11.6-inch HD WLED-backlit Anti-Glare Display (1366 x 768) / Intel UHD Graphics
Intel Celeron N4020 Dual Core Processor 1.1 GHz (up to 2.8 GHz burst)
4GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM
32GB eMMC Internal Storage
Windows 10 Home in S Mode
Design and display
While it's true that the 14 and 13.3-inch form factor has risen in popularity over the past couple of years, not everyone is looking for a laptop that's "that big". In that regard, the HP Stream 16V15UA#ABA boasts an 11.6-inch WLED display with 1366 by 768 pixels (standard HD definition).
As far as the design goes, HP's educational laptop comes with a pretty standard design that doesn't really seek to innovate. As you might expect, there's no backlit keyboard or anything of the sorts. Neither will you find a dedicated numeric pad on this size.
Finally, a solid reason to go for this model is portability. Specifically, weighing just 2.37 pounds and measuring slightly below seven inches this device is extremely portable.
Performance of the HP Stream 16V15UA#ABA
Specifically, we've got a pretty basic Intel Celeron N4020 processor that clocks in at a base 1.1 GHz with two cores that are geared towards getting the most out of the battery life, we've got 32 GB of eMMC storage and 4 GB of RAM.
Basically, you should be very much aware that this laptop is what is known as a cloudbook, a device that's engineered with the intention that we store everything in the cloud. That's why it also comes with one year of 1 TB of One Drive. In that regard, it's very much comparable to a Chromebook with the difference that it uses Microsoft's operating system.
What should I expect from this laptop?
You should expect the HP Stream 16V15UA#ABA to work on a basic level. That means you may use it to surf the web, chat with friends, edit office documents - it comes with a one-year subscription to the Microsoft office suite -, watch YouTube videos, stream movies and that's about it.
However, you should not expect this laptop not to lag if you become more demanding and suddenly have 10 tabs open on your browser whilst chatting on Skype. This laptop will call you out on that, this is not a laptop suitable for intensive multitaskers as you can probably expect.
Can I upgrade the storage or the RAM?
Unfortunately, you may not upgrade the RAM nor the storage in a "traditional way". However, seeing as this device has a microSD card slot you could very easily increase storage by another 128 GB for less than 20 dollars.
How do you do this? Easy; you insert the microSD card, go onto the systems storage preferences and once you're there you can request the system store new apps, images, and other files directly onto the microSD card. Obviously, by doing so, if the SD card is not connected you won't be able to access what you store there, something worth remembering.
What about battery life and connectivity features?
If there's one thing that a laptop focused on the educational market needs that would be; a great battery life. There's no point in a lightweight laptop that you can carry everywhere you go if you also need to bring the charger along with you.
HP is well aware of this and promises up to 12 hours worth of battery life on the HP Stream 16V15UA#ABA.
Should you expect 12 hours? Of course not! However, as many customers have pointed out, with mixed usage, you could easily get between 6 and 9 hours out of the laptop which is still very much in line with what we need from a student device.
As far as connectivity is concerned, HP offers what we would expect from a device of this size and a bit more. Specifically, we've got two USB type-A ports (3.1 gen), a single USB Type C port (3.1 gen as well), audio jack and you've even got a standard HDMI output as well as the aforementioned microSD card reader.
As far as wireless connectivity is concerned we've also got WiFi 5 connectivity - previously known as WiFi 802.11 ac - which is quite good, and Bluetooth 5 in case you would want to connect some speakers or a wireless mouse.
What about Windows S Mode?
Finally, something that quite a few people have asked us about is how to disable Windows S Mode on the HP Stream 16V15UA#ABA. Basically, you go on to settings -> update and security -> activation -> go to the store -> Switch out of S mode.
This will allow you to install third-party apps such as Google Chrome. However, you should consider that switching out of "S mode" is a one-way process and there's no way of heading back to "S mode".
Advantages of working with the secure mode activated are that it extends battery life on your laptop, provides consistent performance to make your laptop "feel new" for longer, and boots up faster by having "less clutter" on the operating system.
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