HP Stream 11 review: a $200 Windows laptop meant to be a Chromebook killer

It’s no secret that people like Chromebooks. That can’t be good news for Microsoft, which used to own the market for cheap computers. Not one to take this sort of encroachment lying down, Microsoft came out with a lower-cost version of Windows 8.1 that PC makers could use to build small, lightweight devices inexpensive enough to take on Chromebooks. The HP Stream 11 is among the first of these so-called Chromebook killers: an 11.6-inch laptop running full Windows and priced at just $200. For the money, it looks and performs like a netbook, with a colorful plastic shell and an Intel Celeron processor chugging away under the hood. Then again, though, you also have the option of installing traditional desktop apps, which you can’t do on a Chromebook, and Microsoft is further sweetening the deal by throwing in a terabyte of OneDrive storage and a yearlong subscription to Office 365. So is this just netbooks, redux? Or does an aggressive price make all the difference?






  • Low price
  • Bright, playful design
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • $25 Windows Store gift card included
  • Includes 1TB of cloud storage and a one-year Office 365 subscription


  • So-so display
  • Slow boot-up times
  • Touchpad could use some fine-tuning
SUMMARY At $200, the Stream 11 is a good deal, especially compared to pricier Chromebooks, but beware that it comes with many of the same trade-offs as other budget laptops, including a low-quality display and slow boot-up time.

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