The HP Stream 11-ak0020nr model we’ve reviewed is a great laptop designed for students – but is equally suited for casual users who need something for working from home.
- Very affordable
- Office 365 Personal subscription (one year)
- Long battery
- Good connectivity option
- Middling display
- RAM can’t be upgraded
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a wave of uncertainty across all sectors, but the school calendar has been disrupted the most. As we continue to adopt the ‘new normal’ of homeschooling, budgets laptops like the HP Stream 11-ak0020nr come in very handy. It’s affordable, portable and offers class-leading performance.
While HP’s latest release into the education segment comes with a washed-out display and can’t be used for the most demanding tasks, it still offers the best experience for shoppers on a tight budget. If all you need is an affordable notebook for casual use at home, office or college, the HP Stream 11 we’re reviewing could very well prove to be an excellent choice.
Design & Display
For many, a 14 or 13.3-inch form factor is more ideal for most tasks, but not everyone needs a laptop that big. If that describes you, the 11.6-inch HP Stream 11-ak0020nr is a perfect fit, rocking a WLED display with 1366 x 768 pixels (standard HD definition).
This is the kind of display you’d expect for a sub-$300 laptop, but it’s not a resolution we’re used to now at a time when more affordable laptops and Chromebooks have switched to a Full HD (1080p) display. We’ll accept it for the low price we’re getting this laptop, but it’s nothing worth writing about.
For the overall design, the 11-ak0020nr gets a diamond white theme that looks great; but it’s not surprising that it lacks a backlit keyboard or any premium features. While at it, you don’t get a dedicated numeric pad due to the small deck size. If you need a backlit keyboard, the Asus VivoBook 15 F512JA-AS34 offers that and more – including, a Full HD display, a numeric pad and a better set of specs.
If the Stream 11 won’t convince you into committing your bucks, then portability will. We’re looking at a laptop that weighs just 2.37 pounds and measures under seven inches thick. That’s quite portable, and you can carry it through college in a backpack without feeling bogged down.
A laptop targeted for students and casual users runs pretty fine with a 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N4000 processor, paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage. Basically, this is what we’d call a cloudbook, since most of its continent is engineered to be stored on the cloud. That’s why you have 1TB of One Drive and a one-year subscription of Microsoft Office 365. In fact, the Stream 11-ak0020nr is comparable to a Chromebook, only that it runs on Microsoft’s Windows 10 Home in S Mode operating system.
As specced, the HP Stream 11-ak0020nr will work on a basic level: Meaning you can use it to surf the web, edit MS Office documents, watch YouTube videos and stream movies. Unfortunately, the RAM isn’t user upgradeable and the integrated Intel UHD 600 graphics card won’t suffice for demanding gaming tasks.
If there’s something we really love about this iteration of HP’s Stream 11 it must be the battery and the minimalist design. HP promises up to 12 hours on a single charge, but with mixed usage, you’re getting over 10 hours, which is what we need from a student device.
Connectivity comes in way of two USB type-A ports (3.1 gen), a single USB Type C port (3.1 gen), audio jack, HDMI output as well a microSD card reader.
Wireless connectivity comes via WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5 just in case you need to connect wireless speakers or a wireless mouse.
The HP Stream 11 model we’ve reviewed is a great laptop designed for students – but is equally suited for casual users who need something for working from home. By now, you must have realized that it’s not cut to be a productivity powerhouse or anything of the sorts, but its lightweight design and compact screen size make it a perfect companion to carry around.
Battery life is great and overall performance for the price is alright considering the niche audience. That said, if you’re shopping for a basic use laptop that carries an affordable price tag, the HP Stream 11-ak0020nr is a perfect fit.
HP Stream 11-inch HD Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, Windows 10 Home in S Mode with Office 365 Personal for 1 Year (11-ak0020nr, Diamond White)
11 used from $195.00