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HP Stream 14-ax020nr Honest Review of an entry level cloudbook

  • Pros:
  • HD Display
  • Over 10 hours of battery life
  • Lightweight design (3.17 pounds)
  • 1 Year subscription to Office 365
  • Cons:
  • Celeron processor
  • No dedicated graphics chip
With the price that most entry level laptops have on their backs its pretty hard for someone to NOT be able to afford an entry level computer. What's more, entry level computers have gotten more and more advanced over the years to the point where an entry level machine now is equivalent in performance to a low-mid range laptop from a few years back.

Today we're gonna take a closer look at one of the most attractive new cloudbooks to hit the market, both thanks to its key components as well as its very friendly price point. Without further ado, lets get on with our review of the HP Stream 14-ax020nr.

Key Specs
Processor:    Intel Celeron N3060 (1.6 GHz)    
Storage: 32 GB eMMC
Display: 14" (HD)
Graphics: Intel Graphics

An exciting design

As it happens with many entry level computers, especially those belonging to the HP Steam lineup, the HP Stream 14-ax020nr makes a strong bet towards a bright violet design tone. This makes it clear right off the bat that this is not what you'd call a "serious workstation" but rather a low level computer designed to help you out on tasks that aren't power hungry.

It doesn't really have any of the "fancy" stuff that you'll find once you increase your budget by a couple of hundred bucks. What I mean by that is that the display, instead of boding a 14 inch  Full HD resolution, packs a standard 1366 by 768 pixel resolution with brightview technology and a WLED panel.

Being a 14 inch laptop also means that you're looking at a pretty lightweight computer, in this case HP's model weighs slightly above 3.1 pounds. That's very impressive when you consider we've just reviewed a convertible which with 11.6 inches to its name weighs even more than HP's latest Steam model.

It's also very thin, marking just 0.7 inches, making it very easily portable, something that can't always be said for most entry level laptops.

What about performance?

We said it from the beginning and we stand by it; this is not a hardcore computer. On the contrary, the HP Stream 14-ax020nr in review packs an Intel Celeron N3060 processor that works at a base clock speed of 1.6 GHz and can stretch said speed towards 2.48 GHz when pressed with more demanding tasks.

This is, in essence, a low level processor which should not be used for power hungry software and in fact, its 32 GB of eMMC storage, don't really allow you to go ahead and install programs that the machine won't be able to handle properly.

What can I do with this processor?

Stuff you can do without a big lagging in performance are stuff like browsing the web, watch movies, chat with friends, edit documents and that's about it. This computer is not meant for tasks such as editing video or gaming as doing so would introduce you to a very, very, painful experience.

What about RAM?

RAM, as is to be expected on a budget device such as this one, comes in a 4GB DDR3 module. That's standard within budget computers such as this one and it only serves to further prove the fact that this computer was not designed to do heavy duty tasks but rather light weight tasks such as the ones mentioned above.

Tell me about the battery life

One big pro that we've found on our review of the HP Stream 14-ax020nr is regarding battery life, as HP promises up to 10 hours and 45 minutes of full autonomy away from a power socket. Typically, it's good practice to take manufacturer numbers with a grain of salt as their measures will typically differ from what a normal user actually does in their computers.

That said, it's safe to assume that actual battery life for actual real-life usage is somewhere between 7-8 hours depending on how much videos you watch, your screen's level of brightness, use of bluetooth and WiFi and so forth.

More stuff worth knowing

Aside from performance and battery life, you should also know that despite having a 32 GB storage unit, you've also got a access to a one year subscription of Office 365 with 1TB of storage on One Drive, as well as access to all the key Microsoft programs such as Power Point, Word, Excel and One Note.

In regards to the connectivity of the HP Stream 14-ax020nr we've got WiFi 802.11 ac connectivity with delivers a download speed that's up to three times faster than your run of the mill b/g/n connectivity that's more mainstream within budget laptops.

There's also a couple of USB 3.1 ports, a USB 2.0 port, HDMI output, SD Card reader and a headphone jack. For obvious reasons there's no DVD drive in this computer.

Is it worth buying?

Finally we've reached the end of the line in this review and answering that question depends mainly on the usage you plan on giving this machine. If you're a programmer, a graphical designer or even a video editor or gamer then this machine will invariably fall short to your needs.

However, if you're looking for a travel laptop or your computing needs aren't all that demanding as you basically use the computer to video chat, watch movies and browse the web a little bit then you should be fine and there's no need to spend more money on a machine that will give you more then what you'd actually take advantage off.

We love the lightweight design, extensive battery life and 4GB of RAM (some models in this price range have 2 GB) and believe this to be a good option if you're looking for a budget computer and your expected use is pretty light.


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