2 thoughts on “HP Stream 11 Laptop Includes Office 365 Personal for One Year (Orchid Magenta)

  1. formortals

    Superb laptop for the money – After you remove the crapware I just bought my nephew who is going to college an HP Stream 13 for $230. Beautiful and powerful computer, but it took me 90 minutes to remove all the stickers and all the crapware & adware. I still need to offload the recovery partition to a flash disk to recover the SSD storage. It has a total of 32 GB SSD storage so every bit counts. I’m also waiting for a 64 GB MicroSD card http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IVPU7AO so I can expand the storage.Removing the crapware and adware took 2 hours plus another hour to install Windows update. I removed all the browser extensions and add-ons in IE and then installed Chrome. Then I installed CCleaner and removed McAfee anti-virus so that I can just use the free Microsoft AV. Also removed a bunch of bloatware like Cisco wireless networking utilities like LEAP and Apple Bonjour. Removed the Realtek card reader software since it slows the card reader down. Then downloaded fresh Realtek card reader driver and manually installed the driver without using their setup program.UPDATE – I had to remove all the HP tools (support and registration) as well. They were intermittently hammering the CPU to 100% and other people in HP forums were complaining about this problem. Once uninstalled, the CPU usage problems went away. Something else that caused some mildly high CPU usage during media playback was the Realtek DTS audio processing service and I’ve disabled that and the system performs better. It was not needed for playback quality and it was actually detrimental to audio recording quality.The thing that slowed me down was that I had to gather my nephew’s personal info to create a Microsoft account for him. It was mandatory since this is the free version of MS Windows 8.1 (with Bing). But the MS Account allows him to use MS Office online for free so it’s worth setting up. I also had to carefully remove 3 stickers on the keyboard rest. Intel sticker was tilted. Now it’s a beautiful clean system and it boots very fast and loads everything fast. It handles most computing tasks just fine and now I’m loathed to give this away.Some people will complain about the 2GB of RAM which is not expandable, but I never have any problems with 2GB RAM because I don’t leave a 20 browser tabs open. You’re not going to use this laptop for 3D intensive gaming or 3D rendering so the RAM shouldn’t be an issue. I have a desktop computer with 8 GB of RAM for running games and virtual machines and content production and no one should expect the HP Stream 13 to perform this role. It runs fewer than 10 web browser tabs just fine and it’s extremely snappy running Microsoft Office Online or Google apps.I ran a Youtube 1080P on Chrome browser. Google is screwing all of us now by forcing their VP9 codec on us which forces this computer to use software video decoding. This dual-core CPU is pegged at 100% utilization and forced to overclock to 2.58 GHz and it will still hiccup if a youtube ad shows up. Of course this is just chewing up the battery. By comparison, I tested a 1080P H.264 .MP4 video downloaded from Google and the CPU hovered around 8% during smooth playback. Google needs to shove their VP8 & VP9 codec where the sun don’t shine. But thank goodness for “Magic Actions for YouTube” (a Chrome plugin) letting me disable Google’s VP9 HTML5 crap. Now Chrome runs Youtube in flash mode with H.264 hardware decoding and the CPU hovers around 20%. Here’s a screenshot of the CPU pegged at 100% with VP9 software decode http://bit.ly/1u0O3bV. Here’s the CPU hovering at 20% using Flash mode with H.264 hardware decode http://bit.ly/1uahXfx.I've been hammering on this system with tests for over two hours. The Intel N2840 2.16 GHz processor is being forced to burst to 2.58 GHz from all the work I’m throwing at it. Windows Update is hammering the IO and CPU. The brightness level is even set to 60% and the battery level still reads 79% with 4 hours 24 minutes remaining.After all the tweaks and cleanup I’ve done, the slim HP Stream 13 3.42 lb laptop is running smooth as butter. The 13.3″ 1366×768 non-glare matte screen is the perfect compromise between viewabiliy and compactness. Would be even nicer if HP could sell us a 1920×1080 13.3″ screen but probably not at the $230 price point. Another small gripe is that the bezel is a little bigger than I’d like.The Stream 13 has a 720P webcam, but I wouldn’t even call it 360P quality. It’s incredibly grainy using indoor lighting, but what were you expecting for a $230 laptop? It’s certainly not going to look like the camera on the MacBook Pro. Get yourself a $66 Logitech C920 which has awesome image quality and 1080P hardware encoding if you want a nice webcam. Even a $29 720P webcam will look leaps and bounds better.On the audio output side, the HP Stream 13 has good sound output from the TRRS jack. It can drive my large 808 headphones with authority…

  2. Lon J. Seidman "lon@ lon.tv"
    Lon J. Seidman "lon@ lon.tv" says:

    Excellent value, performs better than the HP Stream 14 0

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