In 2015 I was on holiday in San Francisco. It was a place I wanted to go for a while. I was in the shopping centre and saw a Microsoft store. There are no retail stores in Britain. Although, a flagship London store is said to be planned. So I went in with a casual view of just looking around. On sale was a 7 inch Windows tablet by HP – the HP Stream 7.
Windows Tablet computers are nowhere in the market. Android Tablets exist but the clear winner is Apple. The ipad is the tablet of choice. However, this device was $79 and it came with a free Office 365 subscription and $20 credit in the Microsoft Windows Store. As a Windowsphone user that credit could come in pretty handy! The dollar was at $1.55 to the pound as it was “pre-Brexit” so basically this was a discounted Office 365 subscription with a tablet for free.
I went ahead an bought it. The slow Intel Atom processor has just 32gb of storage and ran the least popular version of Windows – Windows 8.1. However, being a technology enthusiast means sometimes you just try things out.
Fast forward to 2019. Could this device really run Windows 10? It was gathering dust but it was a decent size to tweet from while in my front room. You can also run the Netflix app. So why not see.
Being a Windows tablet means it’s not separate design from a PC. You can put a keyboard and mouse on it. If you go to the Microsoft website you can download the media creation tool and create a bootable Windows 10 32-bit USB that will upgrade Windows on the device.
What you need at this point is an “on the go” adaptor for the tablet, a USB hub, a keyboard and mouse. I went into the BIOS and switched off the UEFI BIOS and the security. You can then boot the device from the recovery USB and do a completely fresh install. The screen is below 10 inches so my understanding was that Windows 10 will just work and activate. This seemed to be the case.
The installation was smooth. It installed just like a normal PC. Post-install tasks included downloading the touch drivers from the HP website for Windows 8.1. They worked. The Windows key on the front of the keyboard doesn’t. You can just use touch gestures to swipe in for the bottom menu.
I did the update on an HP Stream 7 and an HP Stream 8. Nice to put some life back into some really low-cost Windows tablets.