HP Stream 13-c010nr Review

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November 26, 2014
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It’s already said that laptops are a dying breed. True mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are taking over. Well, from what I’ve seen, it seems that laptops are still holding strong. Particularly certain kind of laptops: small, portable and cleverly branded ones. Just like HP Stream 13-c010nr. We took the laptop under a closer examination and determined its good and bad sides for you!

The essentials

To begin with core performance, HP Stream 13-c010nr features an Intel Celeron N2840 processor. Often found in budget laptops, that dual-core Celeron is clocked at 2.16GHz base speed with turbo taking it up to 2.6GHz when need arises. The processor doesn’t do particularly good job in performance tests, although suffices for basic computing needs like browsing, printing and YouTube.

There’s 2GB DDR3L RAM installed on-board, which is rather small amount these days. It’d be good idea to have more if you’re into multitasking. Sadly, more RAM can’t be installed in this model, so you’ll have to go with the default 2GB.

Solid-state drives are in. Especially in these modern subnotebooks. HP Stream 13-c010nr’s drive is a 32GB eMMC. It’s not indeed huge in storage size, but faster than old hard drives. If you’re replacing your old laptop the user experience will be smoother with this one, although again, the mere 2GB RAM will limit the performance to a degree. You can’t fix little memory with a fast storage drive, after all. What you can however do is to use a memory card or 1TB free Microsoft cloud storage to get more space for your files.

How about screen and graphics?

The display in this model is 13.3 inches big. That’s pretty much the only difference between this and the other Stream model. The screen resolution is 1366×768. I’d usually vouch for a Full HD screen, but in this case the small display size justifies such a basic resolution. It’s not a touchscreen however, so you won’t be taking advantage of all Windows 8.1 (64-bit) features.

The graphics performance of HP Stream 13-c010nr could be described rather poor. The laptop features an integrated Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail) chip which is famous for running games slowly. You can realistically expect all the latest, graphics-heavy games have unplayable frame rates well below 20, especially when there’s only 2GB RAM installed. I’m talking about heavyweight titles like Thief, Wolfenstein: TNO and Battlefield. Some older games like World of Warcraft and Minecraft would run with acceptable FPS on low settings.

Connections

Ability to hook up peripherals is important, even in these small subnotebooks. The HP Stream offers 3 USB ports for that. One of them is USB 3.0 which you can also use to attach an external hard drive, giving you more storage space to work with.

The laptop features a WiFi adapter with Bluetooth 4.0 support. No Ethernet (wired) port is available.

HP Stream 13-c010nr is also lacking an optical drive – hence the small size. To overcome this, you can of course use an external DVD drive that connects to USB 3.0. In addition, you can also use the microSD memory card reader for data transferring or increasing storage space.

If you’re into video meetings, you’ll be pleased to know the computer has a HD webcam and an integrated microphone.

Other things to keep in mind?

Probably the best thing about this HP laptop is the portability. It weighs just 2.8 pounds which is lot less than a typical 15.6 incher. The battery lasts up to 7 hours 45 minutes thanks to the small screen and power efficient components. As a result, the notebook is ideal pick for students, travelers and other people on the go.

Like with any small laptop, the keyboard and trackpad take all the space on the lower part, leaving the 10-key numeric pad out of this HP.

The HP made some kind of a deal with Microsoft and as a result, new HP Streams come with one year subscription for MS Office 365. Essentially, you’ll have access to Word, Excel and Powerpoint full versions for one year for free.

Verdict

HP Stream 13-c010nr is a notebook for somebody whose not too keen on performance but is looking for portability and a cool brand. The core specs of Celeron processor and 2GB RAM can indeed deal with everyday computing well, but reach their limits quickly with demanding use or serious gaming. The strengths of this laptop lie in the portability: it’s very convenient to take a 2.8 pounder with you, and the battery will last almost for a full day. For the price, especially with the included MS Office 365 subscription, I’d say this HP Stream is a solid buy.


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