HP Unveils Two of the Cutest (and Cheapest) Windows PCs Ever Made

HP Unveils Two of the Cutest (and Cheapest) Windows PCs Ever Made

HP Stream Mini 310x

HP's cutest PC ever is so adorable I could just eat it up!

CES is here, which means a metric ton of PC, and gaming hardware is about to descend upon us. But it's not all about gaming peripherals, new smartphone chips, or curved 4K TV displays. Sometimes, the most interesting news is the cheapest.

And in this case, the cutest.

Hewlett-Packard has two new Windows 8.1 PCs coming later this month: The Stream Mini, and Pavilion Mini. The Stream Mini is not only an adorable little machine (seen above), but it's also incredibly cheap, at just $179.

Two Benjamins gets you a compact, but fully functional Windows 8.1 box. Inside, you'll find a 1.4 GHz Intel Celeron CPU with integrated graphics, 2 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of flash storage. On the outside, you'll find a chassis that's as cute as a button, along with four USB ports, HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet, and an SD card slot. 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth are also on board.

So, look, this isn't a powerhouse of a machine, obviously. But at $200, were you really expecting one? I hope not! But what this machine can do, for those who already own formidable Windows PC hardware, is act as a perfect, cheap little streaming device to bring games to your HDTV. Steam in-home streaming works well enough for single-player games (and some less twitchy multiplayer titles), which means your massive gaming tower can stay in the office, while the Stream Mini lives under your LED TV. And if it acts as a vehicle for Netflix, Amazon, and HBO as well? You're good to go.

However, if you want a tad more power in your HTPC, the $319 HP Pavilion Mini might be a better fit. With similar I/O, the Pavilion comes with more powerful CPU options (including Core i3), up to 8 GB of RAM, and a 500 GB hard drive.

Look for both mini PCs on January 14th online, along with a February launch in offline retail.

Source: CNet

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Bye bye steam box bye bye. Whatever chance you had has been sunk.

albino boo:
Bye bye steam box bye bye. Whatever chance you had has been sunk.

"The PC is dead! Everyone wants smartphones and tablets and consoles now!"

The Steam Box and this device target completely different markets.

8BitArchitect:

albino boo:
Bye bye steam box bye bye. Whatever chance you had has been sunk.

"The PC is dead! Everyone wants smartphones and tablets and consoles now!"

The Steam Box and this device target completely different markets.

Er no, a steambox is small PC based under the television box running SteamOS. You can just plug in an xbox 360 controller into one of the usb slots and do exactly the same thing using the most common PC operating system.

albino boo:
Er no, a steambox is small PC based under the television box running SteamOS. You can just plug in an xbox 360 controller into one of the usb slots and do exactly the same thing using the most common PC operating system.

I know what a steambox is, but I also know it's intended for gaming, something that box can't do (unless maybe it can stream from another machine.)

Also, Windows 8.1 is not anywhere near the most common PC OS, and there is a significant difference between 'Windows' and 'Windows 8.1', but that's not as big an issue.

I was expecting Hello Kitty.

To be honest, mobile and PC are pretty similar at this point.
Building desktops always has been, and always will be a pretty niche thing.
But mobile has made some pretty powerful computers and PC gaming more approachable than ever.

Yep, it's just another one of those streaming clients for web video, a media server or big PC running Steam. The price is very impressive, but it's so limited that I wouldn't recommend it even to my grandmother as cheap PC to learn on. It does sound really good as far as the streaming goes. Quiet, compact, cheap, bluetooth for remotes and built in HDMI are all features that HTPC buffs would like in a streaming box.

Mac Minis used to be really popular HTPCs for the Apple fanbase, since the old Apple TVs were so expensive for what little control(Haha, Apple) the user had over them. Then the ATV became the cheap (for Apple standards) streaming only doodad.

Still, I wouldn't even trust the gigabit network in my home not to crap out for some reason, especially the WiFi. I'll stick with the big gaming towers being next to whatever display devices I want to use them on. (Conveniently enough, my PC desk is right next to my 40" TV, and I'd use HDMI over Cat6 if they weren't close enough for cheap cables.) And I'd make sure any HTPC I build has at least a Blu ray reading optical drive in it. It sucks to mess with stuff when you want to relax.

8BitArchitect:

albino boo:
Er no, a steambox is small PC based under the television box running SteamOS. You can just plug in an xbox 360 controller into one of the usb slots and do exactly the same thing using the most common PC operating system.

I know what a steambox is, but I also know it's intended for gaming, something that box can't do (unless maybe it can stream from another machine.)

Also, Windows 8.1 is not anywhere near the most common PC OS, and there is a significant difference between 'Windows' and 'Windows 8.1', but that's not as big an issue.

Please try reading the article

So, look, this isn't a powerhouse of a machine, obviously. But at $200, were you really expecting one? I hope not! But what this machine can do, for those who already own formidable Windows PC hardware, is act as a perfect, cheap little streaming device to bring games to your HDTV. Steam in-home streaming works well enough for single-player games (and some less twitchy multiplayer titles), which means your massive gaming tower can stay in the office, while the Stream Mini lives under your LED TV. And if it acts as a vehicle for Netflix, Amazon, and HBO as well? You're good to go.

However, if you want a tad more power in your HTPC, the $319 HP Pavilion Mini might be a better fit. With similar I/O, the Pavilion comes with more powerful CPU options (including Core i3), up to 8 GB of RAM, and a 500 GB hard drive.

The number of games being sold on on steam that will work on windows 8.1, 6112. The number of games that will work on steamOS, 1040. So 6 times as many games will work on windows 8.1 than steamOS.

albino boo:

8BitArchitect:

albino boo:
Er no, a steambox is small PC based under the television box running SteamOS. You can just plug in an xbox 360 controller into one of the usb slots and do exactly the same thing using the most common PC operating system.

I know what a steambox is, but I also know it's intended for gaming, something that box can't do (unless maybe it can stream from another machine.)

Also, Windows 8.1 is not anywhere near the most common PC OS, and there is a significant difference between 'Windows' and 'Windows 8.1', but that's not as big an issue.

Please try reading the article

So, look, this isn't a powerhouse of a machine, obviously. But at $200, were you really expecting one? I hope not! But what this machine can do, for those who already own formidable Windows PC hardware, is act as a perfect, cheap little streaming device to bring games to your HDTV. Steam in-home streaming works well enough for single-player games (and some less twitchy multiplayer titles), which means your massive gaming tower can stay in the office, while the Stream Mini lives under your LED TV. And if it acts as a vehicle for Netflix, Amazon, and HBO as well? You're good to go.

However, if you want a tad more power in your HTPC, the $319 HP Pavilion Mini might be a better fit. With similar I/O, the Pavilion comes with more powerful CPU options (including Core i3), up to 8 GB of RAM, and a 500 GB hard drive.

The number of games being sold on on steam that will work on windows 8.1, 6112. The number of games that will work on steamOS, 1040. So 6 times as many games will work on windows 8.1 than steamOS.

And the number of those games that will function on hardware that's that limited? MUCH MUCH LESS. Also you've been able to get netbooks that'll do everything that can and more, because you can use them without having to plug them into something to see anything, and having built in controls, in that price range for awhile. it's not really anything NEW.

DoomyMcDoom:

And the number of those games that will function on hardware that's that limited? MUCH MUCH LESS. Also you've been able to get netbooks that'll do everything that can and more, because you can use them without having to plug them into something to see anything, and having built in controls, in that price range for awhile. it's not really anything NEW.

Again please read the article

Steam in-home streaming works well enough for single-player games (and some less twitchy multiplayer titles), which means your massive gaming tower can stay in the office, while the Stream Mini lives under your LED TV. And if it acts as a vehicle for Netflix, Amazon, and HBO as well? You're good to go.

However, if you want a tad more power in your HTPC, the $319 HP Pavilion Mini might be a better fit. With similar I/O, the Pavilion comes with more powerful CPU options (including Core i3), up to 8 GB of RAM, and a 500 GB hard drive.

The Stream mini and Pavilion mini seem to be competing with Chromeboxes and NUCs respectively. At least the Stream mini is nearly identical in both hardware(processor comparison here) and price range to the Asus Chromebox. The only real difference I can see so far is that the Stream mini has more storage(32GB vs 16GB), includes a keyboard and mouse(some Chromeboxes do, but the inclusion drives the price up to the $200 range), and has Windows 8.1 instead of ChromeOS. On the Pavilion side, the main advantage seems to be that NUCs mostly come as barebones, where the Pavilion is a complete system.

Of course, we don't yet have enough info to really make a good comparison yet. For instance, my Asus Chromebox(now running OpenELEC instead of ChromeOS) is quiet. Will the Stream mini be as well? Too soon to tell. HP's Chromebox isn't(compared to the Asus model), and given how similar the specs are, I wouldn't be surprised if this is pretty much the same thing with a slightly new processor and a different case. The Asus Chromebox is also more upgradeable than the HP model, with two slots for RAM compared to HP's one. It's possible that they've changed this for the Stream mini, but we won't know for sure until someone opens one up.

By and large, I'd say that this is a good deal for very casual users who would prefer traditional input devices rather than touchscreens. The included peripherals and Windows OS make it the better deal in that respect. It might also be a good deal for people re-purposing their boxes for HTPC use, but this is a little less certain until we get more information. Given how HP faired in comparison to Asus in the Chromebox arena, I'd not keep my hopes up that they've improved expandability from their last offering.

With the information we have now, I'd say that there's no reason to upgrade to the Stream mini from a Chromebox, and possibly no reason to get one instead of a Chromebox unless you have to have Windows(and Windows 8.1 can be installed on a Chromebox, though it requires flashing your BIOS).

The Pavilion mini is even murkier, because its higher price point puts it in direct competition with more classes of computers, including tablets, some lower end laptops, and NUCs. Definitely will need to see some reviews on that one.

Has it got a VESA mount? I have seen smaller and more attractive micro PCs like the Zotac Zbox Pico which is about the same size as a modern compact external HDD, it has almost identical specs to this.

albino boo:

DoomyMcDoom:

And the number of those games that will function on hardware that's that limited? MUCH MUCH LESS. Also you've been able to get netbooks that'll do everything that can and more, because you can use them without having to plug them into something to see anything, and having built in controls, in that price range for awhile. it's not really anything NEW.

Again please read the article

Steam in-home streaming works well enough for single-player games (and some less twitchy multiplayer titles), which means your massive gaming tower can stay in the office, while the Stream Mini lives under your LED TV. And if it acts as a vehicle for Netflix, Amazon, and HBO as well? You're good to go.

However, if you want a tad more power in your HTPC, the $319 HP Pavilion Mini might be a better fit. With similar I/O, the Pavilion comes with more powerful CPU options (including Core i3), up to 8 GB of RAM, and a 500 GB hard drive.

Sure, but what the article doesn't mention is that is is in fact possible to install Windows 7 or 8 on the Steam box and that in-home streaming is very dependent on your wi-fi being stable and fast. If you have neighbours with wi-fi (I pick up 10+ networks where I am) this might cause interference with your streaming resulting in lag.

In-home streaming is neat, but it's not yet a replacement for having a dedicated computer for your games. It also means you need to have a dedicated computer + the box connected to your TV (or a laptop/netbook), the Steam box is intended for console gamers who want to get into PC gaming.

So this has different functionality and a different target demographics than the Steam box. I've read the article, but I combine the information from this article and prior knowledge to make a conclusion rather than jumping to one based on the newest news article I come across.

OT: This does look really nice, I will have to see how the price compares to a Chromebox when it comes out over here. I have been considering getting a small computer to use a a media centre. This one would be preferable since I already know the OS and the ChromeOS seems to have some issues that I would like to avoid.

So extremely weak hardware here. HP keeps its tradition of putting poor hardware in its machines. also knowing its HP its also going to overheat, burn and become pain in ass to maintain alive. because HP is great at making the most ridiculous design choices. Then again, perhaps not, there isnt anything worth heating in that one.

albino boo:

Er no, a steambox is small PC based under the television box running SteamOS. You can just plug in an xbox 360 controller into one of the usb slots and do exactly the same thing using the most common PC operating system.

The thing you seem to be missing is that SteamBox is not just a streaming client but can run games for people that do not have a seperate PC, so they can buy JUST steambox and play games (all of them since you can install any windows on steambox except perhaps very old ones because of lack of drivers). meanwhile if people want to stream games using this they have to own another gaming PC too. So it hardly kills Steambox - its not overlapping its whole market.

Strazdas:
So extremely weak hardware here. HP keeps its tradition of putting poor hardware in its machines. also knowing its HP its also going to overheat, burn and become pain in ass to maintain alive. because HP is great at making the most ridiculous design choices. Then again, perhaps not, there isnt anything worth heating in that one.

albino boo:

Er no, a steambox is small PC based under the television box running SteamOS. You can just plug in an xbox 360 controller into one of the usb slots and do exactly the same thing using the most common PC operating system.

The thing you seem to be missing is that SteamBox is not just a streaming client but can run games for people that do not have a seperate PC, so they can buy JUST steambox and play games (all of them since you can install any windows on steambox except perhaps very old ones because of lack of drivers). meanwhile if people want to stream games using this they have to own another gaming PC too. So it hardly kills Steambox - its not overlapping its whole market.

I don't know why people keep saying that the hardware is weak or are comparing them to Steam Machines(favorably or not). If you look at the hardware and the price ranges, it's clear what these are competing with. Both the price ranges and hardware specs put them cleanly against NUCs and Chromeboxes, and in both cases, they -superficially at least- have something that put them ahead of the competition for probable use cases for machines in these price ranges.

These are not gaming machines. I mean, you could play games on them, but you'll either be playing on lower settings or sticking to indie and retro(emulation) gaming. Thing is, nothing else in this price range is going to be a gaming PC either. If you want to play modern games, and all you can spend is a few hundred dollars, console gaming is the way to go. These are going to be more for casual use, office productivity, and media boxes.

These devices aren't for me. I don't need Windows, and I can currently get everything I need for my HTPC from my Asus Chromebox since I'm not afraid to open up the case and flash the BIOS to get it where I want as far as software goes. But some people do need Windows, and some people just want the thing they buy to work out of the box, and for those people, the Pavilion and Stream mini are as competitive as anything else you are going to find in the same price and form factor. At least as far as specs go anyway. How well these things are put together is something we'll have to wait and see about.

I just bought a computer to do what this does, but I bought it piece by piece. Simply to stay connected to the TV where I can watch all series, movies and anime in HD when I want, with 1 Terabyte, also powerful enough to play League of Legends ^^

Seems better than my old egreat (http://202.67.224.130/pdimage/36/1169636_eg-m31b-.jpg), that while cool, couldn't navigate through windows, while any pc can.

But I do like this little box.

Scars Unseen:
snip

i agree with your general notion with two exceptions.

If people want things to "just work" they shouldnt be buying HP. if you cant do tech support yourself you may as well just spent a few thousand on replacements now. HP usually has bad construction, which is why it lost most of its OEMs. at least Dell offer exellent support service to compare.

Another thing is that you suggest buying a console, where no console can be bought for 200 now (except last generation). If you are doing as far as new console costs your better off with PC for budget gaming because: A) you dont need to buy another device for your work/school/studies/cat videos, B) there are a lot of free games to choose from for people with no money to spend (and free multiplayer) and C) sales bring price down to much less for savy buyer.

As far as something comparable on the market. This has twice the ram and an actual hard drive instead of 32GB of flash memory if you care to assembly yourself.

Strazdas:

Scars Unseen:
snip

i agree with your general notion with two exceptions.

If people want things to "just work" they shouldnt be buying HP. if you cant do tech support yourself you may as well just spent a few thousand on replacements now. HP usually has bad construction, which is why it lost most of its OEMs. at least Dell offer exellent support service to compare.

Another thing is that you suggest buying a console, where no console can be bought for 200 now (except last generation). If you are doing as far as new console costs your better off with PC for budget gaming because: A) you dont need to buy another device for your work/school/studies/cat videos, B) there are a lot of free games to choose from for people with no money to spend (and free multiplayer) and C) sales bring price down to much less for savy buyer.

As far as something comparable on the market. This has twice the ram and an actual hard drive instead of 32GB of flash memory if you care to assembly yourself.

Well I'll agree with you on HP's quality, which is why I was careful to point out that I was only talking about hardware specs. Last thing I bought from HP was a digital projector. Not only did it malfunction, I had to have a lawyer threaten them in order to get it back after I sent it in for repair, because after two months of telling me that it wasn't ready yet, they claimed I had never sent it to them(despite me having a delivery confirmation). So if we're talking about company trust, yeah, they have none from me.

Otherwise you seem to have missed a couple things as well. First, The "higher end" of the two is $319, not $200, and you can get a Wii U for that. Heck, if you are willing to go refurbished, you could almost get a PS4 for that(and you can get a refurbed Wii U for $200 in any case). So consoles aren't out of the projected price range. In any case, I'd concede that the game prices can make the difference(which is why I'm a PC gamer primarily), but some people have a certain budget that they can spend at the time or else it will get spent on something else(mostly people that are bad at saving money), and if your budget is only in the $300 range, I still say that console is your best bet. I'd more realistically put budget PC gaming at around $500 unless you are buying your parts used.

Second, the system you listed fails my criteria on two counts. It doesn't work out of the box, and it is a mid-tower, so it isn't in a comparable form factor. This is important because the two largest likely markets for these things either a. are unable or unwilling to put together a system themselves or b. are going to want something in a small form factor so they can either put it in an entertainment center or VESA mount it. Also, that system is almost certainly going to be louder than these should be(I say should because HP's Chromebox is louder than the Asus box of the same specs). So unless price/performance ratio is your only buying criteria, your linked system isn't in the same market as the Pavilion and Stream mini.

Devin Connors:

However, if you want a tad more power in your HTPC, the $319 HP Pavilion Mini might be a better fit. With similar I/O, the Pavilion comes with more powerful CPU options (including Core i3), up to 8 GB of RAM, and a 500 GB hard drive.

I think it's important to point out that, according to the linked source, $319 is the starting price, and the options you listed will bring the price up. The baseline system will include a Celeron processor and 4GB RAM. You did say that the increased RAM and CPU were options, but it kind of comes off like marketing speak when you only list the ceiling options in the same sentence with the floor price.

Strazdas:
The thing you seem to be missing is that SteamBox is not just a streaming client but can run games for people that do not have a seperate PC, so they can buy JUST steambox and play games (all of them since you can install any windows on steambox except perhaps very old ones because of lack of drivers). meanwhile if people want to stream games using this they have to own another gaming PC too. So it hardly kills Steambox - its not overlapping its whole market.

Kind of silly to say the SteamBox "is" anything, since it does not actually exist yet. But I fail to see how such a device is ever going to exist at a price point that console gamers would appreciate, since Valve can't even get their own games to run as efficiently in Linux as they do in Windows on a proper gaming PC.

Scars Unseen:
snip

First of all, we should ignore refurbished here, because thne we would have to include refurbished PCs and it would get crazy and dependent on how lucky you are to find a deal more than anything else.

While there is the 319 dollar option as you point out afterwards you need to shell out more to decent hardware. as far as people not being able to save up, that is entirely their problem then and not the products. just because you are mentally unable to save money and have to spend them does not make it the worse option a better one.
I agree that real PC gaming starts at 500 dollars, but as i said there are many other advantages to going cheap PC over cheap pc + console.

As far as working out of the box, there is always an option nowadays to just pay 50 dollar extra to have it assembled and ready for you. and i did mention that this link needs assembly.

As far as noise goes, this is HP, so remmebering that its going to have jet engines for fans.

One actual flaw to mention in my suggested build is that its missing windows 8.1 which this HP one includes. if a person must have these windows thats a plus for HP.

Steve the Pocket:

Kind of silly to say the SteamBox "is" anything, since it does not actually exist yet. But I fail to see how such a device is ever going to exist at a price point that console gamers would appreciate, since Valve can't even get their own games to run as efficiently in Linux as they do in Windows on a proper gaming PC.

Sure it is. There is the Alpha and another one out in testing now. actual people are writting up reports on them now.

I agree though, PC gaming is not going to be overpriced so it will be hard for some console gamers to understand.

 

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