While the Stream series itself is not very new in this market by any chance this 14-inch version, HP Stream 14-ax030nr, is a newer modified version of their previous 13-inch model. So let’s find out then whether this netbook was hot or not.
- CPU – Intel Celeron N3060 Dual-Core, 1.6 GHz
- GPU – Intel HD Graphics 400
- Memory – 4 GB (1 x 4 GB) DDR3
- Screen – 14-inch HD IPS (1,366 x 768)
- Storage – 64GB eMMC Flash
- OS – Windows 10 Home edition
- Performance – Just like any other Chromebook at this price range it comes equipped with a moderately powerful Intel Celeron processor. The RAM and the storage (4 GB and 64 GB respectively) though are better than the competing netbook Lenovo IdeaPad 100S-14 (2 GB RAM and 64 GB storage). But opening a number of tabs in the browser made the machine considerably slower and there was clear evidence of some lag. Now it is not to say that it can’t handle your everyday chores; it’s more than capable of handling stuff like internet surfing, mail checking or even word processing in fact. But you better keep in mind that it’s Celeron powered; so you better not try to do daunting tasks like running video editing or CAD software as it’s not built for that. And it doesn’t need to be reminded that with its meagre Intel HD Graphics 400 GPU it’s not really the best machine for gaming. But still, if you get bored easily in your flight and Candy Crush Saga or Fruit Ninja is the definition of a good time to you then only you can use it for some fine gaming.
- Baittery – The Chromebooks (and the Windows-books like the Stream) are expected to be capable of running for hours due to their small size and the low powered hardware. This ultralight netbook comes with a 3-cell 41 Wh battery which is pretty generous considering the fact that it’s a 14-inch laptop. While browsing the internet the Stream 14 was able to keep running for even more than 7 hours. And if you decide to use it for some less taxing tasks like watching videos or doing word processing it should easily stay awake for a good long 9 hours before giving out.
- Display – In order to deliver this ultra light notebook at a rock bottom price HP had to seriously cut some corners. And the 14 inch HD display is one of the major places where they saved some money from. Firstly the panel is fairly dim at only 185 nits which falls short even than the comfortable brightness level of 200 nits. While some of the panels from the competing notebooks such as Inspiron 14 3000 (134 nits) and IdeaPad 100S-14 (190 nits) are similarly dim, Acer Aspire E 15 (215 nits) was found to be brighter. The colour coverage, on the other hand, is pretty good for a low budget laptop. The sRGB coverage found at 80% is almost similar to Inspiron (81%) and the IdeaPad (84%). Also, the screen is for some reason very glossy and as a result, you’d be having trouble in a sunlit environment. The display seemed subpar, in short, if you ask me.
- Design – Another serious drawback of the low-cost design is the shoddy build quality of Stream. The whole chassis is made of thin hard plastic. The body feels hollow and squishy. While typing some serious amount of flex could be seen both in the middle of the keyboard deck and the trackpad area. But on the positive side, it’s pretty thin (0.7 inches) and reasonably light at only 3.17 pounds (1.44 kg). And most importantly while some may prefer those bright chassis I am not really a fan of those gaudy ‘candy’ colours (I mean really, do I look like a Japanese school girl??). I would better stick to the traditional black or white.
So if you want a lightweight netbook with some processing power, ample amount of RAM and plenty of storage options at a rock bottom price HP Stream 14-ax030nr can be a great choice. But again, it comes with a bit of pitfall as well like the dim screen and the poor build quality. But again that’s what expected from ultra-budget Windows-book. It’s worth every penny spent on it I think. Recommended.