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The Positive The HP Stream 11 seems to be good for such a cheap laptop computer, battery life is great, and it features a 12 months of Microsoft Office 365 and 1TB of OneDrive on-line storage.
The Imperfect Even operating just a few duties directly can sluggish it down. The touchpad is commonly finicky, and the onboard 32GB SSD is just too small for even informal use.
The Outcome The HP Stream 11 goals to be a cloud-focused laptop computer, very similar to a Chromebook, however with the added utility of Windows 8. It’s a rock-bottom funds laptop computer, so do not get your hopes up, however the battery life is spectacular.
The pitch for laptops operating Google’s Chrome OS, often known as Chromebooks, is fairly simple. Why pay additional for a laptop computer operating Microsoft’s Windows 8 working system, when all you really want is entry to a Web browser? For some folks, practically the whole lot they use a PC for is on-line, from webmail to social media to streaming music and video.
That argument appears to have resonated, as Chromebooks are actually an enormous a part of the funds laptop computer market, and a number of other fashions, together with the latestand , are literally fairly good. But, the success of Chromebooks is consuming into Microsoft’s funds laptop computer market share, which is a giant reversal from a number of years in the past when low-cost netbooks have been (briefly) in style.
Microsoft and HP are actually actively selling a brand new HP line, known as Stream. These low-cost laptops and tablets are being offered as primarily Chromebook-style units, meant for low-power on-line use, however with the added utility of Windows 8. These techniques, together with the $200 HP Stream 11 (£179 within the UK, and AU$299 in Australia) are pitched as being cloud-friendly, which is a well mannered method of claiming they’re too underpowered to satisfactorily run lots of customary apps. The Stream consists of codes for a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 (repeatedly $99, £79, AUS$79), and 1TB of on-line storage for one 12 months by Microsoft’s OneDrive service.
The Stream 11 has a low-resolution non-touch 11.6-inch display, runs an Intel Celeron processor, mixed with 2GB of RAM and a minuscule 32GB of strong state storage, greater than half of which is consumed by the working system and associated information. In that sense, it truly is Chromebook-like, and never thought for native storage of massive information or massive functions. You can, nevertheless, use the included SD card slot so as to add one other 16 or 32GB of area.
The purpose you would possibly select this method over a Chromebook, which can be a extra polished (if restricted) low-end expertise, is which you could set up Windows apps akin to Photoshop, Office, or iTunes. They will not run nice, however they’re there if you happen to want them in a pinch.
Other merchandisplaye within the new Stream household embrace the 7-inch and 8-inch Stream tablets, operating Intel Atom CPUs, with the 7-inch model beginning at $100 (£99 within the UK; solely the 8-incher is at the moment obtainable in Australia for AU$229), and a 13-inch model of the Stream laptop computer, operating the identical specs because the 11-inch, beginning at $229, £199, AU$379. Both the 8-inch tablet and 13-inch laptop computer variations can even be obtainable in configurations with 4G antennas for additional, which incorporates 200MB of month-to-month knowledge.
Overall efficiency was roughly akin to current-gen Chromebooks or, quicker in some assessments, slower in others, and our hands-on time with the system clearly indicated that won’t be your all-day, on daily basis pc. The Stream 11 did, nevertheless, have one killer function. It ran for about eight hours on our battery drain take a look at, which was very spectacular, given our modest expectations.
There should not many circumstances the place you may displaycover a ton of utility in a $199 laptop computer, particularly one with the educational curve of Windows 8. But this little blue field did greater than we anticipated, making it a uncommon funds PC that is additionally a very good worth.
|Price as reviewed||$199, £179, AU$299|
|Dis dimension/decision||11.6-inch, 1,366×768 display|
|PC CPU||2.16GHz Intel Celeron N2840|
|PC Memory||2GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz|
|Graphics||64MB Intel HD Graphics|
|Networking||802.11b/g/n wi-fi, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Operating system||Windows 8.1 (64-bit)|
Design and options
The HP Stream 11 seems to be good, not less than for a $200 laptop computer. Skipping a budget shiny gray plastic of so many funds laptops, it is as an alternative lined with a matte blue (or pink) sample, with a refined dotted gradient on the keyboard tray.
The outer floor is fingerprint-resistant, and the physique is stiff sufficient to really feel protected to journey with, though everybody who checked out our take a look at system noticed just a little little bit of warping on the bottom, bowing the keyboard tray as much as the center-right. It wasn’t sufficient to make the laptop computer look really deformed, nevertheless it definitely wasn’t ruler-straight.
Thanks to its low-power platform, the system can run with out followers, which helps with weight, warmth, and battery life. The Stream 11 weighs a modest 2.8 pounds (1.3 kg), and has been, in our expertise quiet and funky whereas operating.
The massive keyboard feels prefer it was dropped in from a more-expensive laptop computer. The island-style keys have minimal wobbling underneath the fingers, and a deep sufficient click on for longer-form typing. Function keys are reversed, as on most HP laptops, which suggests you’ll be able to entry instructions akin to quantity and brightness controls with out having to carry down the Fn key.
The vast touchpad fared much less effectively, providing two-finger vertical scrolling that labored effectively, however in any other case sensitive efficiency, together with edge-of-pad Windows 8 gesture instructions that triggered far too simply.
The 11.6-inch display has a 1,366×768 native decision, which is about what one would anticipate from a funds laptop computer, however nonetheless not nice for viewing HD video. The Windows 8 tile interface scales effectively, nevertheless. The display has a matte end, which is a plus, but additionally poor off-axis viewing, once more including to the funds really feel.