HP's Stream lineup keeps laptops thin, your wallet thick

The Stream line is streamlined

For the modest laptop owner, productivity and speed are more important than how well it can juggle No Man's Sky on maximum settings. At least, this is the logic behind HP's new additions to its Stream collection of notebooks, which aim to be as portable as they are budget-conscious.

Due out in a month, the upcoming HP Streams comes in three varieties – a standard 11-inch laptop, a 14-inch version (a first for the line), and an 11-inch Stream x360, which uses a high-definition touchscreen display that can pivot into one of four different configurations.

"We've enjoyed positive feedback about the HP Stream family, which for many consumers is exactly what they need to access content and services in the cloud from wherever they are," said Kevin Frost, vice-president and general manager, Consumer Personal Systems at HP.

Keep on Streaming

Similar to netbooks like Google's Chromebook line, the HP Stream focuses on efficiency and reliable internet service over raw power. This year's models claim to sport an improved battery, USB 3.0 ports for quick transfers, and a thinner, lighter form factor – even the 'larger' 14-inch Stream weighs just 3.18 pounds.

Another big sell is the dual-antenna Wi-Fi receiver that allows for faster downloads from wireless connections – a big plus if your laptop is primarily used for browsing YouTube, video chatting, or anything else where buffering is a major buzzkill.

What isn't a buzzkill is the price. The HP Stream 11 hits shelves on August 24 for just $199 (about £155/AU$260). Following that, the Steam 14 comes out September 7 for $219 (about £170/AU$285), and the Stream x360 and is planned to be available in select regions later that month for $249 (about £190/AU$325).

Given the late August/early September launch, and the emphasis on affordability, we can see the HP Stream being a big hit in college dorms, where laptops need to be reliable for both study and leisure use without breaking the bank.