HP Stream 7 Review: A $119 Windows Tabletby Brandon Chester on December 19, 2014 8:00 AM EST
Inside the Stream 7 we have Intel's Atom Z3735G, which is a quad core Bay Trail part that has a base frequency of 1.33GHz and a burst frequency of 1.83GHz. It's paired with 1GB of DDR3L-RS-1333 memory, where the RS stands for "Reduced Standby". As the name implies, it has a focus on improving standby battery life on devices like tablets. Z3735G unfortunately has one of the slower memory interfaces of the Bay Trail lineup, with only single channel support and a max memory bandwidth of 5.3Gbps. Nonetheless, the CPU itself is fairly powerful, especially for a $119 device.
Although the Stream 7 does run a full copy of Windows, I've decided to run it through our mobile workflows rather than our desktop/laptop ones because I believe most users are going to use it similarly to how they use other tablets. I will elaborate on this point later in the software section, but the main point is that the normal Windows desktop experience is just not very good on touchscreens, especially 7" 1280x800 displays. Because of this, it's better to run it through benchmarks where it can be compared to other tablets. The fact that PCMark requires more space than the Stream 7 physically has is also an issue.
As you can see, Intel's latest Atom platform performs very well in our tests. It should be noted that these tests were performed using Chrome rather than IE, to maintain consistency with the results from previous Windows tablet reviews. This means that the Sunspider score leaves much to be desired, as Google has stopped focusing on it as an optimization target. Looking at our other tests, we see that the Stream 7 is not the fastest tablet, but it is still very fast. In fact, it's competitive with the silicon inside tablets that cost two or even three times as much, which is impressive.
The Intel HD Graphics chip in Bay Trail is architecturally similar to Intel's HD 4000 graphics on Ivy Bridge. It's simply a cut down implementation with 4 EUs instead of the 16 in an Ivy Bridge chip. The implementation in Atom Z3735G scales from 311MHz to 646MHz as needed. Thankfully, the Windows Store has up-to-date versions of 3DMark and GFXBench available, so we can compare the Stream 7 to the other devices that we've benchmarked in the past.
As you can see, Bay Trail isn't exactly a graphics powerhouse. However, the Stream 7's resolution means that the onscreen results aren't that bad, so you'll be able to get away with running some of the lighter games that you can on other platforms, provided of course that they're available on the Windows Store.
Post Your CommentPlease log in or sign up to comment.
View All Comments
ados_cz - Monday, December 22, 2014 - linkMe too in my Linx 7.
name99 - Friday, December 19, 2014 - linkAs an alternative point of view, I'd like to point out that I (and I assume some other AnandTech readers) do NOT see every review as a rabid badge of tribalism. Rather, I'm interested in the state of the ENTIRE industry as a whole, and exceptional devices (whether exceptionally low-priced, exceptionally high performance, exceptionally high levels of interest) from any ecosystem are interesting, simply to see where things are going.
cruzinforit - Friday, December 19, 2014 - linkSpeak for yourself- I'm very interested in a cheap windows 7 tablet. I wouldn't pay more than this for one as I don't really need it. I have a full Windows 8.1 15" Ultrabook as my mobile device and my smartphone. I'm glad they cover the full gamut, from high end stuff to low end stuff like this.
Infinite_Reality - Friday, December 19, 2014 - linkThis isn't a boring device, did you happen to read the article? I bought one of these day one and it is very impressive for a $99 device.
purplestater - Sunday, December 21, 2014 - linkbecause there are people interested in small tablets who couldn't care less about smartphones
Wolfpup - Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - linkI think this is one of the more interesting things they could review. "No one in their right mind" cares about it? Eh? But they do care about Chinese imports?
Err...actually this Stream stuff is a pretty major launch that lots of people care about, and this is potentially a really good deal (sounds like really only killed by the headphone jack).
I find reviews of things like this much more interesting/useful than like a review of the newest iPad which we pretty much know what it is and gets massive coverage.
darkbreeze - Friday, December 26, 2014 - linkThis IS actually of interest to many of us. In fact, I just bought one last week after seeing it in OfficeMax for 99 bucks. My only interest in a tablet is portability for automotive diagnostics and since all my diagnostic applications run on the windows platform, Android or iOS is not an option.
It works great and with a micro-USB to my wireless adapter for my OBDII reader I can now watch and diagnose in real time with no cords or bulky laptop to move around.
Acreo Aeneas - Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - linkJust because you might not care for a budget-oriented Windows tablet does not mean others are (as the replies below your comment speak to). Personally, I know little of the smartphone and tablet side of Windows mobile and this tablet has definitely piqued my interest (to say the least). I have friends and colleagues who are in the Windows sphere and want a Windows tablet for work. This is a nice cheap alternative without them learning a new OS (Android, iOS) and dealing with mismatches between a Windows desktop and a Android/iOS mobile device (very average users).
noorish - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - linkI actually searched for this item and was happy to find this informative article, it is a "tablet" not a cell phone and I for one am glad to get some more info. Thanks
darryl hall - Monday, June 15, 2015 - link"boring device..." Try asking anyone who has on a whim picked this up. I haven't bothered to charge my iPad 4 in months. Unfortunately reviewers typically don't have the attention span to get a handle of a device before they review it. The desktop mode works so much better. pair the HP stream with the free virtualmouse app and the whole screen becomes a trackpad leaving you with a very capable full windows desktop in your back pocket. Any semi capable desktop OS is inherently more powerful and flexible than a mobile OS. I wish some publication would do a review of the actual desktop performance--which utilizes the native processing power of the hardware instead of focusing on only the metro subsystem.