Notebookcheck

HP Stream 14-z050ng Notebook Review

Sascha Mölck, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Martina Osztovits), 10/25/2014

Windows Chromebook. HP tries to compete with Google's Chromebooks with a slim 14-inch Windows notebook. An AMD APU works inside. The concept sounds good, but is it really convincing?

For the original German review, see here.

Chromebooks have become more and more popular over time. One of the reasons might be that they are very simple to use: Open the laptop, log in to a Google account and start using it. With the Stream series, HP tries to establish a Windows-based counterpart now. It uses a simple hardware platform and primarily cloud applications. Thanks to a fully fledged Windows installation, it is also possible to use "normal" Windows applications. Is this an advantage? Our review will reveal whether the HP Stream is convincing and actually an alternative to Chromebooks.

Competitors of the Stream are not only Chromebooks like the Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2 and the Toshiba Chromebook CB30-102, but also cheap Windows notebooks like the Asus X551MAV-SX391B, the Packard Bell EasyNote TF71BM-C8R1, the Acer Aspire E1-532, and the Lenovo B50-45.

Case & Connectivity

The thin, slim case looks nice at a first glance. It is very handy with a height of 17.8 mm and a weight of 1.6 kg. Despite a price of 300 Euros (~$380), HP does not only use plastic: The upper side of the base unit and the lid are made from aluminum. The test device has two colors: The underside of the base unit and the hinge cover are purple ("Neon Purple") and the upper side of the base unit and the lid are silver ("Natural Silver"). Alternatively, the computer is also available in green and silver.

The device has the usual weaknesses found in many notebooks. The case can be slightly depressed under the touchpad and beside the keyboard. In our opinion, the base unit can be twisted too easily. The latter is also true for the lid. The laptop does not have a maintenance hatch. So, you have to remove the upper side of the base unit in order to reach the inside. This does not really matter since the battery is the only replaceable component. The battery is held by screws and is not adhered.

HP placed the slots of the Stream on both flanks towards the back. So, there are no cables left and right of the palm rests. In terms of connectivity, the laptop meets the minimum requirements. A USB 3.0 port is included. The middle of the three images of the case depicts a SIM-card slot on the right side, which is explicitly mentioned in the hardware manual, too. However, our test model neither features a SIM-card slot nor an LTE-/3G modem. We hope that HP will offer a model with a modem, since it would greatly increase the appeal of the computer.

The preinstalled Windows 8.1 (64-bit) is used as the operating system. A recovery medium is not included. But, the eMMC memory has a recovery partition.

The HP Stream 14-z050ng. (Image: HP)
The HP Stream 14-z050ng. (Image: HP)
The case is partly made from aluminum. (Image: HP)
The case is partly made from aluminum. (Image: HP)
HP uses purple and silver. (Image: HP)
HP uses purple and silver. (Image: HP)
Left: HDMI, USB 3.0, audio combo, memory-card reader (MicroSD)
Left: HDMI, USB 3.0, audio combo, memory-card reader (MicroSD)
Right: 2x USB 2.0, power-in
Right: 2x USB 2.0, power-in

Input Devices

Input devices of the HP Stream 14.
Input devices of the HP Stream 14.

The Stream 14 features a chiclet keyboard without a light. The flat, smooth keys feature a short travel and a distinctive pressure point, which could be clearer. The keyboard gives in easily during typing - more on the right than on the left. However, this is not disturbing. Overall, the keyboard is decent. The ClickPad of the Stream supports multi-touch input. Thanks to its size of 10.1 x 6.8 cm, it is easy to use gestures. The smooth surface does not prevent fingers from gliding. The pad features a short travel alongside a clear pressure point.

Display

HP equipped the Stream with a glossy 14-inch display with a native resolution of 1366x768 pixels. The brightness of 221.9 cd/m² is not especially impressive but usual for a computer of this price range. The same is true for contrast (359:1) and black value (0.64 cd/m²).

219
cd/m²
221
cd/m²
219
cd/m²
225
cd/m²
230
cd/m²
230
cd/m²
227
cd/m²
220
cd/m²
206
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 230 cd/m² Average: 221.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 230 cd/m²
Contrast: 359:1 (Black: 0.64 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 11.29 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 12 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
40% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.24

In factory state, the display has an average DeltaE 2000 deviation of 11.29, which is clearly outside the target range (DeltaE smaller than 3). In addition, the display has a strong blue tint.

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Gray levels
CalMAN - Gray levels
CalMAN - Color Saturation
CalMAN - Color Saturation
The HP Stream 14 outdoors.
The HP Stream 14 outdoors.

HP has equipped the Stream with a simple TN panel. So, the viewing angles are narrow. The laptop can be used in the shade at best. Other than that, it is difficult or even impossible to use the display outdoors because of the glossy surface.

Performance

The HP Stream 14 is a simple 14-inch office notebook. Its processing performance is more than sufficient for the intended use (office, Internet, video playback). The Stream 14 is, so to say, a Windows-based counterpart to the Chromebooks from Google. Our test model costs 299 Euros (~$379). Models with different hardware are not available. We only saw a model with different colors (green and silver; HP Stream 14-z052ng).

Processor

The Stream is powered by an AMD A4 Micro-6400T APU (Mullins). The CPU part of the APU consists of a quad-core processor with a base clock of 1 GHz. The clock rate can increase to up to 1.6 GHz. With a TDP of 4.5 Watt, the APU is very frugal. Thus, it can be cooled passively. AMD primarily designed this APU for use in tablets.

The processor clocks at 1.2 GHz during the multi-thread tests of the Cinebench benchmarks. When running the single-thread tests, the clock rate of one core is usually increased to 1.6 GHz. The single-thread performance is on a par with that of the Bay Trail processor from Intel. In multi-thread apps, the processor can catch up to Intel's Haswell Pentiums. The results in the browser benchmarks depend heavily on the used browser. In order to show the differences, we ran the test with the preinstalled Internet Explorer 11 as well as with Chrome (38.0.2125.104). All things considered, the APU left a good impression. It would be interesting to see how the APU performs in conventional notebooks which currently use Bay Trail Pentiums.

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
2090
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
2124 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
1251
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
3380
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
4159 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
1545 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.16 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
9.44 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.41 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
8.69 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
95 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
34 Points
Help
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
0.41 Points ∼17%
HP 255 G2
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
0.25 Points ∼10% -39%
HP Pavilion 15-n050sg
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
0.39 Points ∼16% -5%
Asus X551MAV-SX391B
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
0.43 Points ∼18% +5%
Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
0.44 Points ∼18% +7%
Lenovo B50-45
Radeon R4 (Beema), A6-6310, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
0.55 Points ∼23% +34%
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
0.61 Points ∼25% +49%
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1.16 Points ∼4%
HP 255 G2
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
0.47 Points ∼2% -59%
Asus X551MAV-SX391B
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
0.81 Points ∼3% -30%
Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
0.82 Points ∼3% -29%
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1.14 Points ∼4% -2%
HP Pavilion 15-n050sg
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
1.48 Points ∼5% +28%
Lenovo B50-45
Radeon R4 (Beema), A6-6310, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1.82 Points ∼7% +57%
Geekbench 3 - 32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
882 Points ∼18%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E145-20BC000UGE
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
870 Points ∼18% -1%
Asus X551MAV-SX391B
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
891 Points ∼18% +1%
Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
903 Points ∼19% +2%
Lenovo B50-45
Radeon R4 (Beema), A6-6310, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1175 Points ∼24% +33%
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1277 Points ∼26% +45%
Geekbench 3 - 32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2239 Points ∼7%
Asus X551MAV-SX391B
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1557 Points ∼5% -30%
Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
1559 Points ∼5% -30%
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
2220 Points ∼7% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E145-20BC000UGE
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
2766 Points ∼9% +24%
Lenovo B50-45
Radeon R4 (Beema), A6-6310, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
3183 Points ∼10% +42%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
696.1 ms * ∼8%
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
393 ms * ∼4% +44%
Asus X551MAV-SX391B
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
339.6 ms * ∼4% +51%
Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
375 ms * ∼4% +46%
Toshiba Chromebook CB30-102
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, 16 GB eMMC Flash
455.3 ms * ∼5% +35%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
632.2 ms * ∼7% +9%
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
634.6 ms * ∼7% +9%
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01US
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB eMMC Flash
736.8 ms * ∼8% -6%

* ... smaller is better

Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
9354.9 ms * ∼16%
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
5975.9 ms * ∼10% +36%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
4663.9 ms * ∼8% +50%
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
4696.6 ms * ∼8% +50%
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01US
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB eMMC Flash
5476 ms * ∼9% +41%

* ... smaller is better

Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
6827 Points ∼14%
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
3947 Points ∼8% -42%
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01US
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB eMMC Flash
4943 Points ∼10% -28%
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
6843 Points ∼14% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
7334 Points ∼15% +7%
Toshiba Chromebook CB30-102
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, 16 GB eMMC Flash
8758 Points ∼18% +28%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1205 Points ∼19%
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
781 Points ∼13% -35%
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01US
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1005 Points ∼16% -17%
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1255 Points ∼20% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1292 Points ∼21% +7%
Toshiba Chromebook CB30-102
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, 16 GB eMMC Flash
2765 Points ∼45% +129%

System Performance

The system works smoothly and Windows boots quickly. Unfortunately, we can not deliver PCMark 8 results, since the computer crashed and restarted when we executed it.

PCMark 7 Score
2086 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2086 Points ∼24%
HP 255 G2
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
1083 Points ∼13% -48%
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1484 Points ∼17% -29%

Storage Devices

An eMMC chip is used as data storage. The transfer rates of the eMMC memory are largely up-to-date. However, the 4k performance is significantly lower than other computers' with eMMC memory. The storage device is far from keeping up with SSDs in terms of performance. HP has incorporated a memory module with a capacity of 32 GB. About 10 GB is occupied by the recovery partition and about 12 GB is used by the Windows installation. As a result, the user can use just under 10 GB. Additional storage space can be added with a MicroSD card. In addition, buyers of the Stream 14 are provided with 100 GB storage capacity in Microsoft's Cloud memory (OneDrive) for two years.

32 GB eMMC Flash
Sequential Read: 165.1 MB/s
Sequential Write: 66.45 MB/s
512K Read: 138.8 MB/s
512K Write: 42.32 MB/s
4K Read: 8.998 MB/s
4K Write: 2.866 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 11.04 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 3.513 MB/s
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Schenker Element 3G
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3740D, 64 GB eMMC Flash
Asus Transformer Book T200TA
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3775, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Lenovo Miix 2 11
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
40%
41%
1136%
Write 4k QD32
3.513
6.524
86%
5.763
64%
130.3
3609%
Read 4k QD32
11.04
26.07
136%
35.13
218%
214
1838%
Write 4k
2.866
5.556
94%
5.602
95%
79.84
2686%
Read 4k
8.998
11.75
31%
17.24
92%
28.61
218%
Write 512
42.32
39.14
-8%
25.22
-40%
124.2
193%
Read 512
138.8
155.9
12%
84.35
-39%
451.2
225%
Write Seq
66.45
46.87
-29%
52.31
-21%
134.8
103%
Read Seq
165.1
162.9
-1%
92.76
-44%
516.6
213%

Graphics Card

Graphics output is done by a Radeon R3 graphics core. The GPU supports DirectX 11.2 and clocks at 350 GHz. The results of the 3DMark benchmarks show that the performance of the chip is about in between the Intel HD Graphics 2500 (Ivy Bridge) and HD Graphics (Haswell). So, it is significantly faster than Intel's Bay Trail GPUs.

3DMark 06 Standard
2547 points
3DMark Vantage P Result
1331 points
3DMark 11 Performance
444 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
16523 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
1638 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
219 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
444 Points ∼1%
Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
214 Points ∼1% -52%
Asus X551MAV-SX391B
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
227 Points ∼1% -49%
HP 255 G2
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
372 Points ∼1% -16%
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
480 Points ∼2% +8%
Lenovo B50-45
Radeon R4 (Beema), A6-6310, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
753 Points ∼2% +70%

Gaming Performance

Neither the used APU nor the computer itself were designed for modern computer games. Apart from that, the existing storage capacity is hardly sufficient for most games. Several older titles like Trackmania Nations Forever or Resident Evil 5 run smoothly with low resolution and low quality settings. Those wanting to play occasionally should stick to games from the Windows Store.

low med. high ultra
Trackmania Nations Forever (2008) 70.819.6fps
Resident Evil 5 (2009) 35.8fps
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (2010) 21.215.69fps
Deus Ex Human Revolution (2011) 28.712fps
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) 1711.37.2fps
Anno 2070 (2011) 29.312.98.1fps
Dishonored (2012) 17.614.112.8fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 20.710.26.9fps
GRID 2 (2013) 27.614.412.5fps
Saints Row IV (2013) 10.48.34.3fps
F1 2013 (2013) 191413fps
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
HP Pavilion 15-n050sg
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
Lenovo B50-45
Radeon R4 (Beema), A6-6310, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
Tomb Raider
-29%
32%
43%
59%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x
6.9
4.8
-30%
9.3
35%
11.6
68%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x
10.2
7.4
-27%
13.5
32%
14.3
40%
15.9
56%
1024x768 Low Preset
20.7
14.4
-30%
27
30%
30.3
46%
31.7
53%

Emissions

System Noise

The APU is cooled passively. Thus, the Stream does not produce noise.

Temperature

The HP Stream in the stress test.
The HP Stream in the stress test.

The ProBook completes the stress test (Prime95 and Furmark running simultaneously for at least an hour) the same way in both AC power and battery modes: The CPU's clock rate is throttled to 600 to 800 MHz, the GPU works at 350 MHz. The case does not get extremely hot. Only two measurement points exceed 40 °C during the stress test.

 28.8 °C
84 F
28.1 °C
83 F
25.6 °C
78 F
 
 26.5 °C
80 F
27.2 °C
81 F
24.6 °C
76 F
 
 26.6 °C
80 F
25.1 °C
77 F
25.8 °C
78 F
 
Maximum: 28.8 °C = 84 F
Average: 26.5 °C = 80 F
25.1 °C
77 F
30.3 °C
87 F
29.3 °C
85 F
24.3 °C
76 F
27.1 °C
81 F
27.1 °C
81 F
25 °C
77 F
25.7 °C
78 F
26.4 °C
80 F
Maximum: 30.3 °C = 87 F
Average: 26.7 °C = 80 F
Power Supply (max.)  30.1 °C = 86 F | Room Temperature 22.7 °C = 73 F | Voltcraft IR-360
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 30.8 °C / 87 F, compared to the average of 29.8 °C / 86 F for the devices in the class Netbook.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 37.8 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 33 °C / 91 F, ranging from 21.6 to 53.2 °C for the class Netbook.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 45.6 °C / 114 F, compared to the average of 36.6 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.5 °C / 80 F, compared to the device average of 29.8 °C / 86 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 28 °C / 82.4 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29.3 °C / 84.7 F (+1.3 °C / 2.3 F).

Speakers

The stereo speakers of the Stream are located on the underside of the computer. The sound is rather thin, lacks bass, and appears slightly tinny. The preinstalled Beats Audio Software is active. The sound can only be improved by external speakers or headphones.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The energy demand of the Stream is quite low in all load scenarios. This is not surprising since the computer houses a frugal APU. Conventional Windows computers with a size of 15.6-inches and Bay Trail CPUs need significantly more energy. This is also true for Chromebooks with Intel hardware. But, Chromebooks with ARM hardware are even more frugal; for example, the Acer Chromebook 13 with Tegra K1 SoC.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.0001 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 2.8 / 5 / 6 Watt
Load midlight 10.3 / 12.5 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Asus X551MAV-SX391B
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
Lenovo B50-45
Radeon R4 (Beema), A6-6310, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Toshiba Chromebook CB30-102
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Power Consumption
-49%
-73%
44%
-56%
Idle Minimum *
2.8
5.3
-89%
4.5
-61%
1
64%
5.6
-100%
Idle Average *
5
7.8
-56%
7.8
-56%
2.9
42%
8.6
-72%
Idle Maximum *
6
8.5
-42%
8.4
-40%
3.9
35%
8.8
-47%
Load Average *
10.3
13.8
-34%
21.4
-108%
6.4
38%
12.3
-19%
Load Maximum *
12.5
15.5
-24%
24.8
-98%
7.6
39%
18
-44%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Our realistic WLAN test automatically loads websites in 40-second intervals. The energy-saving profile is active and the display brightness is set to about 150 cd/m². The Stream achieves a battery life of 5:17 h. While this is alright, it should have performed significantly better. This notebook was designed for mobility. Even in the 300 Euros (~$380) price range, there are notebooks with significantly longer battery life, for example, the Packard Bell EasyNote TF71BM-C8R1 (Pentium N2830, HD Graphics (Bay Trail)): It costs about 250 Euros (~$316) and achieves a battery life of 7:09 h. The Stream was designed as a competitor to Chromebooks and has to keep up with these. Again, things look black. Acer's Chromebook 13 (Tegra K1) achieves 10:04 h on a single charge.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
5h 17min
Battery Runtime - WiFi (sort by value)
HP Stream 14-z050ng
Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), A4 Micro-6400T, 32 GB eMMC Flash
317 min ∼52%
Asus X551MAV-SX391B
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
244 min ∼40%
Lenovo B50-45
Radeon R4 (Beema), A6-6310, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
202 min ∼33%
Acer Aspire E1-532
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
270 min ∼45%
HP 255 G2
Radeon HD 8210, E1-2100, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
281 min ∼47%
Packard Bell Easynote TF71BM-C8R1
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT012-1DG142
429 min ∼71%
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
604 min ∼100%

Verdict

All things considered, we liked the HP Stream 14-z050ng. Practically, you'll get a Windows-based Chromebook, which can run "normal" Windows applications, too. The processing performance is sufficient for office, Internet and video playback. The computer works silently and hardly gets warmer during everyday tasks. The hardware is housed by a thin, nice case. The display will not win any prizes but matches the price range. However, we expected a matte display, since the Stream will be used in different locations and the user should be protected against reflections. The battery life should also be better in a device designed for mobility.

The Stream has some potential. HP should improve display and battery life and decrease the price at the same time. Several conventional 15.6-inch computers are available in the 300 Euros (~$380) price range, which feature more storage capacity and longer battery life but are significantly heavier and thicker. The Stream has to be at least on par with devices of both categories in order to be competitive. A Stream 14 with matte display, 64 GB memory, big battery capacity and integrated 3G modem could definitely find its buyers for 250 Euros (~$316) or less.

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The HP Stream 14-z050ng; courtesy of HP Store.
The HP Stream 14-z050ng; courtesy of HP Store.

Specifications

HP Stream 14-z050ng (Stream Series)
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema), Core: 350 MHz, 14.301.1004.0
Memory
2048 MB 
, DDR3, soldered, no RAM slots
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1366 x 768 pixel, LG Philips, TN LED, glossy: yes
Mainboard
AMD Bolton
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 10 GB free
Soundcard
AMD Hudson-2 High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: Audio combo, Card Reader: MicroSD, AMD Platform Security Processor 1.0
Networking
Broadcom BCM43142 (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17.8 x 344 x 240 ( = 0.7 x 13.54 x 9.45 in)
Battery
32 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD web cam
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, McAfee LiveSafe-Internet Security (trial version), 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.62 kg ( = 57.14 oz / 3.57 pounds), Power Supply: 298 g ( = 10.51 oz / 0.66 pounds)
Price
299 Euro

 

To get inside the HP Stream 14, you need to loosen a lot of screws on the bottom of the laptop. Four of them are hidden below the back feet.
To get inside the HP Stream 14, you need to loosen a lot of screws on the bottom of the laptop. Four of them are hidden below the back feet.
In addition to the screws, the upper body is held in place by plastic clips.
In addition to the screws, the upper body is held in place by plastic clips.
The ribbon cables for keyboard, power button, ... are long enough to not damage them when lifting off the top.
The ribbon cables for keyboard, power button, ... are long enough to not damage them when lifting off the top.
Nothing to upgrade here. Main memory, and NAND memory is soldered directly on the mainboard.
Nothing to upgrade here. Main memory, and NAND memory is soldered directly on the mainboard.

Similar Devices

Devices with Same Screen Size and/or Weight

HP Stream 13-c102ng Notebook Review
HD Graphics (Braswell), Celeron N3050, 13.3", 1.524 kg
HP Stream 13 Notebook Review
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Celeron N2840, 13.3", 1.55 kg
HP Chromebook 14 G1 Notebook Review
HD Graphics (Haswell), Celeron 2955U, 14", 1.836 kg

Devices from the same Manufacturer

HP Elitebook x360 1040 G5 (i7-8650U, FHD) Convertible Review
UHD Graphics 620, Core i7 8650U, 14", 1.35 kg
HP x2 210 G2 (x5-Z8350, eMMC, WXGA) Convertible Review
HD Graphics 400 (Braswell), Atom x5 Z8350, 10.1", 1.2 kg
HP Pavilion x360 (Core i3-8130U, 256 GB SSD) Convertible Review
UHD Graphics 620, Core i3 8130U, 14", 1.636 kg
HP Pavilion Gaming 15 (i7-8750H, GTX 1050 Ti, Optane Memory, FHD) Laptop Review
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), Core i7 8750H, 15.6", 2.4 kg

Links

Pros

+Slim, nice case
+Silent operation
+Decent keyboard
 

Cons

-Glossy display
-Only 12 months warranty

Shortcut

What we like

The slim case.

What we would like to see

A matte display and longer battery life.

What surprises us

Despite a low price, the case of the Stream is partly made from aluminum.

The competition

Packard Bell EasyNote TF71BM-C8R1, Asus X551MAV-SX391B, Lenovo B50-45, HP 15-g005ng, Acer Aspire E1-532Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2, Toshiba Chromebook CB30-102.

Rating

HP Stream 14-z050ng - 10/19/2014 v4(old)
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
76 / 98 → 78%
Keyboard
75%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
57 / 80 → 71%
Weight
68 / 35-78 → 77%
Battery
88%
Display
70%
Games Performance
42 / 68 → 62%
Application Performance
44 / 87 → 51%
Temperature
90 / 91 → 99%
Noise
100%
Audio
45 / 91 → 49%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
67%
76%
Netbook - Weighted Average
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > HP Stream 14-z050ng Notebook Review
Sascha Mölck, 2014-10-25 (Update: 2014-11- 4)