Best Under £200Key features:
- 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768 display
- Free Office 365 Personal subscription
- Excellent speakers and battery life
If you’re on a really tight budget and don’t want a Chromebook, you can’t go wrong with the HP Stream 11
. It’s a Windows 8.1 laptop that costs less than £200, which is astonishing. It also comes bundled with a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Personal worth £59.99 and 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage, where you can stash all of your files and photos.
Unusually for a machine this cheap, it doesn’t look like a piece of slate was used as the Stream’s main design influence. Instead, it comes clad in either bright blue or pink plastic, resulting in a bold, eye-catching look. It’s also slim and light enough to fit easily into any messenger bag or rucksack, and comes with a wide selection of ports.
The only real sticking point is the display, which is a grainy 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768 affair. It’s not terrible, but you won’t be able to watch Full HD movies on it. The DTS stereo speakers are nice and loud, however, so music sounds great, and the HP Truevision HD webcam is good enough for Skype video calls.
Performance, powered by a 2.16GHz (2.58GHz with burst) Intel Celeron N2840 processor and 2GB of RAM, is suited to light activities like word processing and browsing the web, but it can handle HD videos too. The battery will typically provide eight hours of mixed use, which should just about get you through a heavy day of lectures.Buy Now at Amazon.co.uk from £171 | Amazon.com from $179.99
At time of review the HP Stream 11 was available for £179.99 / $199.99.