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[Review] HP Stream 11-r010nr, Chromebooks beware!

Pros: Low price tag, SSD storage unit, portable design, last generation Celeron processor, 1 year office subscription.
Cons: 2GB of RAM limits multitasking capabilities, no DVD drive.

In the PC space, Microsoft has had very little competition with its Windows dominance. Apple has been a player since the beginning, but it has never been interested in exploring the low cost space, something that Microsoft and its partners definitely grabbed for themselves.

However, Chromebooks appeared relatively not too long ago, and have proven to be a challenged thanks to their rising popularity. This is the review of the HP Stream 11-r010nr, a so-called netbook that aims for a new level of low-price, most definitely to make a stand against Google’s Chrome OS. Let’s see what it is all about.

Review of the HP Stream 11-r010nr, Pros and cons

Overall design 

 The first thing you’ll notice about the HP Stream 11-r010nr is its electric blue color, a differentiator very common at this price range. A white keyboard sits at the base in a 11.6 inch size that will prove to be the ultimate portable form factor for computers.

This thing is designed to go everywhere. The screen has a 1366x768 resolution that will work great with the smaller size, and it also offers an anti-reflective coating that will help fight reflections when you're working in direct sunlight. This could potentially mean a much better use outdoors or in a room with lots of windows, for example.

 We should also note that this is a very light laptop, weighing just 2.6 pounds and measuring less than one inch of thickness which makes it incredibly portable.

 Power and multitasking

 In this review of the HP Stream 11-r010nr we find an Intel Celeron N3050 processor, a low-voltage, entry-level chip with two cores clocked at 1.6 GHz, that can reach a maximum speed of 2.16 GHz with 2MB of cache.  It’s suited for office work and multimedia playback, as well as web browsing, and not much else; though the low consuming factor will benefit battery life.

 The multitasking corner follows the same philosophy with 2 GB of SDRAM (DDR3L) available, common at this range as well as Chromebooks. You’ll be able to have a couple of applications open simultaneously, but heavier sessions will result on loading times.

What games can I play?

The very short version, unsurprisingly, is that gaming is not adequate for this machine. Equiped with an integrated HD graphics chip 2D games and older classics should be playable without any slowdowns, and modern titles with lower requirements like The Sims 4 might be played on the lowest settings. Anything beyond that is not viable, though.

Battery life is pretty good

HP claims up to 10 hours and 30 minutes in the HP Stream 11-r010nr without having to plug it in with the 2 cell lithium polymer battery included. Even if we expect a bit less, that’s an amazing result for a laptop that’s meant to be portable first and foremost.

Storage and connectivity

Getting down to connectivity first, we have one USB 3.0 port and one 2.0 port. The audio combo jack and SD card reader are givens, but the HDMI port is unexpected, in the best possible way, since most machines this size don’t come with one. There's also an HD webcam and DTS audio technology for an enhanced audio experience.

Finally, when it come to storage we find a speedy 32GB solid state drive. This might not seem like much, but it’s precisely what these kinds of laptops tend to offer thanks to the fast performance and online-oriented work. Besides, with today’s SD cards reaching unprecedented amounts of data, storage shouldn’t be much of a problem. A 64 GB microSD could go a long way, for example.

What’s the verdict?

After doing this review of the the HP Stream 11-r010nr, we confidently reinforce what we said at the beginning: this is a Chromebook competitor more than anything else. There are, however, two secret weapons Microsoft uses: the first is 1 TB of on-the-cloud storage in OneDrive for one year.

The second one is a year-long subscription of Office-365, which will net you the usual goodies like Word and Excel, something Chromebooks can’t brag about. If you’re looking for an low-cost office-friendly machine with a small size, this is definitely an option to look for.