This is a review of the HP Stream 8 tablet. My dated and slow iPad is reaching its end of life just after 4 years of faithful service and I went looking for a replacement. After several weeks of research between iPads, Windows Tablets, and Android tablets, I finally made my decision. I was going to get a Windows tablet.
I researched the new HP Stream tablets selling on Amazon between $100-$150. For the power and ability, these cannot be beat. I tossed back and forth realizing the HP Stream 8 really just added more screen space for 1/3 more money and was it really worth it? I do spend a lot of time on my tablets so I decided the extra screen space was worth the extra $50.
The screen was not the only difference between the HP Stream 7 or the HP Stream 8.
The 8 also has 4G (Free for life), 1 years subscription to Office 365 (available on both the 7 and 8 in versions), and extra physical items like 2 speakers (the HO Stream 7 only has 1 speaker).
I ordered a small keyboard case for around $30 and a Bluetooth mouse for around $20 and I have a new tablet (laptop) for around $200. When it came in, I used it a lot for several weeks and I loved it.
I started noticing the main reasons why I use a tablet and found that the windows one was missing some of those core features.
The biggest and so far only issue with the Windows tablet was in the Microsoft App store. The apps I use everyday were not available on the Windows App store.
I thought, ‘No big deal’, I will install regular windows programs. One great feature of this tablet is it runs regular windows, not the tablet version.
I learned the windows programs that I was installing were designed for larger screens. Navigating the 8 in screen with my fingers was a real pain.
When I setup on a desk with the keyboard and mouse, things became much easier. This was not a mini laptop for me, it was a tablet and finger control was critical.
Strike one, no good applications in the MS app store. Also, the standard windows programs do not work well on a screen this small.
Next we come to those free features that I didn’t think I cared about. I get 200 MB of free 4G data each month which is about 20 minutes of work for me. Not much at all but I can always connect it to my phone and use my regular plan.
I hate trial copies and the 1 year Office 365 was never going to be an option for me. After the year is up, I would be screwed because I don’t like paying for something I can get for free somewhere else (like LibreOffice).
Well, I surprised myself. I not only took advantage of the 1 year free Office 365 subscription, I upgraded it to the Home version. This allowed me to give everyone on the family access to it.
I wrote all about this decision in my cloud article called “Which Cloud Storage is Right for You?”.
The last item to consider is usability.
I was replacing my iPad so I was looking for features that my Apple iPad 2 has but this was different.
This Windows tablet is not an iPad replacement, it is very different. It has features like my laptop, features like a tablet, but doesn’t replace either one perfectly.
The battery life is pretty good for the power it has (4 core CPU, 1 GB RAM, 32/64 SD card for storage). The screen is clear, the mini keyboard works well as well as the BT mouse.
I can do just about anything my laptop and tablet can do (just about!!).
It could definitely use more internal storage as the 32 GB is no where near enough space but I get by OK.
Overall I am very glad I bought this HP Stream 8 Tablet.
So what is the final decision?
I love it but I don’t often use it.
Strange I know but I prefer my 13 in laptop for regular computer work and I prefer my iPad for app work.
Now I carry both my laptop and iPad everywhere I go. I know is a step backwards from where I wanted to be but the technology isn’t ready for me yet.
The Windows tablet would be great and better then both the laptop and Apple iPad if it just had one thing.
It needs apps in the Windows App store.
If I had access to the same apps that I use on my iPad everyday, then the Windows tablet would be my number 1 device.
If I could read my email as well as the iPad version and use contacts, calendar, and other apps on the Windows tablet like I use them on the Apple one, then the Windows tablet would be perfect.
I knew about these issues before buying it and still glad I bought it. It does have a place in my life. When I have work to do, I take my laptop and iPad out and get more done with those 2 separate devices then what I would get done on the one Windows tablet.
For the times where I can only carry one device, I always take my Windows tablet. As for the HP Stream 8 tablet sitting on my desk. I will use it more and more as newer apps are developed.
Until then, I will continue to split my daily work over my iPad and Windows Laptop. Maybe someday the day technology catches up with my workflows.
What is your opinion? Do you have a Windows tablet and how did you incorporate it into your life? If you liked this article, please signup to receive an email when I post new ones.