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Are HP 14 Stream Laptops Good? No!


Are HP Stream Laptops Good? NO! I have over 20 years of experience repairing laptops and desktops and I have never seen such a poorly constructed product. They operate with an “EMMC hard drive” (Embedded Multi-Media Card) which is integrated onto the motherboard. The hard drive can not be upgraded or replaced because it’s a multi media card, not a hard drive! That’s Insane!

I really do my best to not bash computer manufacturers because there are so many different models and it’s almost impossible to keep up with them. Believe it or not many of the poorly manufactured computers come from companies that build excellent computers. This makes doing reviews difficult because I only repair problematic computers. I believe as most do, you get what you pay and that goes double for computers.

I am making an exception about not doing reviews because in my opinion the HP 14 Stream and Chromebooks are not real computers.


HP 14 Stream Is An Imposter

The HP 14 Stream is not a laptop, it’s a “netbook” posing as a laptop. The easiest way you can tell the difference without knowing anything about computers is the hard drive size. 

Hard drives are not made with only  32GB or 64GB of total storage. That’s the tip-off for any computer you are buying, the size of the drive. As mentioned previously “EMMC” is a multi-media card, not a hard drive, and they are most commonly  32GB or 64GB sizes. If you see 32GB or 64GB drive size on anything that resembles a laptop, run away as fast as you can and don’t look back. They are selling a “Price” not a quality product when it comes to the HP 14 Stream.

Why Would HP Associate Itself with an Inferior Product Like HP 14 Stream?

Technology is moving so rapidly and the improvement of memory, hard drives, processors, and motherboards, and design are amazing. Unfortunately, these improvements come at the expense of dramatic price increases for laptops and desktops. Then along comes a pandemic which increases the demand because so many people are working and going to school from home. The pandemic has driven prices upward

Apple, HP, Dell, Lenovo are the biggest computer manufacturers but with the exception of Apple, the rest have two “Classes” computers. The two primary “Classes” are retail and business class computers. The Business class computers are manufactured with the very best components. Retail class computers are a mixture of components from the cheapest to the most expensive.  By mixing up the quality of components it makes it difficult for the consumer. The average computer buyer doesn’t know technology that well, so they get confused.

The Demand for a Cheap Price Gets Us a Cheaply Made Computer

Retail class computers from the very beginning have been racing to the lowest cost models possible. Now, with all the improvements they can no longer offer budget computers for $250 to $350. On top of the ridiculously low prices in the past, they would then do Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials for probably below cost. These companies are selling you an inferior product in the retail class because they know you trust there brand. 

With today’s technology selling budget computers just doesn’t work for the manufacturers to make a profit.  Now, in 2020 not everybody can afford a new computer at today’s prices. So HP and the rest of the manufacturers came up with the netbook concept. To be fair I do believe it was Google who started filling the price void with Chromebooks and the rest followed. The reason is that there are billions of dollars being made off unsuspecting customers who trust the brand name. The best part for the computer companies is there aren’t any consequences for their behavior.

Just Because a Computer Is a Brand Name Does Not Mean It's Good

Believe this or not studies have shown those name brand companies are quickly forgiven by the consumer. It turns out that having poor to no customer service is very profitable. When the top brand computer companies had great customer service they were taken advantage of by the consumers. Ironically, when they went to the lowest standards of customer service they were rewarded because it saved them labor costs. 

At the end of the day, the consumer demand for the lowest price has brought us the HP 14 Stream and Chromebooks. While your televisions have become more affordable, computers have gotten more expensive because of technological improvements. But there are alternatives for getting a better product for the same money? Here’s my recommendation for something better than a “Netbook”, a refurbished Dell business-class computer available at all the top online stores. just be sure to buy from a reputable seller.

Refurbished Computers are a Better Value Than Netbooks

The Dell Latitude Series and the Optiplex series are and have been absolute workhorses, outlasting anything I have seen. That’s over twenty years of experience talking. There are reasons why Dell business class computers have lasted so long operating at peak performance?

The primary reason is everything that’s in a Dell business class computer is comparable to an Apple device. Computers are not rocket science, it’s the quality of the components that make the difference in performance and longevity. When you buy a refurbished Dell business-class computer they will have an i3, i5, or i7 Intel processor which is far superior to a Celeron or AMD processor. It will have a real hard drive and 8GB of Ram or more, for the speed you need. I also recommend buying one with an SSD versus a Mechanical hard drive.

Let me be clear, in twenty-five years I have never owned an Apple device because they are too expensive. Apple devices are not only expensive but have historically been limited in functionality compared to a PC. If I can get basically the same quality for less in a PC and has no functionality limitations, so why pay more. But I have to tell you Apple is and has always been manufactured with the best components in the world. They’re just insanely expensive.