HP’s newest ultra portable affordable laptop, the HP Stream 14-ax010nr will deliver an unexpected level of performance for an entry level device.
The light blue, 14-inch notebook brings a dash of color in the otherwise grey and black world of consumer laptops. As I’ll explain in this review, the HP 14-ax010nr is an affordable, entry level laptop. You shouldn’t expect top-quality performance from this device, nor should you buy it to act as your primary laptop.
This ultra portable machine is a great way to make use of cloud storage and computing and further expand your freedom when it comes to using different specialized devices. Let it act as typewriter, carry it with you to check your email on the go or buy it for your kids to experiment with technology without burning a hole in your wallet.
The HP Stream 14-ax010nr is powered by an Intel Celeron N3060 processor, a rather basic choice. This dual core CPU has a frequency range between 1.6 GHz and 2.48 GHz, comes with 2 megabytes of L2 cache and has a thermal design power of just 6 Watts. As you can see, the specs are geared toward entry-level portable devices, where emphasis is being put on energy efficiency rather than performance.
Despite of the unimpressive processor unit, the blue notebook won’t feel sluggish when doing the most basic of tasks, such as writing or editing documents, browsing the web or checking your email. However, running resource intensive programs will likely cause significant stutter.
System memory is rated at 4 gigabytes of DDR3L RAM. I think that amount is quite adequate for such a device, especially considering that the basic CPU will likely cause the laptop to slow down when multitasking well before the 4 gigs of memory will have started to struggle.
Sure, some multitasking will be ok on the HP Stream 14-ax010nr, but nothing fancy. You should expect to successfully operate the notebook with a couple of open programs tops. Think web browser, text editor, mail app, some music and that’s it.
Storage space is modest at best. Far from the hundreds of gigabytes present in mid range notebooks, this entry level laptop comes with 32 gigabytes of eMMC storage space. Similar to flash storage (what you see in USB flash drives), this storage medium isn’t as fast or reliable as an SSD, but still way snappier than traditional hard disk drives.
Windows will boot in roughly half the time it takes a hard drive to do it and programs will open and operate more smoothly. If storage capacity is an issue, you can easily extend it via an SD card mounted inside the card reader or by using an external hard drive. I always recommend the SD option, because it doesn’t impair portability one bit.
Graphics and Display
The HP Stream 14-ax010nr features a 14-inch screen with HD SVA BrightView WLED-Backlit display. It will produce a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, which is OK for a smaller than usual display. Picture quality is not something to be proud of, but considering this is a $200 device, it’s really not that big of an issue.
If you want to edit photos or movie clips, you should look for a different, more expensive laptop. Besides of poor color reproduction, the HP doesn’t have a dedicated video card, but an Intel HD Graphics 400 card. It will play HD videos or streams just fine, but don’t expect it to run any games.
The HP Stream 14-ax010nr has great I/O options, especially for an entry level laptop. They’re all located on the left side of it and I don’t know what to feel about that. I think it would have been more roomy with one or two USB ports moved on the opposite side, but that’s just my preference.
The available ports are:
- 2 x USB 3.1 ports
- 1 x USB 2.0 port
- 1 x HDMI-out
- 1 x Audio Combo Jack
- 1 x SD Card Reader
Again, modern technology has made its way into this affordable laptop. Wireless data transfer is managed by an Intel 802.11ac 2×2 wireless card. This means your internet connection will be more stable, with increased transfer speeds and less buffering when viewing online streams. It also comes with a built-in Bluetooth 4.0 protocol to connect to your other devices without using wires.
Portability and Battery Life
Weighing only 3.2 pounds, the HP Stream 14-ax010nr is light enough to be taken wherever you go. Just put it in a backpack and travel wherever your heart may take you. The fact that a mid-sized notebook is light enough to travel with makes it an ideal option for college students or those who want to take an expendable device on their travels.
The 3-cell, 41Wh Lithium-Ion battery pack will hold a charge for up to 10 hours and 45 minutes of use, further cementing this notebook’s versatility on the road. It will take you through more than a day’s worth of work, meaning you won’t need to take the charger along every day you step out the door, further reducing the carried weight.
All in all, I think the HP Stream 14-ax010nr is a surprising laptop, well suited for travel and writing on the go. It has good enough specs for most users to carry out daily tasks, great features, an exceptional keyboard and long battery life. All these points make the HP one of the best affordable laptops to be launched this year.
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