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HP Stream 11 Review
February 28, 2020
For users who want a compact and affordable notebook, this HP Stream review will showcase the line’s superb 11.6-inch model.
Built with reliability and convenience in mind, the HP Stream 11 notebook boasts an impressive price point paired with a durable case for additional protection when you’re out and about. The hinge that connects the display and keyboard is just as durable, and it makes for easy, reliable adjustability.
This is a highly portable, efficient device that balances features and performance with low cost, so you can feel confident at checkout.
To help get you familiar with this series of computers, our HP Stream 11.6 laptop review will highlight some of the line’s specific strengths. In particular, we’ll talk about hardware specifications and the proficient build and craftsmanship, and also give you a close look at everything else that makes this HP Stream laptop stand out from the crowd.
Designed to optimize Windows Apps and provide a more rigorous security profile with Windows 10 in S Mode, the HP Stream offers greater performance and lower cost than a comparable smartphone or tablet. It’s capable of delivering you the best of both worlds, because this device promotes mobility without sacrificing the resources most of us need for work or leisure.
The straightforward loadout and rugged build are a great platform for students and younger users, but it’s also ideal for those with a daily commute or who travel frequently. If your routine is heavily focused on the internet or wrapped up in frequent streaming, it can be an extremely versatile choice for you as well.
Plus, by using Windows 10 in S Mode, power internet users can respond to a variety of needs. You’ll have access to an affordable device tailored for the web, powered by a system designed specifically to keep your files and work secure.
Processor and graphics options
With the standard HP Stream 11, you can choose between several processor configurations depending on which variant you prefer. For maximum affordability, opt for the latest Intel® Atom® processor loaded with integrated Intel HD Graphics 400. That offers performance well beyond other portable or even handheld devices in the same price range. It’s more than adequate for streaming and even enough to support casual web gaming.
Maybe you prefer a little more processing or graphics performance with your build. For extra processing power, you can also choose a loadout with reliable Intel Celeron® or Pentium® processors. Plus, you’ll get graphics support from your pick of integrated Intel UHD Graphics 600 or 605, offering a boost to the overall visual output. You can also look at the Pro G5 variants if you want to take on heavier workloads.
RAM and storage
The HP Stream 11 is at its full potential when paired with cloud support and web-based applications, but it still offers a good baseline for RAM with some local reserve storage space. In the base configuration, you’ll have 4GB of DDR3L-1600 SDRAM and 32GB of eMMC storage. With the right peripherals or access to cloud support, you can take your functionality even further.
The HP Stream 11 Pro G5 edition also provides some options for better local performance and deeper storage. With these variants you’ll find 4GB of upgraded DDR4-2400 SDRAM and twice the hard-drive capacity thanks to 64GB of eMMC storage. Between their improved core hardware and better local specs, the Pro G5 offers some of the best advantages when it comes to performance and efficiency.
Highly secure with Windows 10 in S Mode
With a high-security OS configuration, Windows 10 in S Mode is one of the bedrocks that makes the HP Stream 11 so safe and reliable for any user. Designed to increase lifespan and security, notebooks running Windows 10 in S Mode work only with vetted apps from the Microsoft Store and rely on the Microsoft Edge browser for your regular web use.
One way switch to turn off S Mode
That’s great for a lot of situations, but what happens if you want to unlock the device and use it outside of S Mode? To guarantee maximum security, turning off S Mode is a one-way switch that can’t be reversed.
But the option does give you maximum freedom later in the life of the device. For instance, you may want to switch off S Mode if security and longevity become a lower priority after a few years of use.
Streamlined design with two color options
Portability is a huge positive from the HP Stream 11’s efficient build, which pairs a compact device with a durable exterior frame. The line’s strong hinge makes for easy adjustment while the Pro G5 has been through more rigorous field-testing. Designed to pass both MIL-STD 810G and IP 41 testing, it’s also built with drops and hard-impact survival in mind.
And if you like a splash of color on your laptop, the base HP Stream 11 is available in a bolder royal blue finish with frosted keyboard, or a minimalist diamond white variant with dove silver keyboard frame. Or if you prefer something darker and a bit more familiar, the Pro G5 ships in a dark gray finish that blends in with any setup.
Dimensions and weight
When it comes to external dimensions, you’ll find an extremely thin frame measuring only 11.08 x 7.59 x 0.66 inches. That’s less than two-thirds of an inch thick, about the same as a folded shirt. With such a thin profile, you’ll have no trouble fitting this laptop into your existing storage and travel gear. The Pro G5 edition is only a fraction of an inch thicker, measuring 0.71 inches thin.
You won’t have much weighing you down, either. At the scales, the HP Stream 11 is a featherweight coming in at only 2.3 lbs. You won’t have to worry about much more if you opt for the Pro G5 as well; it weighs a mere 2.78 lbs.
You can slip an HP Stream into a slim briefcase just as easily as a backpack. Or, thanks to their low-weight builds, you can ditch the case altogether and easily carry your device under your arm with a nice sleeve.
With mobility and ease-of-use at its core, the HP Stream 11 offers compact display measurements at 11.6 inches on the diagonal. That keeps things light and manageable, which can be particularly valuable in cramped workspaces in the office or on-the-go. Anti-glare features and WLED-backlight also add to usability under a variety of circumstances.
And if you prefer a bigger display but are interested in this family of laptops, the HP Stream 14 packs a big punch for visual performance thanks to its 14-inch screen. In addition, you’ll enjoy AMD dual-core processors with Radeon™ R3 graphics, and the same upgraded 220 nits brightness rating as the Pro G5. With a price that still easily beats several of the 11-inch configurations, it’s a logical option if you just need more space.
Long battery life
A lighter hardware load has many advantages when it comes to portability. Beyond the slimmer, more travel-friendly build, you’ll enjoy all-day battery life with estimates ranging up to 9 hours and 15 minutes during video playback.
You’ll easily binge your favorite shows or keep up a good clip on homework and personal projects, all without fear of a sudden shutdown or scrambling to find an electrical outlet.
Despite adding a beefed-up hardware suite, the Pro G5 actually offers greater battery life. It exceeds the base configuration by several hours, with total estimates of up to 12 hours. That should be more than enough for most users to work with confidence under just about any circumstances.
On top of long battery life, the HP Stream 11 keeps power usage down and ships with strong marks for energy efficiency. The base configuration and the Pro G5 variant are both ENERGY STAR® certified and boast an EPEAT® 2019 Silver rating for efficiency. You’ll be able to kick back or take care of business without worrying about accidentally driving up your power bill, a big advantage when paired with strong battery life.
Both versions are also designed to guarantee a low materials impact during construction and throughout the product life cycle, thanks to low halogen components. That means less in production and less in circulation, which is particularly beneficial once any device reaches the end of its functioning years.
The Pro G5 even features TCO certification to offer the assurance of a lower environmental impact when measured across the whole life of the device.
Other great features to keep in mind
With a robust wireless connection and a full selection of ports at your disposal, the HP Stream lets you access your favorite peripherals or any secondary devices you may depend on. It also has a built-in webcam and stereo speakers, which delivers a great platform for collaboration and audio across a variety of applications. It features a built-in Kensington Nano Security Slot™ if you want to add an extra layer of protection as well.
Ultimately, the HP Stream 11 is geared toward balance and usability. It offers a good baseline and several configuration options that focus increasingly on what many users are already spending so much of our time on: the internet and our favorite web applications.
While we’ve already covered some of its most important features, there are a few other ways to finish off your purchase and round out your existing collection of notebook peripherals.
With a price tag below $500, the HP Stream 11 is priced affordably enough to protect against hazardous expenses and long-term wear. But it also ships with our HP 1-year standard warranty. While that length of time may be fine for most users, it’s not your only option if you want more complete coverage.
You’ll find easy and cost-effective options to upgrade for longer coverage through our HP Care Pack program. For the most comprehensive protection, you can add up to 3 years of protection. The best part is it won’t cost you too much more at checkout - less than most accessories in fact. Just look for complete options near the “Add to cart” buttons or as you place your order in the HP laptop store.
Convenient peripherals and storage
As we covered in the sections above, the HP Stream 11 is designed to optimize and protect your experience on the web. But with the right complement of accessories or support devices, you can add loads of functionality to your new device.
The HP notebook power bank is a great option if you want a convenient external power source for your computer. It’s also a great way to turn your notebook into a superior long-haul device that can also charge any of your USB devices.
To add a bigger range of other peripherals and desktop-grade functionality, the HP USB-C universal dock helps turn any notebook into a convenient hub for multiple devices. Still curious about more ways to expand your experience? Just scope out the HP accessories store and don’t forget to check your preferred configuration for specific recommendations on items like travel gear and mouse options.
The HP Stream family offers durability and an impressive price tag with tons of options priced under $500 at checkout. Plus, you aren’t limited by just a single variant. Want a beefier hardware configuration or a different color? Simply pick the loadout that best suits your routine or focus on the right finish for your style and space. You can even just skip right to the top shelf and get familiar with the highly-customizable Pro G5 edition.
There’s also the 14-inch variant to consider if you want a bigger display, with comparable features and still less than 1 lb heavier compared to the 11-inch version. And if you aren’t quite sure about committing to the notebook format, check out our article, “Laptop vs Notebook: What is the Difference?” to learn more.
About the Author: Dwight Pavlovic is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Dwight is a music and technology writer based out of West Virginia.