HP Stream 14 Laptop Runs Windows 8.1 and Costs $200 - What Now, Chromebooks?

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AFDozerman

$50 Chromebooks when?

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aarcane

If the boot loader is properly unlocked, and the SSD and RAM are user upgradable, this x86_64 CPU win8.1 system could actually be halfway useful. Upgrade it to Windows 7, or the Linux if your Choice (possibly chromeos), and have at!

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LatiosXT

I doubt its upgradable. Less materials to worry about if you solder everything on.

I'm halfway certain you can disable EFI secure boot. I did that a few times with my ASUS laptops one of which I put Lubuntu on.

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aarcane

It's funny you say that. Reusable off the shelf components actually also reduce cost by reducing the engineering and design overhead. Reuse and modularity are incredibly good for cost cutting. By engineering a system with the SSD and the RAM both soldered onto the board, the designers had to plan not just the connectors for those busses, but had to reimplement almost the entire boards for each component, including the complex task of plotting and running multiple layers of traces and all the other associated headaches thereof.

I've also got a UEFI laptop that has linux on it. It's quite nice. However, there are a significant number of laptops where the manufacturers have disabled the Secure Boot feature under the guise of cost cutting. (It actually increases the engineering cost for the whole line of products, but that's beside the point...)

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NavarWynn

Luckily there's an App for that - Courtesy of Mentor Graphics. So, while designing/building a MB to handle all this stuff soldered on IS more expensive, it's not a significant increase in overall cost (especially since you are already designing a new PCB anyway) , the cost savings leveraged from buying chips instead of discrete components more than makes up for the cost of building it in (for OEMs obv.). This yields a lower overall cost for the system, not to mention, it significantly decreases the physical size of the system board, and decreases reliability issues (from interconnect failures).

We may gripe about it, but it IS one cheaper way to build a system.

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don2041

I will buy one as soon as they are available. You can't pay me to own a Chromebook. I don't do Skynet

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AFDozerman

Chrome is skynet but windows isn't?

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Baer

I agree.
So, without price what would be the reason anyone would get a chromebook?

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dbqfan

With 2 Gig of ram this ought to be a real speed demon. How much space will Windows take on the 32 or 64Gig drive?

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duckking

I've run Windows 7 virtual machines with one GB of ram perfectly fine. For two hundred dollars you can't expect this thing to play Crysis 4 on maximum settings.

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Paul_Lilly

Windows 8.1 32-bit takes about 16GB; 64-bit takes around 20GB, via the system requirements page.

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EKRboi

The windows space requirement and RAM usage has really gotten out of hand. I just picked up a Lenovo Yoga 2 13 this past weekend (LOVE it BTW). Core i5-4210U, 8gb ram, 128gb samsung ssd. There was 72gigs free on it. 20ish gigs worth of lenovo recovery partition crap, then win 8.1 and all of lenovo's bloat ware. For basically $1k I would think they could supply a 32gb locked down, non writeable usb thumb drive to use in case of needing to recover... but that is just crazy talk I guess.

I bought it for the form factor and hardware not win 8 though. The very first thing I did after taking it out of the box was load a xubuntu live usb and dd the entire ssd to to my file server (just in case of warranty needs). Then I Wiped the drive and setup Arch linux and Androidx86 4.4.2 in dual boot. With everything up to date, and all of the common software I will need on the go (XFCE, libreoffice, GIMP, VLC, Firefox, Filezilla, VBox, etc..), I am using right around 5.5-6GB total in both the linux and android partitions. I just booted it and conky reports a WHOPPING 287mb of 8gb RAM usage. Fresh win 8.1 booted on this thing was 2(ish)gb of 8gb ram used(I looked when I was in the store, never booted 8.1 on mine)

I don't even need the android stuff, but I thought what the hell.. it converts to a tablet, why not tinker with it? To my surprize everything in Androidx86 4.4.2 just worked. Moral of the story? I have all kinds of free space now and windows still sucks =) Unfortunatly I got it mostly for work and I have some things that STILL use ActiveX crap (I know...) so Ill have to give up some of that space to run Win7(XP maybe?) in VBox, but at least that won't be anywhere near the 50ish gigs of wasted space it came with.

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LatiosXT

Allegedly you can "backup" the recovery partition if you have the right tool. Or you can just create a system image after you've sanitized the system to your liking.

Also the space and RAM requirement hasn't changed (much) since Vista. And most of that space is basically the WinSxS folder which is bloated because everyone wants backwards compatibility with software from the 90s.

And Windows will happily use more RAM if there's more available. That's the point of RAM. Not using your RAM is wasting it. You don't buy an 8TB drive and go "look at me, I'm only using 200GB!". And I've seen Windows 8.1 drop down to 350MB of RAM.