Affinity Consulting Blog

The cheap Asus X205TA is far from the only really cheap Windows laptop presenting a challenge to similarly-priced Chromebooks (which I am partial to in this price range for their reliability and security). HP has its Stream 11 and Stream 13 models availble (when not on sale) for $200 and $230, respectively.

Both HP models are identical but for the screen size and ports. They run the same Intel Celeron processor. The Celeron is a bit more powerful than the Atom Bay Trail processor in the Asus X205TA. That difference makes the HP slightly better performers, but with less battery life and noticeably more weight.

In some ways, the HP Stream models are a better value because they come with a $70 value one-year MS Office 365 personal subscription. This brings the effective prices down to $130 for the 11.6 inch model and $160 for the 13 inch model. That is hard to beat. And there have been special deals adding in a $25 Microsoft app store gift card. That has expired, but may reappear. Watch for it!

If you want to give one of these bargain laptops a try, buy the Signature Edition directly from Microsoft to avoid HP's penchant for adding crapware to all of its products.

I couild see lawyers picking up either model and using it as a cheap, practically disposable, travel device that will handle the creation and editing of Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint Presentations. It will also handle email and web browsing without a problem. Either model would also be suitable for students or household use.

For helpful reviews of both the Stream 11 and Stream 13, read Paul Thurott's web site.

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