The HP Stream 11 is a relic of the netbook era of the early 2000s when there was a huge demand for smaller Windows XP-powered laptops with 11.6-inch displays and lightweight chassis.
Tablets, smartphones, and Chromebooks have driven most netbook designs out of business, but a few models persisted and are still available thanks to the growth of Windows 10.
The HP Stream 11 is one of them. It’s been updated with more contemporary looks and amenities such as HDMI and USB Type-C connections, but it’s otherwise a step backward in terms of budget laptop performance.
It’s not always a negative thing, either. If you’re on a tight budget and would rather read emails, sports results, and the weather on a laptop with a physical keyboard instead of a tablet or phone, HP Stream 11 is happy to comply.
HP Stream 11-ak0010nr model, with an Intel Celeron N4020 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of eMMC storage, is the one we’re looking at. The color scheme may vary slightly from shop to shop.
Our instance comes from Amazon, but the Best Buy store sells a white version with 64GB of eMMC storage for $250 that is model ak0012dx.
It’s a good idea to shop around because the 32GB storage drive in our testing unit simply cannot hold much more than the Windows 10 operating system. Microsoft recommends at least 20GB of free space when installing Windows, and you’ll quickly run out of room if you add in a few GBs for a buffer and store some of your daily files.
If you want to install new programs and discover some that will work on the remainder of the disk, you’ll need to turn off HP Stream 11’s default Windows 10 S Mode, which bans applications downloaded from elsewhere. It’s simple and free to do so.
The HP Stream 11’s limited storage capacity is somewhat relieved by the inclusion of an unusual benefit on many premium ultraportable laptops that cost far more: A microSD card slot is included. This allows you to add lots of extra GBs of storage quickly and inexpensively using a removable memory card—a 128GB card can be purchased online for around $20. It’s not possible to install applications onto it, but you can access your huge media collection from it.
HP Stream 11 Specifications
- Processor: Intel Celeron N4020
- Processor Speed: 1.1 GHz
- RAM (as Tested): 4 GB
- Boot Drive Type: eMMC Flash Memory
- Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested): 32 GB
- Screen Size: 11.6 inches
- Native Display Resolution: 1366 by 768
- Touch Screen: No
- Panel Technology: LED
- Variable Refresh Support: None
- Screen Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
- Graphics Processor: Intel UHD Graphics 600
- Wireless Networking: 802.11ac, Bluetooth
- Dimensions (HWD): 0.7 by 11 by 7.5 inches
- Weight: 2.4 lbs
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10
- Tested Battery Life (Hours: Minutes): 11:31
- Exceptional value for money
- Excellent battery life
- Eye-catching design
- Bundled with Office 365 Personal
- Only 32GB of internal storage inhibits app installs
- The 1,366-by-768-pixel screen makes text fuzzy
- Poor camera quality
- Sluggish performance
The HP Stream 11 is a charming little device. It comes in two colors, “horizon blue” and “orchid magenta,” which is the color of our test sample. The design is bold and friendly, to my child’s eye.
From the outside, it looks exactly like an HP laptop computer. The outside is made of a soft, white plastic that takes any sweaty marks from clammy hands and fades away in seconds.
The top of the PC is encircled by an HP logo cut from a sheet of gleaming silver metal, while four rubber feet keep it from moving about on tabletops.
The HP Stream is a playful and visually appealing laptop that lacks the elegance of, say, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2015 or MacBook Air. Too many cheap laptops are bland silver or grey; it’s wonderful to see some variation.
When you take the HP Stream 11 out of its packaging, you’ll notice that it isn’t aesthetically appealing. The bezels on all sides of the display are large, and the base unit is covered in a two-tone PowerPoint-style gradient appearance.
The top face of the keyboard dock closest to the screen is blue like the rest of the PC, but the side nearest to the trackpad is turquoise.
It looks tacky and resembles FC Barcelona’s ugly 2012/13 away jersey. Furthermore, it’s studded with a lot of little silver dots. We have no idea what prompted this design since it isn’t nice at all.
The build quality isn’t fantastic in this posture. The plastic frame that surrounds the keyboard component is sharp and not quite flush with the top of the base.
It was uncomfortable to type and produce a scratchy noise when we rubbed against it. We also noticed that lots of flecks of dust got trapped in the little gap between the frame and body within moments.
The screen is rather flimsy and bends easily with your fingertips. The hinge also allows you to push the screen back greater than it should be, which isn’t encouraging.
Despite this, the design and construction quality are still above average for a laptop at this price.
It feels heavier than it is because it’s essentially an 11-inch laptop in the form of a 13-inch. The 11-inch MacBook Air is significantly lighter at 1.08kg, but it costs many times more than the HP Stream 11. For the price, we have no complaints.
You won’t have any problems carrying the Stream with you, either. It’s only 19.7mm thick and 300mm wide, and it’ll fit into any bag or messenger without issue.
Just make sure you avoid putting it in the same compartment as your house keys; the plastic body is susceptible to scratches.
The base has a wide range of ports. On the right are USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and HDMI slots, while the charging port, SD card slot, and Kensington security lock are on the left.
Any SD card you use must not protrude from this iPod shuffle at all – which allows you to expand its tiny 32GB storage capacity without any problems.
The HP Stream 11’s screen, which has a resolution of 1366 x 768 and a size of 11.6 inches, is extremely washed out. The sky in the Dunkirk trailer was devoid of the yellow “aged film footage” tone that it had on the Samsung Chromebook 3, rather than being a dull blue and white.
The colors on the HP Stream 11’s display aren’t particularly correct, but they are comparable to those of other laptops in its class.
It received a Delta-E score of 3.69 (better is lower), similar to the marks obtained by its 14-inch competitors (3.46 for the Dell Inspiron 14 3000 and 3.85 for the Lenovo Ideapad 100S-14). The Samsung Chromebook 3, on the other hand, has an excellent Delta-E of 0.21.
While HP Stream 11 and Lenovo Ideapad 100S-14 have identical overall brightness averages (188 nits), I liked the Ideapad’s display since black text appeared black on the panel, unlike on Stream 11, where grayish-looking text compelled me to squint while reading.
In addition, in the Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer, I had difficulties seeing all of Vulture’s armor details. When I watched the same clip on Samsung’s Chromebook 3 with a 259-nit screen, far more information was shown about the villain’s gold armor than was available on the HP Stream 11’s screen.
The Stream’s screen can display 77.5 percent of the Standard RGB Gamut, compared to the Samsung Chromebook 3’s 63.1 percent, according to this test by DisplayMate.
Both 14-inch laptops could produce much wider color ranges than their smaller counterparts, with the Lenovo reaching 83.5% and Dell totaling 81.4%.
The HP Stream 11’s display isn’t as good as the displays on most gaming laptops, however, it does hold up well against competing models. The Stream 11 has poor vertical viewing angles and worse off-angle viewing angles than the competition.
You’ll need to be in front of its screen to discover that coveted sweet spot; otherwise, you’ll encounter dark areas that make it difficult to understand what’s going on screen. Unfortunately, the laptop’s hinges allow you to rotate only 25 degrees back from upright before they lock into place.
I wasn’t expecting much in the way of audio quality from this tiny $200 laptop, but the HP Stream 11 surprised me. For one thing, despite being at the bottom front of the device, its twin speakers sound dynamic and full.
The speakers on the Samsung Chromebook 3 are louder than those on the Lenovo Ideapad 100S-14. The Dell Inspiron 14 3000’s speakers are a distant fourth place.
The DTS Studio Sound dashboard, which is included with HP’s audio output, allows you to customize your audio preferences by sound type.
After cycling through the One Love Manchester concert, which featured a variety of genres and artists including Black Eyed Peas and Coldplay, I discovered that the Vocal setting was the most adaptable since it gave each track the feeling of being performed live.
Keyboard and Touchpad
We adore Stream 11’s island-style keyboard. The keys are nicely separated and appear crisp and clean, with the white of each button contrasting nicely against the blue dock.
The four corner keys (Escape, Delete, Control, and the right-pointing arrow) are gently curved and friendly on the eye. Our Escape key didn’t sit straight in its groove; it looked a little goofy, but it operated correctly. It’s also a nice keyboard to type on.
The keyboard is comfortable to type on. It has a good amount of travel on the keys, allowing for fast and accurate typing. The only faults are that it isn’t backlit and the left-hand Shift key is rather tiny, making it easy to hit backslash ( ) by accident. Overall, it’s a nice product.
The HP ImagePad trackpad is not as pleasant as the Surface Laptops. While it has a nice size and good resistance when you click, it feels flimsy and cheap. When we pushed down on it with any amount of force, the plastic surrounding it deformed as well.
There were also a few bugs that we encountered. Since the Stream is powered by Windows 8.1, swiping from the right edge of the trackpad is supposed to bring up vital options such as Search and Settings. However, achieving this successfully on most occasions required numerous tries.
Performance and Graphics
For the price, the HP Stream 11 provides good performance. The Stream 11 is fast when performing common computing activities thanks to a 1.6-GHz Intel Celeron N3060 processor, Intel Graphics 400, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of eMMc flash storage.
The computer does not have a lot of processing power, but it can be taxed quickly when multitasking, as I discovered while switching among ten web browser tabs while streaming a lengthy YouTube video and editing a few Google Docs. The laptop still worked smoothly, but there was some latency.
The HP Stream 11 dominated the field on Geekbench 4, a synthetic test that measures overall performance. The Lenovo Ideapad 100S-14 (1.6-GHz Intel Celeron N3060 CPU) and the Dell Inspiron 14 3000 (1.6-GHz Intel Celeron N3060 CPU) scored 1,880 and 1,824 points, respectively.
The Stream 11’s 32GB eMMc storage performed well on the Laptop Mag File Transfer test, copying 4.97 GB of mixed media files in only 1 minute and 1 second. That’s a rate of 50.38 MBps, which is considerably better than the 100S (43.5 MBps) but far worse than the Dell Inspiron 14 3000 (69.72 MBps).
Stream 11 completed the task in 13 minutes and 42 seconds in our OpenOffice spreadsheet test, where each system had to match 20,000 names with addresses.
That is somewhat quicker than the Ideapad 100S-14, which took 14 minutes and 33 seconds. In 22 minutes and 2 seconds, the Dell Inspiron 14 3000 limped across the line.
The HP Stream 11 has an integrated Intel HD Graphics 400 GPU, which means it’s not designed for serious gaming like Overwatch. On the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark, we put Stream 11 to the test, where it scored 16,230. That’s significantly better than the Lenovo Ideapad 100S-14 (13,568).
Stream 11 comes with a three-cell Lithium-ion battery that is said to last up to eight hours and 15 minutes before needing to be recharged. It fell just short of the mark, however, as it lasted only about eight hours of online surfing and YouTube viewing on maximum brightness with the volume at 80%.
Its resistance under heavy strain, on the other hand, far exceeded expectations. It survived six hours of iPlayer and YouTube video playback with the screen at full brightness and the volume at 80%.
It’s also a fast charger, charging from flat to 24% in just 30 minutes. That would give you just over two hours of mixed-use time or almost 90 minutes of intensive usage.
HP claims that its Stream devices are “fanless,” but I’d rather deal with some noise or a couple of air vents in exchange for a more ventilated system. Within just 30 minutes of usage, the bottom-right corner of the Stream 11 became uncomfortably hot; to the point where I had to move it away from my legs right away.
During the 15-minute video, the Stream’s underside reached a scorching 104 degrees Fahrenheit, which is considerably hotter than our desired 95-degree comfort level.
Fortunately, the area surrounding its touchpad (80 degrees) and keyboard (89 degrees) remained much colder.
The HP Stream 11 has just 32GB of eMMC flash storage, but much of it is taken up by Windows 10, leaving little space for the user.
Take a look at the following table for a breakdown of how much storage is available on your computer. Windows takes up 14.4GB, and preloaded applications and games consume 5.16 GB, leaving you with only 9.54GB for applications and files out of the 29.1 GB total user-accessible space available to users.
To put it another way, I had to remove three 1080p movie trailers just to make room enough to install and run 3DMark, which measures graphics performance.
If you want to save money on a computer, you should look at the HP Stream 11 Pro G3. For $339, this laptop comes with 64GB of internal storage.
Rather than spending $339 on the HP Stream 11 Pro G3 that includes 64GB of onboard storage, you may just buy a $15 32GB microSD card for the same capacity – or, even better, get used to storing your data in the cloud (Dropbox or OneDrive).
While camera quality isn’t as critical on a laptop as it is on a smartphone, it’s still an important feature, especially if you use Skype frequently. The Stream 11 features a front-facing HP Truevision HD webcam that produces excellent results.
While colors appear washed out and pictures lack fine detail (possibly a benefit in disguise since pockmarks go undetected), the camera is more than adequate for video chats. In low-light conditions, the camera fares relatively well; however, webcams on far more expensive laptops suffer similarly.
Software and Warranty
The Stream 11’s operating system is Windows 8.1, and while it performs better on non-touchscreen devices than plain old Windows 8, it isn’t perfect.
Gesture controls don’t function as well as they should without a touchscreen, with trackpad swipes frequently failing to register. That’s more of a fault of the operating system than the Stream 11 itself, but it’s worth noting.
With a 1TB OneDrive cloud storage capacity, you may store all of your data and photos on HP’s NVMe Pro 512GB SSD.
The freebie aspect only lasts for a year, after which you’ll have to start paying. Alternatively, you may go with a free service like Google Drive or make use of the SD card slot.
Another advantage of Stream 11 is its bundle of Microsoft Office 365 Personal, which makes it an excellent choice for students. The service would set you back $59.99 on a standalone basis, so you’d be saving a lot of money.
Google Drive offers a similar suite of productivity tools as Microsoft’s, although some people may feel more at home using Word and Excel from Microsoft.
Things like HP Connected Music, which is comparable to a less popular version of iTunes, and the HP Support Assistant, which performs similar tasks to the Control Panel, are all examples of products that are not very useful.
The only thing these services added was making the taskbar taller than required due to the large logo on display. Fortunately, it’s simple to conceal.
Should I buy the HP Stream 11?
Yes, if you have to stick to a strict budget. The HP Stream 11 is an incredibly reasonable $179.99 for a Windows laptop that comes with an Office 365 subscription worth more than $50.
Key features such as Aspect ratio, battery life, and speaker quality all impressed us favorably, ensuring that the Stream 11 will serve almost any student well.
It’s not enough to watch all of the Rocky films back-to-back, but it’s quite sufficient for casual entertainment and work.
The screen is the only real problem – it’s a bit drab and unwieldy in sunlight. This was somewhat predictable given the laptop’s low price; however, the next best option — the Toshiba Chromebook 2 — costs $70 more and doesn’t run Windows.
It has a lovely 13.3-inch 1080p touchscreen, but if you require Windows or don’t want to spend any more money, we can’t suggest anything better than HP Stream 11.
The little $200 HP Stream 11’s bright body won’t disappoint you. After all, it’s so compact and light that you’ll be happy to take it with you everywhere, and with over 8 hours of battery life, you can leave your charger at home without hesitation.
Stream 11 has 4GB of RAM, which means it performs better than similarly priced competitors with 2GB of RAM. Parents should seriously consider buying this laptop for their kids.
The high-gloss polycarbonate plastic is cold to the touch, making it unpleasant for most users. The dim screen, hot temperatures, and razor-sharp front lip are other issues.
The Lenovo Ideapad 100S-14 is a little thicker, has a more colorful screen, and has better cooling than the 14-inch Lenovo Ideapad 100M-14, but it has a smaller battery.
The Samsung Chromebook 3 is comparable in size and price to the similarly sized $180 Samsung Chromebook 3, which offers a superior screen and 4GB of RAM. But if you’re seeking a sub-$200 Windows 10 laptop with good performance, the Stream 11 is worth considering.
HP Stream 11 2021 Premium
11.6" HD WLED Anti-Glare Intel Celeron N4000 Processor 4GB RAM 32GB eMMC Office 365 for 1 Year USB-C WiFi Win10 + HDMI Cable
Product Brand: HP
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: $249.00
Product In-Stock: InStock