Hewlett Packard will soon enter the mini-PC form factor space with the upcoming release of the HP Pavilion Mini Desktop and the HP Stream Mini Desktop. Both will be made available online next week, followed by a retail release in the beginning of February.
According to the list of specifications (pdf), the HP Pavilion Mini desktop will be offered with either an Intel Pentium 3558U processor and a 500GB 7200RPM HDD for $319.99, or an Intel Core i3-4025U with a 1TB drive for $449.99 (starting prices). Both will also feature 4GB of DDR3L RAM, HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs (for displaying the desktop on two panels) and a 3-in-1 SD card reader.
The specifications also show that the Pavilion Mini will have Wireless N and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.0 ports on the front and two USB 3.0 ports on the back. There will be two SODIMM slots for up to 16GB or RAM (one available), and two M.2 expansion slots (one of which will be open for additional storage). The overall dimensions will be 5.73 x 5.70 x 2.06 inches.
As for the HP Stream Mini, the list of specifications (pdf) show that this model will sport Windows 8.1 with Bing, meaning the price tag will be slightly lower than the HP Pavilion Mini, which uses regular Windows 8.1. The Stream Mini will also sport an Intel Celeron 2957U processor (clocked at 1.40GHz) and 2GB of DDR3L memory (two slots, expandable to 16GB).
As with the Pavilion Mini, the Stream Mini model will provide a 3-in-1 card reader plus HDMI and DisplayPort connectivity for expanding the desktop across two monitors. The device will also have 32GB of storage thanks to an M.2 SATA SSD (using one of two M.2 slots), Wireless N and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, gigabit Ethernet and four USB 3.0 ports (two on the front and two on the back).
Finally, the new Stream Mini model will be rather small, measuring 5.73 x 5.70 x 2.06 inches in size. The Stream Mini will also come packed with a $25 gift card for the Windows Store and 200GB of Microsoft OneDrive storage for two years.
"The desktop tower PC continues to be a focal point in the home for sharing, creating, and entertaining. The HP Pavilion and HP Stream Mini Desktops deliver the benefits of a traditional desktop PC in a package that looks good sitting on a desk and is small enough to fit into an entertainment center." — Mike Nash, VP, Product Management, Consumer Personal Systems, HP
With the release of these two "Mini" devices, the company is seemingly competing with Google's Chromeboxes, which are similar in size and price. The company will also be competing with Zotac, Gigabyte and other manufacturers that are well-established in the mini-PC space. As previously noted, the HP Pavilion Mini will have a starting price of $319.99 and the HP Stream Mini will have a starting price of $179.99. That said, the prices should catch the eyes of consumers who previously wouldn't have given this form factor a second glance.