John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

HP Stream 7″ Windows tablet mini review

I’ve played with a few Windows tablets. Playing with a Windows tablet is like speaking with your ex-wife. Takes about 2 minutes to remind yourself why you hate it 🙂 And if there is anywhere Windows does not play well, it’s on a small low res device like this. I’m getting ahead of myself.

This tablet is in on the low end side of Windows tablets. I don’t think there is lower. A few of my colleagues have purchased these, and every one of them have returned them. I got briefly to play with one before it got returned, and thus this mini review. The images are pretty crappy quality, sorry about that 😦

Physically the device is uber small and portable, albeit a bit on the thicker side.
192.78 x 110.74 x 9.90 mm 353.8 g
211 x 136 x 7.95 mm 350kg (For my Samsung Note 8)
221 x 132 x 10 mm 0.36 kg (For my Asus Vivotab Note 8)
The battery and uSD slot are behind a removable (flimsy) back of the tablet. Odd that the uSD slot is not on the side. Removing the back is like removing the back of a phone, but much bigger. It’s easy enough to get off.
Port wise it has a standard microUSB charger (always nice), a standard 3.5mm audio jack and that’s about it. No HDMI, not surprising given the size of the device.

Spec wise it’s got 1G of RAM (that’s right 1G). Once Windows is up you’ve got a little over 200M free which is not a whole lot.

The local drive is a 32G but curiously HP chose to turn compression on the drive meaning you’ve got some space left over. Shockingly 20G free! I suspect HP has left some of Windows out and kept the bloatware to a minimum. My Asus Vivotab Note has 8G free, so quite a difference.
The recovery partition is on the drive chewing up a bit of the space:
Speed of the local drive is pretty good at 38MB/s write and 70 MB/s read. This is faster than my Asus Vivotab Note (25/46 MB/s).
The cameras are particularly low res at 2Mp/0.3Mp. I don’t remember the last time I saw one that low.

The screen is 1280×800 and is an adequate display for a low end tablet. Not the brightest, not the sharpest. This is not an uncommon resolution for these smaller tablets (and even some 10″). As an example of how poorly Microsoft have embraced tablets you get greeted by this lovely warning that your resolution is below the recommended min:
And there are times when dialog boxes are cut off. Sometimes you can rotate the screen to find the hidden ok/apply, other times your just sitting scratching your head wondering ok now what.

The processor is a quad core atom Z3735 running at 1.3GHZ. The processor itself is willing if the specs on the rest of the tablet weren’t limiting it, particularly low memory.

Battery life on the tablet is not great, there are lots of posts discussing it. I didn’t have the tablet long enough to run any detailed numbers.

My colleague did manage to install Windows 10 on the device. There are posts out there for how to do it. He had a bear of a time putting the original install back, partly because he wiped out the recovery partition in the process. The performance and overall buggyness of Windows 10 showed itself significantly on this device. Windows 10 still has a ways to go. Probably why it is not due to hit the market until the end of thsi year. Let’s hope Microsoft are busy addressing limitations of using Windows on a tablet, as well as fixing obvious misses like the pathetic onscreen keyboard with no spell check, auto correct or next word prediction. The new start menu on Windows 10 is definitely a step forward.

Overall the performance of the device was not as bad as I was expecting. The 1G of ram is a HUGE limit. The 32G drive with compression leaves a reasonable amount of space. So is it worth the small $$s they are asking for it? I am not sure, but using a 7″ Windows tablet is going to be an interesting act of patience testing 🙂


March 15, 2015 - Posted by | Windows tablets

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