HP's New Stream Notebooks Offer Bright Shells, Stronger Wi-Fi

Some computer users on tight budgets don't require much beyond the basics, and they're also happy to find a notebook in a striking, eye-catching color. For those shoppers, HP offers its new Stream 14 (starting at $219, available on HP.com on September 7), and new versions of its Stream 11 (starting at $199, available on HP.com on August 24) and Stream x360 2-in-1 (starting at $249, available in select regions in September).

All three notebooks are available in Violet Purple, Aqua Blue and Snowy White, with the Stream x360 also available in Jack Black (no word if this model is approved by any schools of rock). The systems have the same striping pattern on their decks as current HP Pavilion laptops.

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One reason why HP's Stream notebooks can be so affordable is that they ship with low-capacity, 32GB eMMC storage drives, much like Google's Chromebooks. While that may sound like enough for you, during recent testing we've realized it may not be sufficient for users to upgrade to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Hopefully the notebooks ship with that pre-installed. 

The improvements to these laptops are more than shell-deep, though, as they all feature 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi, an overdue upgrade from the 802.11b/g/n modems found in the previous generation HP Streams.

All three notebooks feature Intel Celeron N3060 processors, 4GB of RAM and the aforementioned 32GB of storage, though you may have as little as 12GB available, as Windows 10 takes between 15 and 20GB of space.

All of the Stream notebooks also feature 1366 x 768-pixel displays, while the Stream 11 and x360's panels are 11.6 inches, and the Stream 14's is 14 inches.

HP promises these notebooks will provide longer battery life than before, saying the Stream 11 and 14 should last up to 10 hours and 45 minutes, though no such estimates are offered for the x360. We look forward to testing both of the Streams to see if these battery life claims match up to the results from the Laptop Mag battery test.

HP also boasts that these laptops feature DTS Studio Sound, so we're looking forward to cranking out some High Fidelity audio on them during testing.