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Review HP Stream 11 Windows 11 on Low End Hardware Needs Work..


hey everybody it’s la inside and we’re taking a look today at the lowest cost hp laptop that you can buy new out there this is the hp stream 11 and of course it is running windows 11 out of the box we’ve looked at prior hp streams on the channel over the years and this one is the latest iteration of it and we’re going to take a closer look at what this is all about in just a second but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that i paid for this with my own funds all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approve what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this laptop is all about now the price point on this is about 249 depending on where you are shopping and when this has an 11 inch display running at 1366 by 768 that is essentially 720p not 1080p which you might find on a more expensive laptop but when you are packed into an 11 inch display like this the pixels are dense so it doesn’t look that bad it is though a tn display which means that when you go off center you’ll lose a lot of the visual quality so you really have to kind of be dead center in its sweet spot for the best visuals here this display by the way is very similar to what we’ve seen on other hp streams in the past inside it has pretty low end specifications as expected so this has an intel n4020 processor that’s a dual core celeron chip that we typically see on chromebooks this is kind of the windows equivalent to a chromebook so it’s got the same guts inside although the performance may not be as good as it might be running chrome os it has only four gigabytes of ram which is a bit low for windows these days and it only has 64 gigabytes of emmc storage you cannot upgrade the ram or storage on this one and the ram configuration in particular will hinder it a bit when playing games and i’ll explain why that is important as we look at playing games on this machine a little bit later in the review now this computer by default is running windows 11 in s mode and it will not let you install apps that are not found in the windows app store so if you go to google chrome for example and try to download the browser you have to take this out of s mode first otherwise you’re going to see this error message that you see on screen here the funny thing is is that it’s still referring to windows 10 in its error message even though this is running windows 11.

Now getting out of s mode is super simple there’s an app in the app store that you download to do that once you run that app it will then become a standard windows 11 home installation and you can install all of your own software like i have here i’ve got google chrome and steam for example installed from their websites without any further error messages so not too hard to get out of that mode and into a more normal windows mode but just getting windows on this laptop proved itself to be an arduous task when i was getting this set up and this is going to be on microsoft here not on hp and the reason is is that the way they have windows 11 working on these new low-cost laptops is that it downloads the entire operating system from the internet first it then has to install it and then after that you are hit with update after update after update and it probably took me the better part of three or four hours to get through all of the different things that had to get installed so that i could use this computer at its full potential and remember its full potential isn’t much and the windows updates of course will run in the background but when they’re running it slows everything else down on this machine to a crawl so your initial experience is going to be pretty poor on this so you really should just spend the time to get the updates going and once they’re done it’ll perform about where you might expect a computer at this price point to perform and i’ll show you some performance examples in a little bit but i think for a lot of folks they’re going to get to that initial boot up see the screen here and start working and be very dissatisfied with how it performs because it’s got so much more updating

to do in the background microsoft has really got to improve that now once you get all of your updates done you’ll have about 30 gigabytes of storage available on the machine to install other software not a lot but i think enough for the kinds of things that you would run on a laptop like this it’s not very heavy it comes in at 2.3 pounds or 1.05 kilograms it’s all plastic of course it’s not ruggedized or anything like some of the education chromebooks are but it’s pretty easy to carry around and it’s got a very lightweight feel to it that i think might be attractive for it professionals that want just a basic terminal that they can bring around with them to various sites or whatever just don’t drop it because i think it will probably crack pretty easily now the battery life on this is pretty good surprisingly you’re looking at about 10 or 11 hours if you keep the display brightness down and don’t stress the processor all that much if you got one of those windows updates running in the background that might eat into the battery a little bit more but for the most part i think it’s got good battery life for the types of things that it does you do have a webcam there at the top nothing spectacular but it is a 720p webcam good enough for getting your zoom calls done or google meets or whatever so i think that was a nice camera for the price point the color actually looks halfway decent on it now the keyboard isn’t bad on this very similar to what we’ve seen on prior iterations of the hp stream laptop they are chiclet size so they are a little smaller than a standard laptop but the keys are well spaced you’ve got good travel here and overall it felt like a good keyboard for a small laptop the trackpad isn’t bad either again nothing that’s going to rival something that might come out of their more expensive computers but for what it is i thought it was pretty good this is not a backlit keyboard nor is the display a touch display so you will be using the trackpad here and you’ll have to find some other way to illuminate your keyboard in the dark port selection isn’t bad on this one you do have a kensington lock here for making sure your cheap laptop

doesn’t walk away on you you have a full size usb 3 port here on the left hand side along with a headphone microphone jack on the bottom you have the speakers and these are stereo speakers they don’t sound that great but they are loud and i think they’re good for conferencing and that sort of thing but of course you can plug in those headphones for better audio quality and of course it supports bluetooth on this side you do have a full-size hdmi connector uh this will do a 4k at 30 frames per second max although it won’t perform all that great at that resolution but it will do 1080p 60 out of that while having a separate image on the internal display you have a usb 3 port here another full size one a micro sd card slot that you can use to augment its onboard storage that card sits flush here so you can leave it in the computer all the time and the one terabyte and 512 gigabyte micro sd cards are getting a lot less expensive these days you can add a good amount of storage to this it’s just not going to be very fast but the internal storage on this isn’t so fast either you also have a usb type-c port here this is for data devices only though it doesn’t do video output and it doesn’t support power delivery but if you do have an external hard drive or something with a usbc connector you can plug it in there and get it running this runs at the same speed as the other ports do at five gigabits per second and then of course you have its barrel connector here for power all right let’s move on now to its performance we’ll load up google chrome now and see how it does browsing the web to start things off here and remember this is the performance you get after it’s done with all of its initial updating it’s not going to be this fast when you first take it out of the box

unfortunately but after a couple of hours you will see performance on par with this and it does okay it’s about what i would expect out of a computer with this processor very similar to chromebooks that you might buy at or around its price point so for doing the basics here i think it will do just fine i also played back some video on it from my youtube channel a little while ago this is a 720p 60 video which is the maximum display resolution of this machine and it was able to play back that video at the full frame rate without any drop frames and i was able to also run it at 1080p with similar results and on the browserbench.org speedometer test running in google chrome we got a score of 47.6 and that puts it right within the margin of error of a bunch of other machines running with a similar processor that we’ve reviewed here on the channel in the past including a chromebook from lenovo now this does come with a one-year subscription to microsoft 365 personal so you get the full office suite for the first year as part of your cost of entry seems to work pretty well with microsoft word and other applications and that’s something we’ve seen on prior editions of the stream laptop here a small display but adequate enough performance to do spreadsheets and word processing even some things that might involve photos and graphics as part of your designs now this is a fanless laptop so you will not hear it when it’s operating that’s fine for word processing and whatnot but because it is fanless when it gets too hot it slows itself down so if you do have those windows updates running in the background it will start to impact its overall performance and that’s important if you’re trying to get some games to run on this device gaming is not its forte but there are some games that do run fairly well on here but they’re mostly older games

old dos games eight and 16 bit emulation for example runs this is half-life 2 that came out around 2004 or 2005 or so this runs between 35 and 60 frames per second at the native 1366 by 768 resolution i also tried out a game from my game pass library here this is the 1993 version of doom it runs fine so a lot of games from prior generations of pc hardware will run to some degree or another on here but this is by no means a gaming powerhouse but one thing you can do with it is game streaming uh we did play around a little bit with the xbox cloud streaming which is part of the xbox game pass ultimate subscription through the native app it was running fine but there were glitchy moments where you would get that line on the screen like you see there and a couple of dropouts here and there nothing game breaking but it was something that i noticed that i don’t notice on other low-end machines running with the same processor on game pass i also tried it through the chrome browser and it ran even worse there so the games are playable but not as smooth as i saw on other platforms surprisingly though geforce now which is a similar service offered by nvidia actually ran a lot smoother so i think there’s probably some kind of interaction here on the software side that was giving us some glitchy experiences on game pass with this particular computer and i think those are things microsoft can probably address in the future but at the moment again just a little bit on the glitchy side and on the 3dmark cloud gaming benchmark test we got a score of 1863.

that is a pretty low score especially when you look at the hp stream 11 from 2016 that had an older processor on board the scores are almost identical here and then you look at something like the asus l210 which scored much higher and the only answer i can come up with here is that this is either thermal throttling in a very extreme way which we’ll take a look at in a second or perhaps this is also due to windows 11 running on this device whereas the asus was running windows 10 and i think there’s something going on here with windows 11 right now that is constraining performance on these low end devices now another thing to note is that this is running in single channel mode for its memory and intel graphics like their ram configured in dual channel for the most bandwidth and that’s going to impact performance a bit but that asus l210 is also running in single channel mode so i think we should be getting more performance out of this than we are seeing here and i’ve also noticed just some general lagginess even using basic apps like word or chrome on it so there’s just got to be some optimizations that have to get pushed into this operating system and its drivers to get the most out of this low end machine now another indicator here is what we got on the 3d mark stress test there we got a score of 70.2 percent that is a failing score 97 is passing and that indicates we’ll be seeing some pretty aggressive throttling on this machine when it’s getting placed under load and that comes back to our update discussion from the beginning of the video because those updates do place this

computer under enough load to slow it down but the good news is is that linux runs quite nicely on this device you’re seeing ubuntu running on it right now and i found the linux experience to be a lot more responsive i wasn’t getting these dips in performance and lag hits here and there and

we ran a bunch of basic applications at the same time like i was doing on windows 11 and everything just felt better and ran better on the ubuntu side everything got detected properly as well so we got wi-fi and bluetooth and audio and of course the video was picked up just fine so it is i think a good little machine if you do want to mess around with other operating systems but at the moment windows 11 needs some work and i think there’s some potential inside of this little computer that hasn’t yet been tapped and we’ve always seen these things performing better than what i’m seeing out of this one and i’m placing the blame here on windows 11 and not so much on hp so this is a good little machine but it could be better and i’m hoping its operating system can see some updates that might take a while to install that will hopefully improve how it performs overall that’s going to do it for this look at the hp stream 11 and until next time this is lon seiben thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the lawn dot tv supporters including gold level supporters jim tannis and tom albrecht hot sauce and video games and eric’s variety channel brian parker and frank goldman ameda brown and matt zagaya and chris allegretta if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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