Last week I shared what was arguably the best laptop deal of the entire year, an. (It's now back up to its $179.99 regular price -- still a pretty smokin' buy, if you ask me.)
If you liked the idea of a low-cost, Chromebook-style laptop but didn't relish squinting at such a small screen, today brings good news: for a limited time, and while supplies last, the Microsoft Store has the HP Stream 13 Signature Edition and a $25 Windows Store gift card for $199. Shipping is free, though you may be on the hook for sales tax.
Typically it's the Stream 11 that sells for $199, so basically you're getting a decent boost in screen real-estate for the same money -- plus that gift card, which you can blow on apps, music, movies, games or what have you. A nice little perk.
Like the aforementioned Asus, the Stream 13 is a pretty low-powered PC, with an Intel Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM, a 32GB SSD (supplemented by oodles of OneDrive cloud storage, much like a Chromebook is supplemented by Google Drive), and little in the way of graphics acceleration.
Remember that this isn't meant for powerhouse computing, but rather the basics: email, the Web, Netflix and home-level productivity (the Stream includes a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Personal).
The Stream 13 also has a 720p webcam, three USB ports (one USB 3.0), an HDMI output and a microSD slot. Plus, it comes in a very cheerful blue, and because it's a Signature Edition, it'll arrive free of junkware.
I find the 13.3-inch screen size to be just about ideal for a laptop, and the Stream can run for an impressive 7.5 hours on a charge, according to HP. CNET hasn't reviewed it, but you can check out. And read the comments attached to the aforementioned Asus post, as plenty of readers sound off on what you can expect, performance-wise, from a machine like this.
Feel free to do likewise below.
Bonus deal: I don't know how this is already on sale, but I don't care: Best Buy has the Amazon Fire TV Stick for $24.99, plus $3.99 for shipping, or free shipping if you spend at least $35. CNET called this a "streaming hot bargain," and that was based on the $39 direct price. By the way, I first spotted this yesterday, and have no idea when the sale price and/or inventory will come to a screeching halt. Probably very soon, alas.