Review of the Laptop Stream Notebook
Don’t be fooled by the HP Laptop Stream 11’s cute, candy-hued exterior — it has some serious computing cred inside. The $200 HP Stream 11 delivers long battery life, great audio and strong performance for the price. HP cuts some corners by using a dim display and the laptop’s bottom gets uncomfortably warm, but the lightweight Stream 11 is one of the best sub-$200 Windows laptops on the market and a great choice for kids.
You either love or hate the toy-like look of the updated HP Stream 11; there is no middle ground here. It comes in a vibrant aqua blue or purple, where the shade infuses everything from its horizontally grained cover to its touchpad, but not the white keyboard. This laptop could be a great choice for students who just want something fun and small to bring to school.. However, the Stream doesn’t look professional enough to bring to a meeting with corporate investors.
What immediately jumps out about the HP Stream 11’s 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 screen, is just how washed out the colors look. Throughout the Dunkirk trailer, for example, the sky lacked the yellow “aged film footage” tone that it had on the Samsung Chromebook 3, instead showing a dull blue and white.
I wasn’t expecting very high audio quality from this little $200 laptop, but the HP Stream 11 blew me away. For one thing, its dual speakers actually sound dynamic and full, even though they’re located at the bottom front of the device. These speakers definitely sound more intense than the ones on the Samsung Chromebook 3. The speakers on the Lenovo Ideapad 100S-14 are quiet but decent, but not quite as good as the ones on those two machines. The Dell Inspiron 14 3000’s speakers are a distant fourth.