Ed Bott thinks HP’s new Stream won’t replace a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 or a MacBook Air. But it might stop someone from buying a Chromebook, and that’s the point.
After spending a couple days with this budget PC I came away impressed at what you get for two C-notes. No, it will not replace my Surface Pro 3, nor are you likely to exchange your MacBook Air for a Stream 11. But I would certainly recommend it over a Chromebook for anyone who does most day-to-day activity in the cloud but still needs the ability to run Windows desktop programs, especially Microsoft Office.
Because we all just love using Office.
This is not an enterprise-class machine. It’s aimed squarely at cost-conscious consumers who might be tempted by a Chromebook but would probably end up disappointed by its limitations. There’s no reason this machine can’t connect to your corporate network or let you work with Office files.
The primary role appears to be saving money.
That price tag is an even bigger bargain than it appears at first glance. Among the bundled extras are a $25 gift card, good for apps from the Windows Store or digital media from Xbox Music or Movies. There’s also a one-year Office 365 Personal subscription (a $70 value), which allows you to install the full Office desktop suite and includes unlimited storage on Microsoft’s OneDrive service.
I’m thinking that Office 365 isn’t doing as well as Microsoft wants, otherwise, why give away free Office for iPad and iPhone.