CNET First Look
The $199 HP Stream 11 wants to be as cloud-friendly as a Chromebook, but with Windows 8If you keep expectations in check, this bargain-basement Windows 8 laptop has good battery life and a decent design.
[MUSIC] Just how much laptop can you expect for $199? I'm Dan Ackerman, and this is the new HP Stream 11, part of a new series of super low cost PCs by HP being heavily promoted by Microsoft. That aims to take on Google's Chromebook line. Now, Chromebooks are, of course, very low cost systems that only cost $2 to $300 and then run the Chrome OS. Which is not Windows, it's basically just a Chrome web browser. Use them to just get online. They don't really have any onboard storage, you can't run apps, you can only run web apps. So this new Microsoft version of that, it's a very low power laptop. It's got an Intel Celeron processor, which is just two gigs of RAM. It has a fairly small 32 gig SSD most of which is taken up by the Windows OS and file systems, so not a lot of storage on here. HP says this is basically a Cloud friendly computer you do the same things on it you would do with a Chromebook you use your web mail, use social media, you surf the web maybe you stream videos over Netflix and for that kind of stuff it actually works fine we found that using Windows 8 native apps let's say Internet Explorer over Chrome worked a little bit better as those apps are really well optimized to run a Windows 8 no matter what kind of hardware you have. Here the Windows 8 tile screen moves really smoothly. It's not a touch screen here. You still have to use the touchpad or hook up an external mouse. I will say for a $200 laptop the design was actually fairly nice. You can get this in blue or pink. It's got kind of a, a gradiated dot pattern on the keyboard tray. And, you know, it looks. Perhaps slightly better than you would expect a two hundred dollar laptop to look. The, the keyboard blows up a little bit in the middle, it's a tiny bit warped. But not so much that it's gonna interfere with your typing. Performance wise it does kind of thread the needle between inexpensive Chromebooks and really low-end. Windows laptops fast and some test slow and others still not particularly fast no matter what. But there was one very impressive thing about this and that was the battery life. On our fairly challenging video playback battery test this guy ran for almost 8 hours, which is a lot more than anything else in this price range. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the HP Stream 11 [MUSIC]