If some thing makes HP Stream 200-010 Mini stand out from the crowd, it’s the looks. It’s not your average grey box of a desktop, but rather a compact blueish frame with a weight of mere 1.4 pounds. Of course, the design only tells part of the story – there’s also the question about performance and general usefulness. And to these I’m trying to find an answer below.
Amazon falsely claims Intel Celeron T3000 is the processor, but that’s a six years old fossil, and certainly not put in modern computers anymore. The real CPU of this HP Stream is Intel Celeron 2957U, a late 2013 release with two cores and 1.4GHz clock speed. A true Celeron, there’s no turbo boost or other “performance” features available, so you’re left with a very basic processor. It has enough power for video streaming and other light multimedia activities this desktop is clearly intended for, but serious multitasking and demanding applications should be left for faster processors for sure.
HP Stream 200-010 Mini has 2 GB RAM installed on one module. It’s hardly enough these days, so I would recommend adding more to speed up the computer. There’s one free slot available on the mainboard so upgrading the RAM to at least 6GB is a trivial task to do. The maximum memory supported is 16GB, which can be achieved with two 8GB unbuffered DIMMs.
The storage drive is a solid-state drive. You’ll get lightning fast start up and program load times, although the storage space itself is just 32GB. The small size is further reinforced by the fact that Windows 8.1 takes close to half of that space. So not much is left, and if you want more, considering swapping the drive to a larger one.
HP Stream 200-010 Mini is not made with gamers in mind. The graphics unit is Intel HD (Haswell) which works for video streaming but not really for serious gaming. You might get away with playing older titles (like Dirt 3, CS:Go and Minecraft) where frame rates would be above 30 on low settings. But with new games, for example Battlefield 3 or 4, the 20 FPS threshold would hardly be reached.
USB ports are alright, there are four version 3.0 ports available. Video connections are HDMI and DisplayPort outs, so all kinds of external displays will work with this HP. Also, a dual monitor setup is supported thanks to the two video outputs.
For networking, you may choose wired Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) or regular wireless connection. Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported.
No DVD drive is available on HP Stream 200-010 Mini, so small is the unit. This can be overcome with an external DVD drive. There’s also a media card reader installed that supports SD, SDHC and SDXC formats.
Other noteworthy things
HP Stream 200-010 Mini can be considered a portable desktop in a sense. You need it plugged in at all times when you want to use it (there’s no battery), but carrying it around should be easy thanks to the 1.4 pounds weight. Furthermore, the 5.7″ x 5.7″ x 2.2″ (L x W x H) dimensions make sure the computer leaves a minimal footprint.
Display is not shipped with it, but USB keyboard and optical mouse are.
From what I could read from the specifications, there shouldn’t be bloatware installed on this computer. That’s indeed a good thing, and at least many budget laptops come with loads of unnecessary software.
Summing it up
HP Stream 200-010 Mini seems to work for one thing very well: basic computing, with emphasis on lightweight multimedia use. It’s a good pick for the heart of your home theater, especially if you add some memory to give performance boost. It stays easily out of sight thanks to the favorable dimensions. And even if somebody sees it, it’s no problem, because at least to my eye the desktop just looks cool.
But as said in the beginning, looks are not everything, and it’s the more demanding use this little computer isn’t suitable for. Especially gaming would hog all of its resources very fast and lagging would happen. But considering the price, if you’re not planning to do complex stuff on it, I can only recommend the HP for your home entertainment activities.