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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  • Bobs_Your_Uncle - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link

    This must be where the line forms for frugal hipsters waiting patiently for Apple to usher in that really big, long rumored price cut!

    Fortunately, here in the good ole' U.S. of A. we are ALL One-Percenters. It would simply be so gauche were we forced to consider that, just maybe, not everyone gets to lounge about in entitled largesse.

    While we're waiting, please pass the derivatives, won't you.
  • dunce - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    We purchased four of these for our older family members early Christmas presents. Actually the 13in version, to help their old eyes. They LOVE them!! Good battery and small size but they are coming from ancient laptops, my grandfathers was a PII Toshiba Portege.

    We went with these over the Chromebooks for two reasons, first and most important Online Poker, there is no online poker games on Chromebooks (real people, real money). Second was the free office 365 for a year, our grandparents are die hard Excel users and do everything including grocery list in xls.
  • jabber - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    So what happens in a years time and they still want to use Excel? Switch them over to Libre Office?
  • steven75 - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    As jabber says, I bet they'll learn to love any of the MANY MANY other ways you can make grocery lists instead of paying $100 a year. Heck, they may even realize just why the other ways are far superior if they actually tried them out.
  • Zizy - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    Eh if they purchased 4 of those they could get that 5-pack Office 365. 25/year with one extra license he can keep for himself. Full office + tons of online storage. Ends up about the same per person as 100GB google drive storage :)

    As for other ways - sometimes people hate to learn new ways. I believe I don't need to give you examples :) Also, grocery list seems to be an example of how trivial tasks they perform in excel, not that this is the reason excel is needed.
  • schizoide - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    It's not only the free "Windows with Bing" that's bringing real x86 windows tablets/netbooks price/performance competitive with Chromebooks. One aspect that most outlets miss is that Intel is subsidizing bay trail chips. They're losing money on every single one sold. That's why EVERYTHING is usual bay trail atoms these days, and why you don't see any more experimentation with ARM or AMD.
  • Brett Howse - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    I don't know if that's really fair in this version of Bay Trail, but we don't know what they are paying either. HP has the HP Stream 14 which I mentioned has a AMD A4 in it.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    o_O That close up of the pixels, what's that gunky gel covering them? I havn't seen that in other close ups. Is it noticeable from a distance?
  • kyuu - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    Not sure what "gunky gel" you're referring to, but if you mean the distortion of the pixels, that's likely caused by the matte finish of the panel. As Brett mentions in the article.
  • jtharris3 - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    The crappy TN screen is a deal breaker for me. Not buying!

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