Monday, September 29, 2014

HP outs ultra-cheap Windows tablets and laptops that don't seem half bad

HP outs ultra-cheap Windows tablets and laptops that don't seem half bad

Turns out the Stream 14 wasn't the only affordable(ish) device HP had cooking, though its latest offerings are decidedly cheaper, smaller and less Chromebook-rivaling than the last one.

The company is out with a duo of tablets and a pair of laptops running Windows and carrying the Stream name to less sizeable screen sizes.

The HP Stream 7 and Stream 8 are Windows tabs with display girths to match their names. Intel processors tick inside. HP didn't cough up many other details, though Engadget has word the tablets feature 32GB of on-board storage, a microSD slot to expand, 1GB of RAM and Bluetooth 4.0.

Both tablets come with a one-year Microsoft Office 365 Personal subscription, including 1TB of OneDrive online storage and 60 Skype minutes/month. Stream 8 owners will have an optional 200MB of free 4G data to play with if they choose for as long as their tablet is kicking, no contract required.

The Stream 7 starts at $99.99 (about £61, AU$114) while the Stream 8 price begins at $149.99 (about £91, AU$171. Both tablets will be available in the US sometime in November.

Stream laptops

As for the keyboard-fitted Stream devices, HP introduced laptops with 11.6- and 13.3-inch displays.

The machines are flush with touch-optional HD displays and a fanless design. An Intel Celeron processor hums in both machines' inner chambers, and each counts 32GB of eMMC flash memory on its spec sheet. They will apparently feature 2GB of RAM, an Intel HD graphics card and boast a one-charge lifespan of 8.5 hours.

For better or worse, the Stream laptops come in either Orchid Magenta or Horizon Blue because, "Who doesn't love color?" as the Windows blog wonders.

Like their tablet cohorts, the Stream laptops comes with one year of Office 365 personal, 1TB of OneDrive online storage included. There's also a $25 gift card in the box because Microsoft REALLY wants you to buy its Windows Store apps.

The 11.6-inch Stream laptop starts at $199.99 (about £123, AU$229) and the 13.3-inch will get buyers going at $229.99 (about £141, AU$264). They too will be available stateside in November.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Amazon's Kindle Unlimited, the 'Netflix for books', arrives in the UK

Amazon's Kindle Unlimited, the 'Netflix for books', arrives in the UK

Amazon has launched its Kindle Unlimited service in the UK, offering subscribers unrestricted access to a library of thousands of titles for a monthly fee.

For £7.99 per month, Amazon's 'Spotify for books' gives users over 650,000 books and thousands of audiobooks, all of which can be enjoyed on Kindle ereaders and other devices running the Kindle app.

But while that collection of titles might be plenty, it's just a portion of Amazon's entire library, so you won't be getting the whole shebang.

Still, it's certainly not a bad deal, and one that's sweetened by a 30 day free trial. Amazon's also enticing would-be users with the promise of both the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series.

You can go try it out right now.

  • Looking for a Kindle? Maybe hold out for the Kindle Voyage