HP Stream 14 Review – Specs & Performance 
HP Stream 14-Inch Laptop Review
6.8/10 Our Rating
Billed as Windows’ answer to Chromebooks, the HP Stream 14 laptop sports an insanely attractive price tag and appearance when viewed on the shelves. Unless you’re a student on a strict budget or a casual user looking to perform basic tasks, however, we recommend leaving it right there.
To bring the price that low, a lot of manufacturing corners have been cut and what we’re left with is a machine that performs lower than the sum of its parts, what’s left of them. It ambles through tasks, creaking and groaning all the way, and its screen and speakers leave a lot to be desired.
Having said all of that, this laptop is not without its positives. It excels in the area of battery performance, and despite its all-plastic build, it feels reasonably sturdy. When you consider the fact that this laptop offers the full Windows 10 experience on a budget, it begins to look less like a hard sell, especially if you’re willing to temper your expectations accordingly.
Design and Appearance
The first thought you’re likely to have about the HP Stream 14 is that it looks seriously good, whichever color you end up settling for (it’s offered in black, white, blue, and pink colors). Your second thought, after you give in to your urge to fill your hands with it is that it feels good to the touch too.
Laptops in the Stream line have been significantly pared down to accommodate their budget prices, but HP makes a point of ensuring that the fact doesn’t become apparent just by looking at them. It’s on closer examination that they begin to reveal their kinks. The Stream 14 looks for all the world like a premium laptop, all sleek matte plastic, and brushed aluminum texture. The plastic chassis feels solid enough, but there’s more than a hint of flex when you lift the lid or work on the white keyboard. The palm rests give off strong plasticky vibes as well.
The Stream 14 goes against the grain a bit in the sense that it sports a 14-inch screen as opposed to the regular 13-inches that others in the line serve up. In spite of this extra bulk, this laptop is reasonably lightweight, tipping the scales at a little over 3 pounds, which is par for the course for laptops of a similar form factor.
The screen is bordered by moderate bezels, with a webcam fitted to the top bezel and the bottom one sporting the HP logo.
Ports and Connections
The HP Stream 14 is not an ultraportable, and this should ordinarily mean that there’s enough real estate along its flanks to accommodate any number of ports. What we get, in contrast, and perhaps keeping with the latest trends, are relatively slim pickings.
You’ll find the vast majority of ports along this laptop’s left flank, including a full-size HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, a full-size SD card slot, an audio headset jack, and a Kensington lock. The right side is less crowded, with only the power connector occupying the top end. This is a fairly basic port offering, as you can tell, and the absence of an Ethernet port means you’ll be relying solely on wireless connections (which are handled by WiFi and Bluetooth, by the way) for internet connection. The full-size SD card reader is a positive, but that is perhaps offset by the fact that it was included to make up for the laptop’s decidedly paltry memory space offering.
Keyboard and Touchpad
This laptop’s chiclet keyboard with white tile keys may be good, or it may not be. That would depend largely on an individual’s viewpoint. The keys are reasonably well-spaced, but they require a fair amount of pressure to register a keystroke, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. The keyboard isn’t backlit, so you’ll be obliged to do all your tasks on it while there’s daylight.
One other thing, the keyboard flexes a lot, giving it a plasticky feel that doesn’t make typing particularly enjoyable, even though you’ll generally get by without too much trouble. The touchpad is what you might expect a budget laptop’s touchpad to be: moderately competent without being outstanding. For a better experience, you should consider doing away with most of the multitouch settings.
Expecting an awesome panel on a $600 budget laptop is a bit like wanting to go on a ship cruise with taxi fare. But even with these much-diminished standards, the HP Stream 14 laptop’s screen manages to underwhelm massively.
Its resolution of 1366 x 768 is only good enough for streaming videos and surfing the web. For video or photo editing, you’ll find this panel wholly inadequate. At 220 nits, the screen is bright enough, but the screen is also overwhelmingly reflective, which can put a spanner in most works. The screen can purportedly produce 81.5 percent of the sRGB color gamut, but a Delta-E rating of 3.86 means that colors appear washed out and text looks a little blurry.
Our impression of this laptop’s screen is that it is merely passable, definitely not something to get excited about.
The speakers in this laptop are surprisingly good, but their unfortunate placement takes away a lot of their pep. HP decided to locate the speakers underneath the chassis, with the result that the downward-firing speakers fire straight into your laps, producing somewhat muffled sounds.
It’s a frustrating design choice since the speakers appear to be decent otherwise. Of course, there’s no bass, but the high and mid sounds are well proportioned, and the speakers are loud enough to fill a room with sound.
Graphics and Gaming
With its Intel UHD integrated graphics, the Stream 14 can not be expected to execute any graphics-intensive program without collapsing into a whirling mess. As it is, it struggles with even basic tasks.
For regular computing tasks such as web surfing, word processing, and video streaming, it will be able to pull through without too much ado. If you get ambitious and try to run photo or video-editing programs, or anything that puts a strain on its graphics processor, you should be prepared to meet with stiff, loud resistance.
By the same token, gaming on this laptop is a bit of a non-starter, unless you’re willing to content yourself with basic games. And when we say basic, we mean really basic.
The Stream 14 laptop’s battery performance is like an oasis sticking out of a very hot, arid desert. You can call it the laptop’s brightest spot, alongside its appealing appearance. The batteries in this laptop can last a full workday, and if all you do is word processing and simple computing tasks, you can get the batteries to last up to 9 hours. This is one area where the low-powered CPU counts as a positive.
Cooling and Noise Emission
Since the Stream 14 only offers enough power to get through the lightest and most basic of computing tasks, it manages to maintain its cool the vast majority of the time. By contrast, it emits a high-pitched whiny sound in the thick of action that’s really unpleasant to the ears. The fans also tend to be excitable, starting themselves up at the first hint of adversity and maintaining a racket throughout. While the laptop is a cool customer, a silent one it is not.
Performance-wise, this laptop will not set hearts racing, However, criticism of this laptop’s performance should be tempered by an examination of its components, which cannot be described as high-powered by any means. An Intel Celeron CPU (offering base speeds of 1.6GHz), Intel HD Graphics 400, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of eMMc flash storage make up the full cast of this laptop’s hardware. In the best of times, these are not spectacularly impressive specs.
In the meantime, while this laptop handles all the basic computing tasks you’d expect laptops in its category to, it doesn’t handle them with any pizzazz or flair. In fact, we found the performance lacking in many aspects. The laptop lagged severely, even with basic tasks such as loading the web browser and typing out documents on One Drive, where you would normally not expect it to.
In our spreadsheet and multitasking tests, the HP Stream 14 struggled massively, creaking and groaning the whole time. We didn’t try to run it through CPU and GPU intensive tasks such as 3D image rendering, video transcoding, and Photoshop, for fear that it may spontaneously combust.
The HP Stream 14 is a budget laptop in everything but appearance. And while there’s nothing wrong with shopping in the bargain basement for your laptop, you should be aware; what you see is what you get. What you get is a no-frills, bare-bones laptop that rarely ventures beyond the ordinary, in terms of performance.
Its list of positives includes impressive battery performance, a pretty solid build, and a price tag that looks generous. Throw in a full year of Microsoft 365 subscription into the deal and it begins to look like an enticing prospect for bargain hunters. On the flip side, sub-par performance, paltry onboard storage capacity, a so-so screen, and an unimpressive keyboard are major gripes.
If you’re looking for a laptop that offers all the basics as well as the Windows 10 experience on a strict budget, the HP Stream 14 might just be what you need.
|CPU||Intel Celeron N3060 (1.6GHz)|
|Company Website||www. hp.com|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD Graphics 400|
|Hard Drive Size||32GB|
|Highest Available Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Ports (excluding USB)||USB 3.0, Audio-in, Kensington Lock, SD card slot, USB 2.0|
|Size||13.3 x 8.9 x 0.70 inches|
|Touchpad Size||3.7 x 2.5 inches|
|Warranty/Support||1-year standard warranty|
|Wi-Fi Model||Intel Dual-Band Wireless AC 7265, Bluetooth|
HP Stream 11 Review | Trusted Reviews
An 11-inch laptop that’s incredible value for money
- Exceptional value for money
- Excellent battery life
- Eye-catching design
- Bundled with Office 365 Personal
- Unspectacular HD display
- Slightly iffy touchpad
- Review Price: £179. 99
- 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768 display
- 2GB RAM
- 32GB built-in storage
- SD card slot
- USB 2.0
- USB 3.0
What is the HP Stream 11?
The HP Stream 11 is a laptop aimed predominantly at students, and it’s available for an extraordinarily low £179.99. For that you get a portable 11-inch laptop that even includes an Office 365 subscription worth £59.99 – it’s one of the key things that makes it perfect for students.
While it’s undoubtedly a basic machine, the HP Stream 11 isn’t as plain as you might expect. The speakers and battery life are excellent for the price, and it’s not bad-looking either. However, the 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768 display is a weak point. Would you be better off shelling out a bit more cash on the Full HD screen of the Toshiba Chromebook 2? Possibly, but this remains an outstanding deal for a very good laptop.
Watch our HP Stream 11 video review
Related: Best Laptops, Ultrabooks and Hybrids
The HP Stream 11 is a cute little thing. It comes in two versions, ‘horizon blue’ and ‘orchid magenta’ – our review sample came in the former colour scheme. It stands out and in a good way – the child in me rather likes the bold, friendly blue design.
The plastic itself is soft to the touch, and any sweaty marks it picks up from clammy fingers fade away in seconds. An HP logo cut from a piece of shiny silver metal sits in the centre of the lid, while four rubber feet sit on the bottom and stop the PC from sliding around on table tops.
It lacks the elegance of something like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2015 or MacBook Air, but the Stream is fun and visually pleasing. Too many budget laptops come wrapped up in dull silver or grey – a bit of variety is a very welcome change.
What you’ll find when you open the HP Stream 11 up is less attractive. The bezels on all sides of the screen are large and the base unit is clad in a two-tone, PowerPoint-style gradient effect. The top face of the keyboard dock closest to the screen is the same blue as the rest of the PC, but the side closest to the trackpad is turquoise. It looks naff, and is reminiscent of FC Barcelona’s ugly 2012/13 away kit. What’s more, it’s dotted in a load of small, silver spots. What inspired this look is beyond us, because it’s not great.
In this position, it’s apparent that build quality isn’t sublime. The plastic frame that surrounds the keyboard element is sharp and not quite flush with the top of the base. It felt rough on our palms and wrists when we typed and produced a scratchy sound whenever we rubbed against it. We also noticed that lots of flecks of dust got caught in the little gap between the frame and body almost immediately.
The screen element feels a little flimsy, and is easy to bend with your fingers. The hinge also allows you to force the screen several degrees further back than it should go, which isn’t reassuring. That said, the design and build quality is still above average for a laptop this price.
While it’s light, at 1.28kg, it feels a little heavier than it is. That’s due to the fact that it’s essentially an 11-inch laptop in the body of a 13-incher. The 11-inch MacBook Air is significantly lighter, at 1.08kg, but it also costs several times as much as the Stream 11. We found it fairly comfortable to balance on one hand while typing with the other for a few minutes at a time. For the price, we have no complaints.
You won’t have any problems carrying the Stream around with you, either. It’s only 19.7mm thick and at 300mm wide, it’ll fit comfortably into any rucksack or messenger bag. Just make sure you don’t stick it in the same compartment as your house keys, because the plastic body is prone to picking up scratches.
A strong selection of ports is available on the base. USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and HDMI slots sit on the right side, while the charging port, SD card slot and Kensington security lock are on the left. Vitally, any SD card you use doesn’t stick out at all – this means you can expand the limited 32GB built-in storage without inconvenience.
HP Stream 11: Screen and Sound
The screen of the Stream 11 is nothing special. It’s an 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768 affair, and it can’t hold a candle to the Toshiba Chromebook 2’s bright and vibrant 1,920 x 1,080 IPS display. It’s a little grainy when looked at closely – certainly compared to most mobile phones – but it’s typical of laptops this price.
Brightness is also an issue, though. We think it could with a couple of levels above the top setting it offers. You’ll struggle to use it outdoors during the day, despite the fact that the non-glossy screen has an anti-glare coating. It’s fine indoors, though.
Colours are really washed out, with the brightest of reds looking pink and the juiciest of oranges appearing slightly beige. Subtle differences in the brightest colours don’t show up either, making everything look a little soft. Black levels are poor too, with even the deepest of shadows looking grey.
Related: Best Windows 8 Laptops, Tablets, Convertibles and PCs
Viewing angles are quite good, however, so you’ll still be able to hold mini movie screenings with a friend or two. Ultimately, the screen is exactly what we’d expect from a laptop this cheap. The important point is it’s good enough for the Stream 11 to remain useable.
DTS provides the audio, which is delivered through a pair of stereo speakers that sit on the bottom of the base, towards the front edge of the Stream. They’re impressively loud too, making the Stream 11 good for listening to music – I could hear the lovely tones of Marvin Gaye two rooms away.
Related: Best Headphones
They can also stand up to the sound of a noisy shower, which is good, and you won’t need to go anywhere near the top volume setting with a pair of headphones plugged in. The only downside is that, due to the placement of the speakers, they’re prone to getting muffled when you place the Stream 11 on a soft surface, like a bed.
- Buy Direct from HP
Unlike other sites, we test every laptop we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main laptop for the review period
Tested for at least a week
Used consistent benchmarks for fair comparisons with other laptops
Reviewed using respected industry benchmarks and real world use
Aatif made his long-rumoured return to Trusted Reviews in 2018, having spent a wonderful 10 months writing all sorts for the site in 2015. During his self-imposed exile, he visited many faraway lands …
Why trust our journalism?
Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.
Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.
Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.
We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.
Reviews Notebook HP Stream 13-c100ur [N8J60EA] | HP Notebook PCs
|Date to Market||2014|
13-inch version of a compact entry-level notebook designed for everyday use. The device received integrated graphics and a basic set of ports.
|Platform (code name)|
|Number of cores||2|
|Clock frequency||1600 MHz|
|Turbo frequency||2 160 MHz|
|Processor power consumption (TDP)||6 W|
|dust-, moisture, shock resistance|
Size and weight
|Width||333. 2 mm|
|Thickness||19.5 mm 90 010|
|Screen size 9001 0||13.3″|
|Screen resolution||1366 x 768|
RAM 9 0009
|Memory size||2 GB|
|Hard disk capacity||32GB|
|Optical drive (OD D)|
|Graphics adapter||Intel HD Graphics|
|Graphics adapter type||integrated|
Camera and sound
Keyboard and touchpad
|Digital field (Numpad)|
|Factory “cyrillic” on the keys|
|Total USB ports||2|
|USB 3.0||1 unit|
|USB 3.1 Type C|
|Audio outputs (3.5 mm jack)||1 pc|
Battery and operating time
|Number of battery cells 9001 0||3 cells|
|Energy storage||37 Wh|
|Operating system||Windows 10|
|Package|| Power adapter , documentation 9Mouse
Reviews Notebook HP Stream 14-ax009ur 1TQ81EA
|Video processor manufacturer||Intel|
|Graphics controller||Intel HD Graphics|
|HDD Capacity||32GB eMMC|
|Diagonal screen||14″(35. 5 cm)|
|Wi-Fi||IEEE 802.11 b/g/n/ac|
|Feature||DTS Studio Sound|
|Matrix resolution||0.3 MPix|
|Battery life||up to 10 hours|
|HDMI output||1 pc|
|USB 2.0 port type A||1 pc|
|USB 3.1 port type A||2 pc|
|Headphone jack .|