CPU Performance

Netbooks have a rather poor reputation when it comes to performance. The original Atom processor was very slow, and of course it was mated to the slowest (cheapest) storage that could be found. The overall impression was never very favorable. Luckily, Intel’s Bay Trail architecture has helped tremendously for newer devices such as the Stream 11. Performance is good and power consumption is low, allowing devices such as this to offer good battery life and fanless designs.

To evaluate the performance, we ran through some web based tests as well as our traditional Windows benchmarks. We have not evaluated any other Windows laptops with Bay Trail, so I’ve included some of the results from the ASUS T100 review as well since it uses Bay Trail (although it is a quad-core tablet version Bay Trail-T) just to compare the dual-core Bay Trail-M version against something other than Haswell.

We do not have a huge selection of appropriate machines to compare against so I’ve included more devices than I normally would have just to get a feel where this Bay Trail-M fits in compared to AMD and Core based CPUs. If you would like to compare the HP Stream 11 against anything we have tested before that I did not include, please visit our online results database, Bench.

Sunspider 1.0.2Mozilla Kraken 1.1WebXPRT

The web based benchmarks allow us to compare across different platforms. The HP Stream 11 performs much closer to a tablet than a typical Haswell based notebook, which is no surprise. It's not the snappiest device on the block, but it doesn't need to be. Let's move on to some PC-centric workloads.

PCMark 8 - HomePCMark 8 - CreativePCMark 8 - WorkPCMark 7 (2013)Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded BenchmarkCinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmarkx264 HD 5.xx264 HD 5.xTouchXPRT 2013 - Photo EnhanceTouchXPRT 2013 - Photo SharingTouchXPRT 2013 - Video SharingTouchXPRT 2013 - Podcast MP3 ExportTouchXPRT 2013 - Photo Slideshow

With only two cores and no hyperthreading, the Bay Trail-M cannot keep up with the bigger Core series. It does have better performance than the Bay Trail-T though even though there are only half the cores, but the clockspeed is much higher. There are a couple of benchmarks (Cinebench R11.5) where we have data from the old N550 Pineview core Atom with the HP Mini 5103, which shows that even though Bay Trail is slow compared to Core, it is still much faster than netbooks of old.

While the benchmarks would have you believe that the system is slow and sluggish, unless you are doing something that is very hard on the processor it never felt that way. Yes, things are not as quick as an Ultrabook but tablets make due with less processing power than this. With the lack of a touch screen, it is difficult to compare the Stream 11 to a tablet, but the workload that it will handle is similar.

GPU Performance

The Celeron N2840 carries Intel’s HD Graphics, but with far fewer cores at lower clocks than the Core parts. There are only four execution units, so graphics performance will not be even close to Ultrabooks.

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)Futuremark 3DMark (2013)Futuremark 3DMark (2013)Futuremark 3DMark 11

This is far from a gaming system. It is possible to game on it if you keep the workload down. Light gaming, such as games in the Windows Store, had no issues running. I played through a bit of Asphalt 8 and performance was excellent.

Our normal laptop workload for gaming consists of rather demanding titles such as Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider, but those would not even crack 30 FPS on the Haswell based Yoga 2 Pro. To get a feeling for a lighter game, I installed League of Legends.

The game was very playable, although settings must be turned down. The default medium settings would give around 30 FPS (measured with FRAPS) and very low produced 60 FPS with V-Sync disabled. Light games such as these can be played assuming you are OK with the graphics being set lower.

Overall performance is very low for a laptop, with the capabilities coming in closer to that of a tablet. Light workloads are the name of the game for a $199 laptop. If you need more processing power, you will likely need to spend a bit extra.

Design Storage and Wi-Fi performance
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  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    Except Jarred has a couple so I've added numbers for C720 to the appropriate graphs. Chromebook 13 from Acer is up next for review....
  • Cryio - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    I hate Bay-Trail so much.

    Where are all the Mullins/Beema laptops? :(
  • ExarKun333 - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    LOL, they don't exist. No one sells them. :)
  • Flunk - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    Intel is basically giving the chips away, AMD can't possibly compete with that.
  • Flunk - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    I've spent a bit of time with one of these. Everything mentioned in the article is true, but what's really surprising to me is that the build quality is surprisingly decent. For $200 I expect a notebook built like tissue that looks like a brick and this feels quite good in the hand and looks quite stylish (color being extremely subjective or course). Other manufacturers could learn from this, it's not necessary for a notebook to cost $1000 to be built reasonably and plastic can be good.
  • herzigma - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    I'd like to see performance and battery life compared between a Chromebook at the Stream 11 running the Chrome browser in Desktop mode...
  • tipoo - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    Doesn't seem bad for what it is. I'm interested in the Stream 8s or 7s as cheap tablets for my parents, any plans on a look at those?
  • Brett Howse - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    Actually yes should be something up soon.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    Awesome! Thanks for letting me know.
  • Cygni - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    Do you want a horrid blue plastic laptop with a comically bad screen, predictably bad cheap laptop trackpad, terrible wifi, no storage, and a universally loathed OS? Are you so bad with money that the concept of waiting and spending more to get something that will actually last is foreign and maddening? Good news for you, the netbook is back!

    This would be an interesting laptop to get for a very young child who you also happen to hate, or to airdrop on 'developing nations' so they can burn them for warmth when nobody buys them.

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