NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Is the world ready for another round of inexpensive Windows laptops? Remember those cheap, slow, under-powered "netbooks" from a few years ago? Can such devices compete with increasingly popular Chromebook devices? Hewlett Packard (HPQ) thinks so.
HP released two colorful, Stream notebooks that run Microsoft (MSFT) Windows 8.1. There is one version with an 11.6-inch screen and the larger one we've been testing the Stream 13. Both are priced at less than $230.
We've been living with a Stream 13 for a few weeks now and are impressed with what we've seen. No, this inexpensive portable is not nearly the equivalent of a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 or Lenovo's slick Yoga 3 Pro. But we've found the HP to be a good, reasonably priced device that can give Google (GOOG) Chromebooks some stiff competition.
HP shares were rising 0.7% to $40.11 in early Friday afternoon trading.
We selected the Stream 13 as one of our 10 Best and Coolest Laptop Computers for the 2014 Holiday Season. In the past, if you wanted a really inexpensive Windows portable you had to settle for an older model that was slow, physically heavy and woefully outdated. The most reasonably priced offerings were barely able to handle what have become more and more complex tasks.