Is the HP Stream 13 the best value ever in a laptop?

For $230, this may be a deal you can't beat.

hp stream 13

The HP Stream 13 looks to be a great deal if you're looking for a well-priced Windows 8 laptop. Is it the best value for a laptop ever?

The HP Stream 13 certainly seems designed to be a Chromebook killer, at a minimum. It's got a 13.3-inch screen, a dual-core 2.16 GHz Intel Celeron N2840, 2GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, is rated at more than 7.5 hours of battery life, and costs $230. At that price and with those specs, it's a better deal than almost any Chromebook you can get, and it's a full-blown Windows 8 machine, so you can run Windows applications and apps. As for ports, it's got plenty, including a full-sized HDMI-out, one USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, headphone and one microSD slot.

There's more as well. It comes with 1 terabyte of OneDrive storage for a year. Better still, you get Office 365 Personal for free, which normally costs $70. That effectively drops the cost down to $160, a killer bargain. And if you opt for a 4G version, you get 200 MB free of 4G data from T-Mobile per month.

So is it the best value in a laptop ever? It may well be. The $249 Asus 15.6-inch laptop is a great deal as well, because it has a larger screen, 500 GB hard drive, and 4 GB of RAM rather than 2 GB. But it also doesn't include Office 365 Personal for free, and weighs 4.7 pounds compared to the 3.4-pound Stream 13. So if you care about cost and portability, the HP Stream 13 is a better deal. For memory and storage, you'd go with the Asus.

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