Death of an HP Stream tablet

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My wife has had a HP Stream tablet since we bought it at a discount in the San Francisco Microsoft Store back in 2015. I also had one. The bargain was that it came with an Office license and some credit for apps and music. it made the tablet effectively free. It ran Windows 8.1 and had live tiles.

Almost immediately it became out of date. It didn’t matter because we just used the tablets as browsers and a bit of Netflix. it wasn’t serious computing. My thought was that it worked like a big WindowsPhone. Once it had an SD card in it the 32gb storage became usable.

Things have changed. My wife now has an iphone SE 2020. Cortana is long gone from her WindowsPhone and Windows PC. When she picks up her 8 inch Windows tablet it is no longer a smooth ride to websites and news. She can’t look at Twitter easily and even looking at photos is getting laboured as Onedrive keeps asking for credentials to “fix” her Microsoft id.

Time to let the old tablet go into recycling. The Intel Atom processor was never great and Microsoft never made an ARM tablet after Windows RT crashed and burned. I am of the opinion that for some years the only real tablet people should buy is an ipad. An ipad has been ordered from Ebay. The Surface Go would suffer the same underpowered mess that the HP Stream had. A Surface Pro is a productivity device and not really a tablet. It’s a 2 in 1 with a tablet mode add on.

I now have this feeling I am gradually being sucked into the Apple ecosystem. As a professional Windows user I can see how that Microsoft’s retirement from the consumer space moves “normal users” to other ecosystems. Apple’s new found love for consumer services is providing the quality experience for personal computer users that Microsoft used to provide at the beginning of this decade.

Comments (16)

16 responses to “Death of an HP Stream tablet”

  1. Avatar

    j5

    Hi, do you mind sharing what iPad you got off eBay and maybe the seller? I use my old Samsung Tab the same way you guys do, news, articles, Twitter, some YT etc. And I've been considering an iPad. Thanks!

    • Avatar

      ponsaelius

      In reply to j5:

      I am in the UK. I eventually spent £239 on a 9.7 inch 6th generation ipad from Music Magpie. They have a store on Ebay. They are a British recycler/refurb company. They are owned by a US company called decluttr.com or at least they are in the same kind of business.  


      The 32gb of memory isn't a problem for what we use it for. Web, newspapers and Kindle.

      • Avatar

        j5

        In reply to ponsaelius:

        Thanks! I spent the weekend listening several "tech" YouTube channels talk about all the models of iPad. OMG it was just more frustrating because all they talked about were specs and talked about "investment" purchase in the most expensive newest model, grrr. Not one said hey if you just surf the web read articles then the iPad "X" will be perfectly fine.

        • Avatar

          Truffles

          In reply to j5:

          I listen to several apple podcasts and the consensus seems to be that the new iPad Air is the default choice. Apparently it's very highly spec'ed given the target market and is even encroaching on iPad Pro specs (leading to talk about the next generation of iPad Pros). If a smaller screen is preferred then the new iPad Mini seems to get glowing reviews.

          • Avatar

            bkkcanuck

            In reply to Truffles:

            I have heard different opinions - and they differ by what you want to use them for... At $599 the Air is encroaching in functionality but also in price - in fact in real terms there is a difference of $150 price between the Pro and the Air -- when you make the storage amount the same (250GB is the only option in common). I would say the $329 version would be the default choice - when you don't know what you are going to use it for (typically gets used for consumption)... I would say the Air or the Pro would be the default if it is going to act as your laptop as well. So what is the gap between the Air and the Pro -- well the Pro will still have higher level of graphics... You will have better sound (I would value it at maybe at most a $25 option if it were an option to add at most), the display on the Pro is still better (I would value it as maybe $100 option using the same criteria) - The 120hz variable quality is noticable, and if you are using a pencil with it (more than a casual user) the difference between a pencil and Air is actually considerable with that screen (the Air is no slouch) ... and the Pro has better cameras/mic with LiDAR and face-ID...


            Simply put, if you are just getting your first iPad and it is likely going to be used as a consumption device - I would go cheap at $329.... If you already have reached the $599 level for the Air I would have to seriously consider the Pro (though I would likely want to wait for mini-LED screen if I was not in a rush). $599 is not cheap.

  2. Avatar

    StevenLayton

    I’ve just poured a little beer out in respect of the passing. I mourn with you. But as someone who bought his young primary school aged daughter a pink HP Stream laptop, I agree they were really underpowered.

  3. Avatar

    jhambi

    Don't recycle it without trying cloudready. You may be pleasantly surprised.

  4. Avatar

    johnh3

    Also had a 8” inch Windows (Acer) tablet. But the hardrive was so small so it could not recive any large updates. So it was stuck on Windows 8.

    It worked but was slow with the Atom processor. I have not seen some small Windows tablets for a long time at electronic retailers? So I guess they not made them anymore.


    Moved to the iPad. The only Microsoft related gadgets I use now are a Windows laptop and MS Office. All other stuff are Apple or Android.

    • Avatar

      Paul Thurrott

      I think I still have this. Iconia 8 maybe? It came with a full-sized keyboard that the tablet could clip onto for carrying around.
      • Avatar

        waethorn

        If it's an 8" one, it's the W3. The W4 swapped out the W3's Clover Trail SoC with a Bay Trail model. Intel didn't make drivers for Clover Trail SoC components for Windows 10, thus it wasn't supported on it.

  5. Avatar

    geoff

    Its all about the ecosystem, that's for sure.

    I wish Microsoft understood that. Perhaps they'd take 'consumer' products more seriously.


    I see Microsoft selling a 'Surface' product that runs Android and I can see that Microsoft has no intention of supporting the ecosystem. There are other examples too.


    There will be long-term damage, of course, but I don't know exactly what it will be. Perhaps its the 'death by a thousand very small cuts' as individuals, one by one, move to Apple as you have done. At first Microsoft won't notice, and then, much later, they will.

  6. Avatar

    angusmatheson

    As we are are mourning the loss of HP tablets, can we pour one out for the HP Touchpad? And WebOS that died with it. 49 days wasn’t long enough.

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