The HP Stream succeeds where numerous others have failed: making cheap look good. And After all cheap in a literal sense — the very best laptops start around $1,000, as the HP starts at $200. It’s £149 in the united kingdom, or about AU$300 in Australia.

Almost identical to last year’s model, however now running the Windows 10 operating-system — and, unfortunately, a slightly slower processor — the Stream brandishes an 11.6-inch screen and a lovely, vibrant shade of blue that I absolutely love. (In addition, it will come in a magenta-ish color.) Such as a vase of fresh flowers or just a little puppy’s tummy, it creates me smile, and, by a few positive comments I acquired while using it in public areas, I’m not alone.

It’s also obtainable in the united states in a 13-inch version for a list price of $30 more, but we’ve seen the web price difference less than $5. The bigger model weighs 13 ounces (372 grams) more and its own battery is about twenty five percent less prodigious.

Checking the plastic notebook computer shell reveals a bright, white, correctly spaced keyboard along with a polished blue keyboard tray. In a departure from the solid matte blue on the outside, the HP Stream includes a glossy, gradient woodgrain pattern on its keyboard tray, adding more pizazz to its design.

And that surprisingly not-tacky white keyboard? It is the electronic exact carbon copy of a writing with a silky, smooth, gel ink pen. Furthermore to its good deal and stellar design, it includes a long-lasting battery — much better than 8 hours inside our video rundown test — and carries a year of Microsoft Office 365 and 1TB of OneDrive online storage (a $70 value).

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To be sure, as of this price, you’re definitely making some compromises. HP downgraded the Stream 11’s processor speed, meaning this model is slower than last year’s. In addition, it includes a measly 32GB SSD that will require you to always upload to the cloud or make good usage of the microSD card slot or two USB ports. Additionally, the touchpad response is quite slow. And the screen isn’t anything to write home about: it generally does not have a touchscreen, and the 1,366×768-pixel screen resolution is underwhelming. (Pro tip: hook up it to a TV or monitor with the HDMI output, and it supports resolutions up to at least one 1,920×1,080.)

Still, it’s a complete Windows 10 notebook computer for $200, and simply perfect for Facebooking, Netflixing and streaming audio tracks to a Bluetooth speaker. Unlike a similarly priced Chromebook, it could run things such as Java (still a required evil for some folks), in addition to full applications such as for example Photoshop and Microsoft Word, not their browser-based equivalents.

While it isn’t as slick or light as an iPad, it costs less — you may get two Streams for the cost of the least expensive iPad Air 2, or one for under the iPad Mini 2. Even though competition on the bargain notebook computer front is warming up — browse the similar Lenovo Ideapad 100S, as an example — the HP’s divine design would tip the buying scale for me personally.