HP Stream 13.3 Review: An Affordable Chromebook Alternative

Do you need a good Chromebook alternative? I believe reading this HP Stream 13.3 review might expose you to exactly what you need.

HP Stream 13.3 Review An Affordable Chromebook Alternative
Itechguides' Take on HP Stream 13.3


The HP Stream 13.3 is an inexpensive laptop with a decent design and build. Moreover, this laptop presents itself as a Windows alternative to Chromebooks. Also, the laptop features the necessary specifications that make it suitable for classroom and office-related tasks. However, the display of this laptop is nothing to write home about.



  • Attractive design
  • Portable
  • Good performance


  • Poor display
  • Battery life could be better

This detailed review covers every aspect of the HP Stream 13.3. Hence, information about the design, display, ports, and connectivity of this laptop is all available in this review article.

Also, I will include the specs and performance of this laptop’s processor, memory, storage, graphics card, and battery in this review. Moreover, in various sections of this article, I will be comparing the laptop with other laptops in its class.

Finally, I will rate the laptop at the end of each section on a scale of one to ten based on how I think it performed. I am confident that at the end of this review article, you will have enough information about HP Stream 13.3.

My Initial Thoughts

HP Stream 13.3 Review: My Initial Thoughts

Chromebooks have been the popular choice for students and small business owners who need a good-looking, basic, and inexpensive laptop. Although Chromebooks handle basic computing tasks well, their cloud-based storage and Chrome OS somehow restrict their full functionality.

Interestingly, Microsoft came up with an idea to manufacture laptops similar to Chromebooks but obviously with Windows OS. One of such laptop is the HP Stream 13.3, which offers the necessary specs for handling simple tasks.

This laptop has some good advantages over Chromebooks, but it also has some limitations. To find out the advantages as well as limitations of the HP Stream 13.3, kindly read on.

HP Stream 13.3 Design, Display, Ports, and Connectivity Review

The HP Stream 13.3 may be a cheap laptop, but it does not look or feel cheap. As a matter of fact, from a distance, this laptop has a very bold look.

Moreover, despite having a plastic body, the laptop feels sturdy enough to withstand accidental bumps and knocks. For the color of its body, the HP Stream 13.3 is available in blue or orchid magenta.

With either of these color options, this laptop should stand out and look distinctive. Besides, so as to add more beauty to the laptop, HP included its logo with a silver finish at the center of its lid.

On opening this lid, you will come across the HP Stream 13.3’s 13.3-inch display. Averagely slim bezels surround this display, with the top bezel featuring an HP TrueVision HD webcam.

Sadly, this webcam produces blurry and grainy images. Hence, it isn’t good for taking selfies or groupies.

Nevertheless, the webcam is ideal for casual video calls. Meanwhile, at the center of the bottom bezel, there is an “HP” logo.

Moving back to the display, this laptop’s display features an HD (1366 x 768) resolution. Unfortunately, despite the HD resolution, this display produces poor display quality, and the colors look somewhat washed out.

In addition to its poor picture quality, this display is also not bright enough. To be specific, the display’s maximum brightness is just 182 nits.

As a result, using the laptop outdoors will be bothersome due to reflections that would affect the display. To make things worse, the HP Stream 13.3’s display has poor viewing angles, which is because it uses a TN panel.

Due to the poor viewing angles, you might notice some color distortion or blurry images when watching the display off-center. On a positive note, the hinge that attaches the display to the laptop’s base is quite strong and tight.

Hence, when the display is mistakenly nudged, it should hardly wobble.

Moving on, let us discuss the keyboard area of the HP Stream 13.3. The laptop features an island-style keyboard with white keys.

Moreover, the keyboard has a blue metal inner casing that gives it a solid base and prevents it from flexing. However, the keyboard has short key travel of 1.25 mm, which means the keys will be shallow.

Hence, typing on the keyboard might not be particularly comfortable. In case you don’t know what key travel is, it is the distance between a key’s rest point to full depression.

As expected, you will find a touchpad below the HP Stream 13.3’s keyboard. This touchpad features integrated click buttons and has a dimension of 93.98 x 63.5 mm.

Also, it has a smooth surface that makes scrolling and navigation very easy. It also supports multi-touch gestures like double-finger scrolling and pinch-to-zoom.

At this point, let us move to the sides of the HP Stream 13.3, where the ports are located.

On the right side, there is a charging port and two USB 2.0 slots. Meanwhile, the left side houses an HDMI port, auxiliary audio jack, USB 3.0 port, and a micro SD card reader.

Although the HP Stream 13.3 offers some of the basic ports you need to stay connected, it lacks some essential ports. Specifically, it lacks an Ethernet port and a Thunderbolt port.

As a final point of call in this section of the HP Stream 13.3 review, let us discuss the size and weight of the laptop. In the aspect of weight, the laptop is quite light, weighing only 1550 g.

When it comes to size, it offers mobility with a measurement of 333.2 x 229 x 19.5 mm (W x D x H). Comparatively, a 13-inch laptop – the ThinkPad L390 – weighs 1460 g and measures 322 x 224.2 x 18.8 mm (W x D x H).

Therefore, the Lenovo ThinkPad L390 is lighter than the HP Stream 13.3.

In summary, the HP Stream 13.3 does not look like a premium laptop simply because it is not. However, it still manages to feature a nice design and solid plastic build.

It also offers basic ports, and it is light enough to be carried around. However, the display quality of this laptop is one area where it proves that the laptop belongs to the budget category.

Basically, the laptop features a bad display with poor picture quality. Based on all I have said, it will only be fair to rate the HP Stream 13.3 a seven out of ten in this section of the review.

HP Stream 13.3 Processor (CPU) Performance Review

HP Stream 13.3 Processor (CPU) Performance Review

The HP Stream 13.3 features an Intel Celeron N2830 processor for processing tasks. This processor’s base frequency is 2.16 GHz, and its boost frequency is 2.58 GHz.

Also, the processor has 1 MB of cache memory. Additionally, the Intel Celeron N2830 processor features 2 cores, meaning it is a dual-core processor.

However, the Intel Celeron N2830 is not a high-end processor that has enough power to handle demanding tasks or complex multitasking. Hence, with this CPU, the HP Stream 13.3 will only be able to handle basic computing operations such as word processing, web browsing, light multitasking, and video streaming.

The performance of the laptop on the Cinebench R15 benchmark test confirms my statement above. In case you are wondering, the Cinebench R15 is a benchmark test that shows the performance of a computer’s processor.

It shows the ability of the processor by putting its cores through some series of workloads. So, when one of the processor’s cores is used to perform tasks, the result gotten is known as a single-core score.

Meanwhile, when all the processor’s cores are used (two cores in the case of the HP Stream 13.3’s processor), the result is called a multi-core score. You should also note that a high score on the Cinebench R15 test means good processor performance.

In light of that, the HP Stream 13.3 delivered a multi-core score of 76 points on the test. Meanwhile, it delivered a single-core score of 41 points.

In comparison, the Lenovo M30-70 recorded 170 points multi-core score and 68 points single-core score on the Cinebench R15 test. This means that the Lenovo M30-70 will process tasks faster and more efficiently than the HP Stream 13.3.

However, it is worth mentioning that the Lenovo M30-70 uses a more powerful Intel Core i3-4010U processor.

In summary, the HP Stream 13.3 features a low-end processor, which isn’t surprising due to its relatively low price tag. However, the laptop is able to effectively handle basic tasks like word processing thanks to its processor.

Hence, I will rate the HP Stream 13.3 seven out of ten in this processor review section.

HP Stream 13.3 Memory (RAM) Performance Review

In terms of memory, the HP Stream 13.3 comes with a standard 2 GB DDR3L SDRAM that is onboard. What I mean by “onboard” is that the memory is soldered directly on the laptop’s motherboard.

Therefore, you cannot remove or upgrade the laptop’s memory. Although the laptop’s standard memory isn’t enough for demanding tasks, it should be enough for the laptop to handle light multitasking.

Basically, this laptop should be able to run about 5 Chrome tabs concurrently without lagging too much. However, when trying to open other applications when the Chrome tabs are running, the laptop’s performance will slow down.

For more information about the laptop’s memory performance, let me share its result in a PC Mark 8 test. For better understanding, the PCMark 8 is a benchmark tool for testing the memory performance of a computer.

It accomplishes this by simulating office-related tasks such as word processing on the laptop. Furthermore, a high score in this benchmark test represents good memory performance.

Speaking of the scores, the HP Stream 13.3 delivered a score of 1,273 points on the benchmark test. Comparatively, the Lenovo M30-70 scored 2,023 points on the same test.

Thus, this Lenovo laptop has a better memory performance than the HP Stream 13.3.

In summary, the HP Stream 13.3 offers a limited standard memory that is only sufficient for light multitasking. Also, the laptop’s memory cannot be upgraded because it is onboard.

That’s not all; the laptop was beaten by one of its competitors on a memory benchmark test. As a result, I will rate the HP Stream 13.3 a six out of ten in this memory review section.

HP Stream 13.3 Storage Options and Performance Review

HP Stream 13.3 Storage Options And Performance Review

When it comes to storage, the HP Stream 13.3 features an eMMC. eMMC, which is the abbreviation for “embedded multi-media card”, is an internal storage that is built into a computer’s motherboard.

It is usually slow and does not offer sufficient storage space. Speaking of storage space, the HP Stream 13.3’s eMMC offers just 32 GB of storage space.

Moreover, because the eMMC is built into the laptop’s motherboard, it cannot be upgraded. To make matters worse, on the HP Stream 13.3, users only get 17 GB out of the 32 GB storage space for saving files.

This is because the remaining storage space is occupied by the laptop’s operating system and bloatware. On a bright note, the HP Stream 13.3 has a microSD card slot that allows for storage expansion.

Coming to the performance of the laptop’s eMMC, it can match 20,000 addresses and names in OpenOffice in 15 minutes. Comparatively, it took the Lenovo 100S’s eMMC 22 minutes and 5 seconds to complete the same task.

Hence, the HP Stream 13.3’s eMMC should be faster than the Lenovo 100S’s eMMC.

To further verify the speed of the HP Stream 13.3’s eMMC, let us discuss its result on a CrystalDiskMark benchmark test. This test is a benchmark test that measures the read and write speed of a computer’s storage drive.

To be clear, the read speed is how fast it takes a computer’s storage drive to open a file. On the other hand, write speed means how long it takes files to save to the computer’s storage drive.

Moreover, you should note that a high “MB/s” value on the CrystalDiskMark test means fast read and write speed. Thus, the HP Stream 13.3 delivered a sequential read speed of 171.2 MB/s and 69.9 MB/s sequential write speed on the benchmark test.

In comparison, the HP 14 an013nr, which also uses eMMC, has a sequential read speed of 158.1 MB/s. It also has a sequential write speed of 98.1 MB/s, according to the CrystalDiskMark test.

The interpretation of this comparison is that the HP Stream 13.3 will open files faster than the HP 14 an013nr. However, the HP 14 an013nr will save files faster than the HP Stream 13.3.

In summary, the HP Stream 13.3 is equipped with an eMMC that is usually found in inexpensive laptops. Moreover, the storage capacity that the laptop offers is quite limited.

However, the laptop features an SD card reader for storage expansion. Hence, I will rate the HP Stream 13.3 a seven out of ten in this storage review section.

HP Stream 13.3 Graphics Card Performance Review

The GPU responsible for performing graphics-based tasks on the HP Stream 13.3 is an integrated Intel HD Graphics. In case you do not know, an integrated graphics card is one that is embedded into a computer’s processor.

That aside, the Intel HD Graphics has a 311 MHz base frequency and a 792 MHz turbo frequency. Sadly, it does not come with a dedicated video RAM (VRAM) because it is an integrated graphics card.

Therefore, the Intel HD Graphics has to share the system memory with the HP Stream 13.3’s CPU to perform graphics-related tasks. Due to this, the laptop will not be able to handle graphics-demanding tasks, apps, or games.

Nevertheless, the laptop should be able to run simple games like Candy Crush. However, don’t expect the laptop to effectively run graphics-intensive applications like Adobe Photoshop.

For more insights into the HP Stream 13.3’s graphics performance, I will share its 3DMark result. In case you don’t know, the 3DMark benchmark test is used to evaluate the graphics rendering abilities of a computer’s GPU.

Moreover, a high score on this test means good graphics rendering performance. So, based on the test result, the HP Stream 13.3 scored 17,039 points.

This laptop’s score supersedes that of the Lenovo 100S, which scored 15,081 points. It is worth mentioning that this Lenovo laptop uses the same graphics card as the HP Stream 13.3.

All in all, I have decided to rate the HP Stream 13.3 a seven out of ten in this graphics review section.

HP Stream 13.3 Battery Life and Performance Review

HP Stream 13.3 Battery Life Performance Review

The HP Stream 13.3 is powered by a 3-cell 37 Whr Li-ion battery. Unfortunately, HP did not include the laptop’s battery life.

However, in this review, I will be providing the laptop’s battery life based on a battery endurance test.

This test involves setting the laptop’s brightness to the highest level, turning on power-saving mode, and continuously streaming a video. So, at the end of the test, the HP Stream 13.3 delivered a battery life of 5 hours and 5 minutes.

Although this battery life can’t last a full day, it is quite decent. However, compared with most of its competitors, the HP Stream 13.3 has short battery life.

For example, the Lenovo IdeaPad 100S delivered a battery life of 9 hours and 48 minutes on the battery endurance test.

All things considered, I will rate the HP Stream 13.3 a seven out of ten in this battery review section.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is The HP Stream 13.3 Touchscreen?

No, the HP Stream 13.3 is not a touchscreen.

2. Can You Upgrade The HP Stream 13.3 Laptop?

No, the HP Stream 13.3 is not upgradeable. It has an onboard memory that cannot be removed or upgraded.

It also uses an eMMC (embedded multi-media card) which is built into its motherboard. Hence, its storage also cannot be upgraded.

3. Does The HP Stream 13.3 Have A Hard Drive?

No, the HP Stream 13.3 does not have a hard drive. Instead, it uses an eMMC.

4. How Much Does The HP Stream 13.3 Weigh?

The HP Stream 13.3 weighs 1550 g.

5. What Are The Ports Available On The HP Stream 13.3?

On the right side of the HP Stream 13.3, there is a charging port and two USB 2.0 ports. Meanwhile, the left side features an HDMI port, auxiliary audio jack, USB 3.0 port, and micro SD card reader.

My Final Thoughts

 HP Stream 13.3 Review: My Final Thoughts

The HP Stream 13.3 is an inexpensive laptop that provides adequate performance for basic computing tasks. Also, despite being inexpensive, the laptop features a decent design and build quality.

However, HP had to compromise some of the laptop’s features so as to keep its price tag as low as possible. To be more specific, the laptop offers limited storage space and memory that cannot be upgraded.

Also, the laptop comes with a poor HD display. Regardless, if you need a laptop for simple tasks or an alternative to Chromebook, you might want to consider the HP Stream 13.3.

I hope you found this HP Stream 13.3 review helpful. If you found the review helpful, share your thoughts with our community platform at Itechguides Community.

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Finally, for more laptop reviews, visit our Laptop Reviews page. You may also find our Laptop Specs page very helpful.

References and Further Reading

  1. notebookcheck.net – HP Stream 13 Notebook Review
  2. laptopmag.com – HP Stream 13 Review
  3. vox.com – HP Stream 13 Review: A Low-Cost Windows Alternative to Chromebooks
  4. pcmag.com – HP Stream 13 Review
  5. laptopmedia.com – HP Stream 13

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