The HP Stream 11 was first launched in 2015 and it wowed us with its combination of a low price, excellent usability and the inclusion of a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office365. It’s still available, nearly two years later, and it’s even more of a bargain now, with the price having fallen from £180 to a measly £150.
At the time, we compared it with the Asus EeeBook X205TA, a laptop we preferred for its even lower price and lighter weight, but you can’t buy that machine anymore, and since the HP Stream 11 still represents a great value way to lay your hands on a full-blown Windows 10 machine it remains one of a great choice.
You can read our original HP Stream 11 review below.
HP STREAM 11 REVIEW: DESIGN AND BUILD
The Stream 11 is available in three colours in the UK: grey, pink and the blue model we had for review. The lid is made from one solid colour, but the palm rest and keyboard tray have a dotted pattern and blue gradient that, together, look strikingly like the skin of a tropical fish. It’s perhaps a bit toy-like for our tastes, but whether it’s too garish for you will be down to personal preference. Build quality is great for the price, with the chassis not giving way to our prods and attempts to bend it. It’s much heavier than the Asus EeeBook X205TA, though: the HP’s 1.3kg is a noticeable step up from the 980g Asus.
The keyboard is good, too. It fills up most of the keyboard tray with very small borders on the left and right, meaning it’s spacious enough for people with fairly large hands. The white, island-style keys have a reasonable amount of travel and felt comfortable enough to type on for extended periods. Taps and swipes on the touchpad are responsive, too, although we had problems with the physical buttons. If you perform a physical click at the bottom-middle of the touchpad, you won’t get a left or right-click in Windows; you get nothing at all. This will be a problem for users who are used to using the bottom of their touchpads for clicking and isn’t something we see very often, which is frustrating.
The Stream 11 one-ups the Asus EeeBook X205TA in terms of connectivity with a USB3 port in addition to a second regular USB port. This is useful for transferring large files from USB storage devices and even working directly off a high-speed USB hard disk, although you’ll be wasting your year of free Office365 if you do this. There’s also a full-size HDMI port for connecting to a TV or external monitor.
The 1,366×768 pixel screen is usable in most reasonable conditions, although working outdoors will be a struggle as the backlight isn’t very bright. Colour coverage is a meagre 62.1% of the sRGB colour gamut, which is admittedly still better than the Asus, and contrast is rated at 325:1. Horizontal viewing angles are reasonably wide, and with a bit of hinge adjustment, the viewing experience is perfectly adequate for such a cheap laptop.
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