Notebook on a Budget: HP Stream 11
The budget segment of computers is always filled with so many options that it leaves buyers in a dilemma. The HP Stream 11 is a modest laptop in this low-entry category that strikes the right spots of affordability, portability, and reliability.
As a low-entry device, there is so much to be desired from the Stream 11 but that’s what you’d have to get for its low price tag.
The HP Stream 11 comes in a good and ‘humble’ package that is typical of budget laptop – no bells or whistles, just simple. The clamshell form-factor of this device with the rounded corners is differentiated by its colour.
As a compact laptop, the Stream 11 has dimensions of 11.8 x 8.1 x 0.7 inches and weighs only 2.5 pounds. That been said, this laptop is made for durability even though the chassis is made of plastic.
Opening the lid gives way to the teeny display and keyboard/mouse below. The screen is surrounded by large bezels and positioned above it is a webcam while the ‘hp’ logo is found below the screen. Connecting the lid to the bottom half is a single but long hinge that should make lifting the lid easy with one hand.
An 11.6-inch adorns the HP Stream 11. The display resolution is 1366 x 768 pixels which are pretty old by today’s standards. The display brightness is not so good but is still doable. For the price (under $200), it is no surprise that the screen isn’t as crisp as the color reproduction is below par.
Keyboard and Touchpad
A simple keyboard can be found sitting on the lower half of the laptop. The high keys are well spaced with a shallow key travel. Owing to the small size of the device, there is just enough resting area for the palms.
The touchpad fills a small area below the keyboard. The button-less keyboard offers enough scrolling area and has a good feel. Overall, the touchpad is quite comfortable to use.
Well, what more can we expect from a sub $200 laptop than a decent Intel Celeron N3060 CPU. This CPU is paired with Intel’s HD Graphics 400 GPU for graphics, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of eMMC-based storage.
With the above combination, the Stream 11 can perform the simplest of computing tasks like document editing and typing, web surfing, playing videos and casual gaming. However, for serious tasks like hard-core gaming, photo editing, or even multi-tasking, this isn’t the ideal laptop.
The small (even though it’s fast) internal storage space of this device is another limiting factor as the Windows 10 OS takes up to half of the 32GB. This leaves users with less than 16GB of space for their files and applications. Nonetheless, through the included SD card slot, the storage can be expanded.
Due to the low-end but power efficient CPU and small screen, the HP Stream 11 impresses with its good battery. When fully charged, this laptop can take you through a day. However, the length of the battery life is dependent on what you use the laptop for.
Ports and Connectivity
The HP Stream 11 is scanty on ports and for a device of its class, it is quite expected. Obviously missing is the new type-C USB ports, but you will definitely find one USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports each. Also, in the mix are a full-sized HDMI port, a microSD reader, headphone/microphone jack, and a Kensington lock.
Price and Availability
If you read through the preceding sections, I hinted that this device costs less than $200. This is no fluke as you can get the HP Stream 11 for as low as $150. The laptop is available worldwide via online stores as well as physical retailers.
Specs at a Glance
|Screen size||11.6 inches|
|Maximum screen resolution||1366 x 768 pixels|
|Internal Storage||32GB eMMC|
|CPU||Intel Celeron N3060 @ 1.6GHz|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Dimensions||11.8 x 8.1 x 0.7 inches|
A compact and durable chassis, decent battery life and performance; the HP Stream 11 is a laptop for anyone seeking a budget notebook.
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