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Microsoft isn't blind to the fact that Chromebooks are flying off of store shelves, both virtual and physical, and so a month ago the Redmond outfit let slip that it was working with various partners to offer low cost alternatives in the $199 to $249 range. Turns out it wasn't just lip service. Meet the HP Stream 14, a 14-inch notebook running Windows 8.1 and carrying a $200 price tag.
German-language website Mobile Geeks got its hands on press photos and official HP documents outlining the Stream 14. Based on the spec sheet, this low cost laptop sports AMD hardware inside -- specifically, an AMD A4 Micro-6400T quad-core processor with integrated Radeon R3 graphics powering the 14-inch display's 1366x768 resolution. It also features 2GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, memory card reader, two USB 2.0 ports, a single USB 3.0 port, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI output, webcam, full-size keyboard, and a 45W battery.
Documents also reveal that Microsoft will include 100GB of cloud-based OneDrive storage for two years with the 3.9-pound laptop, just as Google offers 100GB of Google Drive storage with every Chromebook. That certainly levels the playing field and steals significant thunder away from Google's Chromebook push.
No word yet on when the HP Stream 14 will launch, though given all the data available, we suspect it will be soon, especially if Microsoft and HP want to take advantage of the back-to-school shopping season.