HP has just announced a pair of Windows 8 tablets which will cost $99 and up.
Launching just in time to edge out the Toshiba Encore mini as the first of the $99 Windows tablets in the US market, the HP Stream 7 will feature an Intel Atom Z3735G CPU, and it will be matched by the $149 Stream 8.
Both tablets will run Windows 8.1 on an Intel chip with with 1GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. They will reportedly have the same screen resolution (1280 x 800), which is great for the 7" screen but not so much for the 8" screen.
Both tablets are expected to ship in November.
A hands on report tells us that the Stream 7 and Stream 8 also have stereo speakers, Wifi, and microUSB ports, but they don't have card slots or HDMI ports. That's a rather unusual checklist for the budget tablet market, where you would expect the card slot but not the stereo speakers.
HP is also going to offer a 4G model of the Stream 8 which will com bundled with a 200MB monthly mobile data plan from T-Mobile.
All in all these are intriguing machines, but given the limited RAM and limited storage I would not consider one for my main work computer. That's just not enough RAM for real work, and 16GB (or rather whatever is left after Windows 8) is simply not enough to fit my media library.
On a related note, there's no sign that either tablet has BT, and that means no keyboard. That alone could kill my interest as a work machine, but then again at $99 I would be looking for a tablet to complement my main equipment, not replace it.