Google-powered Chromebooks may have had the upper hand against Windows-based notebooks thus far in affordability, allowing them to surprisingly break into the mainstream PC décor. But once they became a real threat, it was only a matter of time until Microsoft cooked up the perfect Chrome OS antidote.
Enter the HP Stream, the first ever full Windows-running laptop to cost a measly $200, and… a cryptic Asus F205TA. The latter isn’t official yet, and it might as well be an online hoax, but reliable European retailers let the cat out of the bag, so it’s a question of when rather than if right now.
Also, of how much, as recommended retail pricing on the old continent could sit at €205, €210, which may or may not work out to $200 stateside. That is, if the mysterious Windows mini-laptop is headed for American shores in the first place.
If it is, but the sub-$200 sweet spot isn’t touched, the F205TA remains one of the most affordable physical keyboard-toting machines around, and if leaked info is to be believed, the 11.6 incher is no pushover either.
I mean, it’s small, I’ll give you that, compared to the 14-inch Stream, but it allegedly packs a whopping 4 GB of RAM, which is twice the HP budget contender’s on-board memory. Meanwhile, the 32 GB of internal storage space sounds pretty standard, and the Intel Atom Z3735F Bay Trail processor a little unusual for, well, non-tablets. Fingers crossed that’s a typo, and the Windows 8.1 with Bing-supporting “netbook” actually features a more fittingly beefy CPU.