HP Stream 11 review
Processor: 2.16GHz Intel Celeron N2840, RAM: 2GB, Size: 300x206x20mm, Weight: 1.3kg, Screen size: 11.3in, Screen resolution: 1,366x768, Graphics adaptor: Intel HD Graphics, Total storage: 32GB eMMC
Asus surprised us last year with the EeeBook X205TA. The £180 ultraportable was an absolute bargain, particularly when you consider that includes one year of Microsoft Office365, which by itself is worth £60.
HP's Stream 11 offers pretty much the same deal: a sub-£200 price, a free year of Office365, 1TB OneDrive online storage and a pleasing design. Both machines are similar on paper, but there are a few key differences that gives one a very slight edge.
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 1,366x768 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.