[Review] HP Stream 11-ak0040nr: Not For Power Users

Pros
  • 64 GB of eMMC Storage
  • Up to 13 hours of battery life
  • Ample Connectivity
  • Compact and lightweight design
Cons
  • HD display
  • Non-upgradable RAM & Storage
Not everyone requires a state-of-the-art laptop that features all the latest bells and whistles. Some people really just want a laptop for the occasional usage of reading emails, surfing the web, and keeping up with social media.

It's with that in mind that HP has managed to achieve great popularity over the years on its Stream lineup. A lineup of compact, entry-level laptops with great battery life that features the necessary specs to get on with your basic everyday tasks I've listed above. Today we examine one such laptop, the HP Stream 11-ak0040nr.

This 11-inch laptop has managed to climb on the best-selling charts thanks to its balanced specs and low price point. However, it's hardly for everyone, and in this review of the HP Stream 11-ak0040nr we explore precisely who it's for.

Design, Display & Keyboard

It is now possible for budget laptops to come in an attractive design. The HP Stream 11-ak0040nr certainly looks its part, with a matte finish on the chassis and keyboard deck that provides it with some much-needed grip, while at the same time not being too tacky which would have ruined the overall look of the laptop. Its bold, stylish design is complemented by the silver detailing on the laptop which gives it an air of elegance.

The 11-inch display comes with an IPS panel, giving richer colors and better viewing angles than your typical TN screen. Subjectively speaking this translates to a nice experience while watching movies or reading on it, although you shouldn't buy this laptop expecting the vibrant colors you see on a MacBook Air, for example. However, as you'd expect on a budget laptop like this one, it doesn't feature a Full HD display, but rather a standard HD display, something that might be a deal-breaker to many of you.

The laptop is built with plastic all around, although it does feel very durable and strong when in use. There are no creaking sounds when you apply pressure on the laptop, even at its thinnest point where most laptops tend to give out. Overall, this laptop, while not the fanciest out there does feel like it can take a couple of small knocks without incident, as many customers can attest to.

As you'd expect on an entry-level notebook, there's no backlit keyboard. However, key travel is comfortable enough that you can use this notebook for long typing sessions without it being a hassle.

Performance

Beyond the design, what's really going to matter to most buyers is the performance on this notebook. That's likely why you're reading this review of the HP Stream 11-ak0040nr in the first place. Having said that, you'd be wise to adjust your expectations when it comes down to performance.

Specifically, with an Intel Celeron N4020 CPU, 4 GB of memory - not upgradable - an integrated graphics card, and 64 GB of eMMC storage, it's quite clear that HP built this laptop thinking of the more modest, "light" users in the market.

With a dual-core processor that clocks at a base of 1.1 GHz and operates under the latest Windows 11 operating system, you can expect a laptop that will not let you down in the performance of basic tasks such as streaming a video, surfing the web, answering emails and writing up a document.

However, if you expect this laptop to be proficient at multitasking or you're looking for a device that can handle more CPU intensive tasks such as picture editing or programming, then we're going to have to point you in the direction of other, more complete models, such as the HP 15-ef2025nr or the HP 15-dy2024nr which feature a far more advanced processor as well as double the memory.

All in all, if you are aware that buying this laptop means buying a notebook that's essentially good for casual usage then you're good. If you expect to exploit this laptop for intensive multitasking or to work on CPU-intensive tasks then you'll be quickly frustrated at the experience.

It should also be noted that while this notebook has its internal storage limited to just 64 GB through eMMC storage, this is one of the few models in the market to feature a microSD card slot.

Meaning you could insert a microSD card to easily and inexpensively increase the internal storage - with 128 GB going for less than 20 dollars these days - . All you would need to do is go to the laptop's settings and make it so that all the images and videos, for example, are stored on this external storage unit.

Generous Battery Life & Connectivity Options

If there's one feature HP has been hard at work with its laptops that would be battery life and the 11-ak0040nr is no exception to this. Specifically, the company claims that battery life on this unit can reach up to the 13-hour mark. However, our extensive experience in laptop reviews has taught us to always assume battery to be roughly 25% lower than advertised.

Taking that into account we're still left with roughly 9 hours worth of juice which is fairly respectable and liberates us from the need of having to carry around the charger wherever we go.

Another aspect where HP didn't drop the ball on this streaming model is connectivity. Specifically, we've got both dual-band WiFi and 5th generation Bluetooth as well as a couple of USB Type-A ports, a single USB Type-C port, a microSD card reader, audio jack, and an HDMI port.

Bottom Line: Should I buy the HP Stream 11-ak0040nr?

In a nutshell: It depends. If you're looking for a notebook that's affordable and allows you to surf the web, stream movies and answer emails then this is definitely an option worth considering.

However, if you plan on doing more intensive tasks such as photo editing or programming we'd recommend steering clear of this particular model and instead, point your attention towards other laptops with better specs that at least boast a Core i3 or equivalent processor and 8 GB of RAM if multitasking is important to you.

Having said that, this laptop does have its market. It's a great option for casual users, writers, bloggers, kids and elder citizens who need a laptop but don't want to spend a bundle on it.



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