HP Stream 11 Review: Chromebook Killer?

11-inch HP Stream
It’s no shocker that people like Chromebooks. They are small relatively fast, work great with Chromecast, and OH Yeah! They’re cheap. This can’t be good for the folks over at Microsoft, Sony, or Dell, but I think Microsoft has a big bee in their bonnet.  Which is why they came out with a smaller version of windows, that PC makers could you use to build a smaller lightweight laptop inexpensive enough to take on the giant that is a Google, and a small portion of their Chromebook glory.  As far as I know the Stream 11 is the first in I’m sure a long list of “Chromebook Killers”. It performs well has a full version of window 11.6″ display, and costs only $200.00. Microsoft is also throwing in a $25 gift card, 1TB cloud storage and Office 365 for a year for free.  Ya know just to sweeten the deal a bit.

Pros

  • Low price
  • Great Design, But Feels A Lot Like Plastic
  • Very Comfortable keyboard
  • The audio is great for a small computer
  • $25 Windows Store gift card included
  • Includes 1TB of cloud storage and a one-year Office 365 subscription

Cons

  • The Display Is Horrible
  • Slow boot-up times
  • Touchpad Needs To Be Re-Worked

The Stream 11 is a good deal at $200.00. Compared to the more pricey chromebooks, but you are going to have some trade-offs.

It’s a good-looking machine, I won’t say “sexy” cause we’re not there yet with, notebooks, or netbooks whatever you want to call them.  The stream 11 is available in two colors blue and pink… I’m sorry I’m Sorry. Cobalt or Magenta.  The Design is nice with the little features like the dot pattern around the keyboard, and how they made the keyboard “Arctic White” in contrasting colors it looks good.  Taking a quick spin around the device, it matches the Chromebook, two USB connections (one 3.0, one 2.0), a full-sized HDMI socket, a full-sized SD card reader and a combination headphone/mic jack. The keyboard is smooth and functional, and in my opinion had the best keyboard of all the inexpensive Chromebook/Netbooks I’ve tried.  The trackpad however made me feel like it was 1995 again when this was just an emerging technology, it truly had me beating my head against the wall.  The Stream 11 features a 1,366 x 768 non-touch display, which doesn’t bother me pixel for pixel that’s enough for the 11.6″ display. The colors however are washed out and faded, and after a while I really didn’t want to look at it anymore, not because it hurt my eyes, I just couldn’t take the lack of resolution/clarity.  That and my other computers were getting jealous for the time I was spending with this device.  Remember! it’s a $200.00 machine so keep that in mind.

Specs:

It uses an Intel Celeron N2840 processor, it is a fan-less device, 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of eMMC storage. Not much more you can say about that pretty cut and dry. The machine for me did feel a bit slow at times compared to my Chromebook, but it is running a full version of windows 8.  The boot-up times for me were ok the extra 3-5 seconds I could wait.  Battery life wasn’t an issue for the week I was getting at least 7.5 to 8.0 hours with normal use.

Summary:

The fact that the Stream 11  can run desktop apps, and really does work offline means if they met in a dark alley trust me the Chromebook isn’t walking away. As a bonus, the Stream 11 actually costs less than most Chrome OS devices, which could make it a no-brainer for some shoppers especially if you have a young computer scientist in the family. Christmas is right around the corner Moms and Dads.  The Stream 11 is a full-fledged Windows machine, but it’s also portable and inexpensive, with a comfortable keyboard, cute design and surprisingly good audio. At $200.00 it’s a good deal for the money.

Again. Remember! It’s A $200.00 computer.  The display quality is a step down from most Chromebooks or any other Netbook. Rather than a Chromebook you can do more with a miniature Windows laptop like this.

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