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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  • kgh00007 - Sunday, December 21, 2014 - link

    I bought an Acer Aspire E 11.6 for a family member and I thinkit's basically the same platform. Celeron N2840 and 32Gb Hynix HBG4e. Overall I am impressed with how snappy the system is.

    The only problem is the Acer only has 9GB free, that's after uninstalling most of the bloatware. There is a separate 10GB recovery partition that Disk Management reports as being 100% free space, that cannot be deleted. Even after creating a recovery drive, there is no option to delete the recovery partition.

    Does anyone have any ideas on how to recover that 10GB? It looks like Acer's implementation of WIM boot is flawed. I've found quite a few people complaining of this in the Acer forums, but no solution.
  • Brett Howse - Sunday, December 21, 2014 - link

    When you have WIMBoot you can't remove the recovery partition because that's where the actual system files are. The flaw I see with WIMBoot (this is the first device I have reviewed which used it) are that they put too much stuff in the recovery partition - free trials to software, office, etc - and they all take up a lot of space. Since you can't remove the recovery partition it would be much better if they made it as lean as possible but depending on the OEM, it might be pretty large, negating the usefulness of it.

    The HP Stream was 7.2 GB because I'm pretty sure it has the full Office files in the WIM as well. Just make it a download... I'd rather download it once if I need it than take the space hit on something with such a small amount of storage. This version was the MS Signature edition though so it has less of the bloat than most, and yet it is still 7.2 GB. The Windows install I can download is ~4 GB so clearly they could do a better job with either the WIM compression or keeping extra software out and allow you to move that to a recovery USB.
  • kgh00007 - Sunday, December 21, 2014 - link

    Cheers Brett, on the Acer the recovery partition is 10GB, but when you make a recovery drive it only uses around 7GB, so it looks like they didn't even try to optimise the size of the recovery partition, just went with 10GB!

    And the windows installation takes up 10GB on the drive, so there's only 9GB user accessible space left out of the box, it just seems like they wasted a lot of space.

    On the stream does it actually have 17.5GB user accessible space free on the drive out of the box? The stream isn't available in Canada yet, but I might return the Acer's, I bought two of them for our mothers! They don't need a lot of space, but 9GB is cutting it fine I reckon!!
  • kgh00007 - Sunday, December 21, 2014 - link

    UPDATE: I returned the two Acer Aspire E 11.6's for a HP Stream 11 and a Stream 13.
    They just came in to the local Microsoft store, so I got the signature editions and they both have 17.5GB user accessible right out of the box, much better than the 9GB in the Aceer.

    Cheers Brett for the info, you helped me to make a more informed decision.
  • Brett Howse - Sunday, December 21, 2014 - link

    Let me know what you think of them once you use them for a bit. Tweet me @BrettHowse

    I got this one from the MS Store in Canada so I was going to say yes you can buy them there :) Bit of a price premium over the US store but the CAD dollar has kind of tanked due to oil prices.

    The 13" with touch is not yet available in Canada looks like maybe end of January for that one but you just never know.
  • Squinoogle - Sunday, December 28, 2014 - link

    RE: Wifi - you're looking at the Envy range before you'll get anything better than 2.4GHz only 1:1 N (and even then there are still some holdouts), so I don't see them including anything better any time soon.

    RE: Display - Yuck, I really hope you just got a dodgy example there.
  • Lerianis - Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - link

    I've honest got to say "Boo hiss!" to these because they are expensive compared to the E5-571-5552 from Acer. Bigger screen, more hard drive space, more RAM, more powerful CPU (Core i5) for only twice the cost of this machine.
    Who are you trying to fool with these articles? These machines are craptacular for what you are getting. Not even worthy 90 dollars in the real world.
  • avfreebird - Thursday, June 18, 2015 - link

    Do you mean that when I have 200$, I (magically) get more 200$ to get a laptop for browsing, officeediting, film watching instead of this "craptacular maschine"?
  • Pstenney - Thursday, April 28, 2016 - link

    My son is having problems using flash player. Flash came preinstalled when we purchased it new Dec. 2015. Using it for school and some classes require flash. Keeps telling us that you must have flash but will not let us.

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