Computer rec for just surfing and live stream.

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Feb 11, 2010
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will this be suitable for my needs: it is HP stream mini desktop hp mini desktop http://store.hp.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/us/en/pdp/desktops/hp-stream-mini-desktop---200-010-p-k5g59aa-aba--1?jumpid=ba_r329_hhoaffiliate&aid=38293&pbid=lw9MynSeamY&aoid=35252&siteid=lw9MynSeamY-F0fztqfWA1l2DV7CovitYw?jumpid=ba_r329_hhoaffiliate&aid=38293&pbid=lw9MynSeamY&aoid=35252&siteid=lw9MynSeamY-0.87FLscq7omlkhQ8sHhFQ#!&TabName=specs what my current PC is: circa 2009 desktop with single core cpu, 1GB memory running decently on Linux Mint 17..Ready for an upgrade. what I actually use my PC for at the moment: 1) web surf 2)watch youtube videos/old episodes of current shows 3)watch videostream of live events abroad I am contemplating this little device, but do you know of any alternatives that are the same price point? thanks
 
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I'd probably skip something like that, seems fairly underpowered, plus the 32gb of built in flash might end up be a little limiting. If you're willing to get something refurbished, you can get a pretty good deal on things. This popped up a few days ago: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/3695796/Re:_Dell_Latitude_E6420_Core_i Obviously it's quite a bit more expensive at $280 (gone up to over $300 now), but the processor is a huge step up, and being a laptop, technically comes with a monitor. Looking around, this seems like a decent machine at that price point: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834299239 I guess I'm just not too impressed with Celeron PCs. If you want a desktop type PC, they have some small form factor PCs (not nearly as small as the one you linked): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883156671 You could throw a small SSD into either of those machines and be moving pretty fast.
 
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I have been retired for several years and had a ASUS Windows 8.1.1 Ultrabook with a 11.6 inch screen. Sold it and bought an Acer 11 Chromebook with a 11.6 inch screen. Has an HDMI port and USB Ports along with a SD Card Slot. No worries about Trojans, Virus, etc. Plenty of free Google Cloud Storage Space. Great for travel. Load pictures to cloud. If computer is taken, etc., just a matter of buying another and sign in with your Google Account and everything is there and your pictures, etc., are in the cloud. I have an ASUS Chromebox for home usage seldom start my Windows Desktop anymore. Bought the Acer 11 Chromebook on EBay refurbished for $125.00 and it arrived in what I would consider new condition. Had given thought of installing Linux but find that the Chrome O/S meets my needs. You can find a lot of You Tube Video Content about it or the ASUS Chromebox. I bought the Chromebox on EBay too.
 
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No reason to get a big memory hog like Windows if you're just streaming videos and surfing. Since you already know Linux, get this http://store.hp.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/us/en/pdp/desktops/hp-chromebox-cb1-020-pc-energy-star#!&TabName=specs I would upgrade to 4gb RAM for better speed, otherwise Chrome OS is built for exactly what you want to do.
 
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That HP Stream Mini is great. I've been using one regularly for a couple months. It sits in the drawer of a sofa table under our TV (I did put a USB power fan in there just as some extra airflow). In OEM configuration it does say that it's low on memory, but a simple chip update would fix that and I've never ran our of actual memory. It normally uses .9 - 1.3GB of the 2GB of memory. I have a tiny USB wireless keyboard where the receiver is on a USB extension cable that runs up behind the TV to maximize range. It streams from my network hard drive, netflix, and web based stream setups just fine. I do not store anything on it as everything is on my network or the internet so the actual storage space is fine. I went with a Win 8.1 over Chromebox for complete compatibility.
 
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Not sure about the CPU on your current system, but the only thing I'd watch for is the CPU on that Stream. It's a very modern 1.4Ghz Dual Haswell (Intel current 4th gen). For the Windows eco-system, I don't recommend anything less than 2Ghz for a smooth experience. Things may change with Windows 10 (which will be free to Win7, Win8) and is like crack coccaine/Red Bull to old or lower clocked CPUs. I have experience from my work issued laptop. It's an i5 Intel 3rd generation that's nominally 2.4Ghz that ramps to 2.9, but when on battery it caps it's speed at 2Ghz which is I noticed is tolerable for a smooth computing experience with video playback. You'll need a second or so of patience while it renders a new YouTube page, but the multitasking is still smooth. However on AC power it's as instant as you'd expect and the difference it noticablely appreciable. I know... the immediate world we live in these days.
 
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I got one of these these to play around with. Pretty snappy and unlike the HP, has a good old fashioned VGA port on the back for using older computer monitor if you are trying to save a few bucks.
 
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Originally Posted By: jhMalibu
I got one of these these to play around with.
FYI, only USB 2.0 ports on this thing. Might be something to consider if you're planning to connect some mass storage to it.
 
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Originally Posted By: razel
Not sure about the CPU on your current system, but the only thing I'd watch for is the CPU on that Stream. It's a very modern 1.4Ghz Dual Haswell (Intel current 4th gen). For the Windows eco-system, I don't recommend anything less than 2Ghz for a smooth experience. Things may change with Windows 10 (which will be free to Win7, Win8) and is like crack coccaine/Red Bull to old or lower clocked CPUs. I have experience from my work issued laptop. It's an i5 Intel 3rd generation that's nominally 2.4Ghz that ramps to 2.9, but when on battery it caps it's speed at 2Ghz which is I noticed is tolerable for a smooth computing experience with video playback. You'll need a second or so of patience while it renders a new YouTube page, but the multitasking is still smooth. However on AC power it's as instant as you'd expect and the difference it noticablely appreciable. I know... the immediate world we live in these days.
On the HP Stream Mini it doesn't seem to be a problem. The computer is very smooth and usable for it's price point. I'd expect the HP Pavilion Mini that costs more than double to be better, but for $180 this thing is great.
 
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I also recommend a Chrome OS device here. Whether that's a Chromebook or a Chromebox, or even a new Chromebit. I have an older Chromebook (a Samsung Series 3 with an ARM processor) and it easily accomplishes all of the tasks OP is talking about doing. On Sunday, I was out in the garage all afternoon and I had the Masters golf tournament on the Chromebook, streaming live from masters.com, and displayed on a 22" monitor through the HDMI connection. I was essentially watching live television through the Chromebook -- and this is at least one generation old with an ARM processor (not even an Intel Celeron). Chrome OS devices are highly efficient and just about perfect for the stated purpose here. The HP Streams (with Windows) are excellent machine also, but you still are dealing with Windows (anti virus, spyware, maintenance, etc). Chrome OS = no viruses, no spyware, no defragging, no daily updates. If you don't need a local installation of Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Office, Chrome OS is ideal.
 
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My concern with the Chromebox was full compatibility. Even though it's Windows and you get all the extra [censored] of Windows, Windows is fully supported by everyone. I'm all for Chrome OS. Maybe I didn't fully research the true capabilities of a Chromebox but I saw a full Windows 8.1 computer for $180 and bought it. The only change I will make to it is putting another 2GB of ram in it.
 
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Thats actually a pretty uncommon celeron. its an ULV version of a haswell celeron. so its not slow about 1500cpumark which is similar to a core2duo most new celerons are based off the latest atom chip and are much slower.
 
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Originally Posted By: racer12306
My concern with the Chromebox was full compatibility.
Respectfully, compatibility with what? If the intended use is web/cloud based, then Chrome OS is essentially compatible with everything...everything that can be served across the web anyway. If the intended use requires the installation of local software, and there are worries about compatibility with that software, then Chrome OS is really not relevant to begin with -- because you really can't install any software on it (beyond the slowly increasing number of apps you can run offline).
 
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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
Originally Posted By: racer12306
My concern with the Chromebox was full compatibility.
Respectfully, compatibility with what? If the intended use is web/cloud based, then Chrome OS is essentially compatible with everything...everything that can be served across the web anyway. If the intended use requires the installation of local software, and there are worries about compatibility with that software, then Chrome OS is really not relevant to begin with -- because you really can't install any software on it (beyond the slowly increasing number of apps you can run offline).
As I said, I probably needed to explore the true capabilities of ChromeOS, but the price was just right on this device. My intentions were: hulu netflix streaming media from my network Amazon prime video ESPN3 SlingTV
 
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Distracting to the CPU again, I second what Rand wrote: I would not hesitate to buy a Celeron CPU from Intel's mainstream architecture (Broadwell, Haswell, Ivy Bridge, etc) if the price and application are right. On the other hand, unless power consumption is a top concern, I still avoid Intel's Atom-class (ex, Silvermont) CPUs no matter what marketing name they carry, beware that Intel now sells many of them as Pentium and Celeron. Maybe the upcoming Goldmont will finally sway me, because I do appreciate low power consumption: With SSDs for storage, we no longer need a spinning hard disk. So if we can have decent CPU performance without a cooling fan, all the better.
 
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sling tv runs off APPS so Unless there is a chromebox app might not work. I have an android app for my phone and the worst ever windows 7 app for windows.(should just let you steam from browser but they dont) FORTUNATELY, for espn you can log into the espn website with your sling tv login.
Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
Originally Posted By: racer12306
My concern with the Chromebox was full compatibility.
Respectfully, compatibility with what? If the intended use is web/cloud based, then Chrome OS is essentially compatible with everything...everything that can be served across the web anyway. If the intended use requires the installation of local software, and there are worries about compatibility with that software, then Chrome OS is really not relevant to begin with -- because you really can't install any software on it (beyond the slowly increasing number of apps you can run offline).
 
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Quote:
Chrome OS is essentially compatible with everything...everything that can be served across the web anyway
That isn't necessarily true. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ActiveX MS once had a plan to capture the web by implementing MS only technologies on web services so only "MS users" could use the website; This was evident in early banking apps etc. Thankfully much of this has been disassembled by subsequent releases of software and the entire WWW development has congealed around a more inclusive and open pathway (i.e. MS lost this one)
 
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Originally Posted By: simple_gifts
Thankfully much of this has been disassembled by subsequent releases of software and the entire WWW development has congealed around a more inclusive and open pathway (i.e. MS lost this one)
Correct; it seems that a lot of proprietary technologies are going the way of the Dodo, with a lot of websites moving to HTML5. Microsoft Silverlight is pretty much dead. Netflix has already implemented an HTML5-based (I think) version of their streaming player for Chromebooks, and has plans to move entirely to HTML5, if they haven't yet done so. Adobe Flash, too, seems to be on the way out...or is at least suffering from a lot of bad press lately that leaves its future unclear. Many browsers, both desktop and mobile, already disallow Flash, and the prevailing recommendation seems to be to keep it turned off by default if your browser does support it. Chromebooks do support Flash, though. Java is another software with the prevailing recommendation to not use it. I understand that you can download an ActiveX extension for your Chromebook, but, not having the need to view any websites using ActiveX, I cannot confirm this on mine. The future looks good for Chrome OS devices because, as you correctly point out, most current web development is focused on more open architectures.
 
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