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You’ll want the best netbook and the best laptop for the job if you’re a student (or worker) on the go. One solid option is the HP Stream. This 11.6-inch laptop is powered by the Intel Celeron N3060 dual-core processor with an Intel HD Graphics 400 graphics card. Offering enough battery life to make it through the day, the Stream is an excellent choice for people who need a durable netbook workhorse. It may not be the best laptop but it runs perfectly.
This HP Stream laptop review covers everything great about this netbook, from its variety of available color options and technical specs to the one year of access to Office 365 & OneDrive that’s included when you purchase a Stream laptop.
The specs on the Stream are decent for a notebook. While it lacks the power for heavy gaming or 3D editing, it should be adequate for basic word processing tasks and video streaming. The Celeron N3060 processor runs 1.6 GHz (up to 2.48 GHz), working hand-in-hand with the Intel HD Graphics 400 graphics card and 4 GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM. The visual performance isn’t crystal clear (mainly due to the low resolution of the TN panel), but it will be fine for work/school use. If you prefer a touchscreen device instead, take a look at our Lenovo 300e review). Take a look at our HP Zbook G5 review for a laptop that comes with 32GB ram.
Like most laptops, the Stream comes with a laptop charger (45 W AC adapter). Internally, this little network is powered by a 2-cell, 37.69 Wh Li-ion battery, which provides it with enough battery life to get you through the day. HP claims the average battery life is 10.45, but you can realistically expect to get between 7 to 8 hours per charge (if you’re interested in a longer-lasting device read our HP Spectre x360 13 8th gen review). Unfortunately, this netbook doesn’t have any quick-charging technology so you may have to plug it in if your workday runs long. You may want to check out our HP Stream 14 Laptop review for a laptop that stays for the whole day.
Connection options are fairly limited on this netbook. You won’t find anything new like a Mini DisplayPort or a USB-C plug, but it does have one USB 3.1 port, one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Internal storage is not a strong point of this device. After Windows 10 is installed on the 32 GB of eMMC storage you will only have about 15 GB of usable storage left. Fortunately, the Stream does have a microSD port so you can use that to store larger files.
The Stream may be a lower budget device but it’s built fairly well. Both the keyboard and the body have minimal flex, and the keyboard itself is high-quality. The trackpad, although sensitive, is a good size relative to the netbook. The high-definition TN panel is surrounded by giant, unsightly bezels on all four sides. Fortunately, the screen is covered with an anti-glare coating that takes away from the poor viewing angles. The bottom-facing internal speakers offer decent performance, and the MicroSD card slot sits nearly flush to the body (which reduces the potential of snagging during travel).
If you want this netbook, be prepared to spend nearly $400 (for a cheaper option, check out our HP Chromebook 14 review). Included in this price are a full year of Microsoft Office 365 and 1 TB of cloud storage with OneDrive. You do get a limited warranty from HP but sadly there aren’t any protection plans available for this netbook. The device scores a 3.7 out of 5 stars based on 1,476 Amazon reviews, so the lack of a protection plan may present an issue later on. Still, for the money, this netbook provides a decent value.
In this HP Stream laptop review, we covered the capabilities and limitations of the Stream. If you’re looking for a basic work/school device that’s not a Chromebook, then the Stream could be a good choice for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a fully-capable multi-purpose laptop, then we would suggest you look into a laptop with higher specs.