. Maybe the performance will win me over. Maybe I’ll find a hot-desk scenario that wins me over. Maybe that battery life (I’m expecting 8hrs of productivity) is the key. Maybe there’s enough in the laptop part (the keyboard sure feels good!) that the tablet part is just a bonus. Maybe the fanless aspect is good enough to make it unique for schools or some vertical that I can’t think of now! We’ll see over the next week but if you have any scenarios you think might work for this, let us know in the comments.
Thx Notebookcheck for allowing me some personal time with the HP Pro X2 410 G1. You can check out their reviews here.
Envy, Split, Pavilion. Unlike my fairly clear understanding of the Dell and Lenovo consumer/business product ranges my understanding of HP’s is spotty. Is it just me? When our reader Brad Heath sent me a link to his Pavilion 11 X2 video I was surprised to see a Core i5 version on display and a quick search reveals that it’s new on the market and being offered for just $599 in the USA. Like the Dell Venue 11 Pro series it could offer a perfect balance between laptop and tablet if your primary focus is on productivity. There’s a true SATA SSD, Core i5-4202Y (1.6Ghz + Turbo) and the total weight is under 1.5KG 3/5 pounds. Price: $599 at Microsoft.com which makes it extremely interesting. [Full specs here.]