HP Stream series is a bunch of extremely affordable and low-end laptops meant for lightweight uses, including web surfing and paper writing. They are very attractive choices mainly because of the inexpensive price, but a critical reader might ponder if they really are powerful enough or just a bunch of too slow components…
As expected, HP Stream 11-r010nr is not equipped with bleeding edge technology. Its processor, known as Intel Celeron N3050 (dual core @ 1.6GHz with 2.2GHz turbo), is one of the worst performing CPUs currently on market – or what do you think about its CPU Mark score of ~800 while even 4th generation Core i3s manage to get around 2500 points? Well, you can surely browse the web and YouTube on this machine, but don’t try to install programs requiring a lot from the system. You would experience too much lag then.
Budget performance is also evident in the memory section. The HP includes 2GB RAM, it’s onboard type and can’t be upgraded. Two gigabytes is not a lot, hardly even the minimum, but if you run one or two lightweight programs at a time 2GB should suffice.
The storage drive is a 32GB eMMC. That’s embedded MultiMediaCard, not a solid-state drive as some merchants like to put it. It features slower transfer rates than SSD however it works faster than a conventional hard drive. Anyway, only 32 gigabytes space is available on paper but after Windows installation files you’ll end up with around 21GB. Since the “drive” is embedded on board, you can’t switch it for a bigger one. A good idea would be to get an external hard drive and plug it in the laptop’s USB port in case you need more storage space.
Is it good for gaming?
HP Stream 11-r010nr is horrible for all but browser-based titles. See, for gaming, it has very slow processor, insufficient amount of memory, and the worst thing, an integrated Intel HD graphics card. This trio means that most 2014-2015 games are simply unplayable, in that FPS would be less than 10-15 on lowest settings. However, some examples that would work here are Sims 4, League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Go.
What peripherals can I plug in?
This kind of small notebook has limited connectivity. There are only two USB ports (one of those is USB 3.0), although the situation is usually the same with any 11.6 inches laptop. The obligatory HDMI-out is also there, it might come handy if you want to plug in a bigger monitor here.
As said above, an external drive can be connected to HP Stream 11-r010nr for more local storage. And another way to do that would be the laptop’s micro SD card slot. It supports at least 32GB cards, but people have been successfully using even 64GB ones.
DVD burner is not available due to small size.
You can connect this HP to Internet with the integrated WiFi card (802.11b/g/n standard). Wireless printing like Google Cloud Print works – like all the normal printers with USB connector. Also Bluetooth 4.0 is supported.
A front-facing webcam is included, hence you can shoot videos (and edit them) for YouTube.
Any other things to keep in mind?
HP Stream 11-r010nr doesn’t have a touchscreen so don’t be surprised when/if you get the laptop. The resolution is of course 1366×768, a professional Full HD won’t happen for this price.
Thanks to the small screen, this thing weights next to nothing. At 2.6 pounds it can be called a real traveler friendly unit. Moreover, the battery (2-cell 38Whr) will last around 7 hours.
This is not a Chromebook, it comes with Windows 10 Home pre-loaded. Keyboard is not backlit here.
Summing it up
I can’t say HP Stream 11-r010nr is a fast laptop, but for general use it should be a decent choice. Home users, students, perhaps small business people don’t usually need anything fancier than this – opening that web browser, Microsoft Office app or YouTube video will work no problem. Also battery life is magnificent, it will last full or almost a full day without the need to recharge. Just don’t try to run specialized, demanding software or god forbid, graphics-heavy games and there shouldn’t be any issues. If this all sounds like your cup of tea, why not give a try to this inexpensive HP!