Ever since the dawn of the Chromebook, people want a computer that doesn’t cost a lot but performs relatively well. Since Chromebooks only cost a couple of hundred dollars, it’s now the mission of most other companies to compete. This is largely why HP just unleashed the new Stream Mini for $180.
What It Is
The Stream Mini is the tiniest Windows PC that you’ve ever seen. It kind of looks like a cube, and it has most things that you’d want in a PC without the high price tag. The Stream Mini comes with 2GB of RAM, a 32GB hard drive, a two-year subscription to the OneDrive Cloud (since the actual computer doesn’t come with a ton of space, the membership will let users store an additional 200 GB in the cloud), and an Intel Celeron chip.
Alongside the Stream Mini, HP has also announced a slightly bigger version of the compact PC, the Pavillion Mini. If you’re looking for something a bit bigger with some more space, the Pavillion Mini comes with 500GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. Other than the storage size, the two PCs are relatively similar with an audio jack, display display ports, USB ports, and simple power buttons on the front of both machines.
The Overall Design
Both the Stream Mini and the Pavillion Mini are simple and minimalist. Both also remind me of the Nintendo GameCube in some ways. These aren’t machines that will take over your whole desk, and they can easily tuck away in a corner somewhere. HP wanted to create PCs that didn’t stand out, but could be just as useful and powerful as many other machines out there without costing users too much money.
Present consumer PC demands call for compact machines that have decent power and don’t cost a lot. If you add to that the fact that most people aren’t buying PCs at all anymore, since many are switching to tablets, HP might have created two machines that people may want to own, and may just sell well.
Where to Get One
HP unveiled the Stream Mini and the Pavillion Mini at the CES conference this past week. The company has told press that both machines will be available through the HP website on January 14th, and then later on February 8th at various retailers. You can pretty much assume that every retailer currently carrying HP products will also carry the Mini and the Pavillion, or one of the two, and possibly some additional retailers that believe in the size and price of these machines.
HP is one of the few companies to shrink the PC down to a smaller size, package it up nicely, and sell it for less than $200. With PCs retailing at these prices, consumers now have a lot more to choose from when it comes to PC options. If you are in the market for a PC that doesn’t break the bank, both of HP’s new mini machines are worth taking a look at.