It looks like including a camera is now a requirement for pretty much any device, and so even the Stream 7 has a front-facing and a rear-facing camera. In the Windows device manager, the front camera identifies itself as "Camera Sensor GC310". I haven't been able to find any information about it, but the image quality leads me to believe that it may be best for people to not know where it came from. The rear camera idenitifes itself as HM2056, which I was able to find information about. It's made by a company called Himax Imaging, and if you haven't heard of them it's okay, because I hadn't either. It's a 2MP 1/5" sensor, which translates to 1.75 micron pixels. It has no auto focus, and that combined with the specifications leads me to believe that this is normally intended to be a front-facing sensor.

As you can see, the output is really bad. The text on the back of the books is illegible, most detail is lost, and there's noise everywhere. It's just honestly not a good camera, and it's something I would only use as a last resort. It's somewhat annoying that HP felt the need to even put a rear camera on the Stream 7, as it adds to the BOM and the money could have been better used on something like a larger battery. 


I mentioned earlier that the Stream 7 doesn't even have enough storage to fit PCMark 8 and some of the other benchmarks we use. Out of the box, you get around 18.5GB free. This means that we can't run our typical Windows storage benchmarks, so I've used CrystalDiskMark to get an idea of how the storage performs.

I wouldn't try making direct comparisons between this and our storage benchmarks on Android and iOS, but it's still able to give you an idea of what you can expect. The Stream 7 uses Samsung's MGB4GC eMMC solution, so we can't expect the same storage performance that you get from Windows devices with a full blown SSD. The read and write performance ends up being pretty good for an eMMC solution, although I'm suspicious of the 4k random write result considering how even the best eMMC solutions we've seen in Android and iOS tablets top out around 3MB/s.


The HP Stream 7 uses a Realtek RTL8723BS solution for WiFi and Bluetooth. This is a single spatial stream 802.11n part, with no 5GHz support and only 20MHz channel width. That means that we're dealing with a theoretical maximum speed of 72Mbps. In real world use, it's quite a bit less, as you can see below.

WiFi Performance - UDP

Again, at $119 this is expected and can be excused. Faster WiFi would be nicer, but it's not free. My only complaint about this speed in the real world is that the slow WiFi makes it difficult to move large files over the network onto the Stream 7. This wouldn't be an issue if these Windows tablets allowed you to directly move files to them from another computer over USB, but they don't. I've also encountered issues with the WiFi disconnecting intermittently, which is incredibly frustrating when it means you have to begin transferring a large video from the beginning. I've contacted HP about this to see if they're aware of this issue, as I've seen complaints about it from other users, but I haven't received a response.


I am unfortunately not equipped to do objective audio testing on the Stream 7. It uses Realtek's audio codec, and so it isn't likely to be anything exceptional. The bottom mono speaker is adequate; there's not much to be said about it. Unfortunately, everything comes crashing down when you try to use the 3.5mm jack. Even if the Stream 7 had the best audio solution in the world, it would be crippled by this defect that I cannot believe made it to production.

Essentially, the 3.5mm jack has a great deal of noise and static, and it makes it effectively unusable. I have confirmed this with two other owners, and there are complaints about it on the web. It's likely that there's an insufficient amount of shielding for the audio port and PCB connections, and it's extremely disappointing. With its support for all the great video players on Windows, the Stream 7 could have been an inexpensive and powerful video player. But unless you're going to use the built-in speaker or Bluetooth headphones/speakers, there's no way to listen to audio on this tablet. When I reached out to HP about the WiFi connection issues I also asked about this, but again I haven't received a response. 

CPU and GPU Performance Battery Life and Charge Time
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  • lioncat55 - Friday, December 19, 2014 - link

    I own the stream 7, the 1GB of ram can be pushed very far. Its shocking to me what I can do. Heroes of the Storms plays easy at the lowest settings.
  • mrdude - Friday, December 19, 2014 - link

    Petition to rename the bottom of all GPU related benchmarks as 'The Intel Zone'
  • smilingcrow - Friday, December 19, 2014 - link

    Using 4 decimal places for Maximum Brightness which is a value in the 100s is plain silly. Rounding to the nearest integer seems sensible to me.
  • Hairs_ - Friday, December 19, 2014 - link

    "The other thing that motivated me was the general lack of coverage for devices at the low end of the market. News coverage and reviews always seem to focus on the newest iPad, the newest Galaxy Tab, or the newest Ultrabook. There's not as much attention paid to these inexpensive devices, and it's problematic because many people simply cannot afford more premium devices that cost many hundreds or thousands of dollars. If nobody takes a look at the low end, there's also no push for manufacturers to improve those devices."


    Finally someone gets it. Even if this product isn't fantastically amazing, or doesn't have some esoteric use case which requires research, or a sexy pr angle, there are lots of prospective buyers at this level who are being left absolutely in the lurch by tech sites.

    More of these, please!
  • MonkeyPaw - Friday, December 19, 2014 - link

    The ironic thing about the Windows Appstore is that, despite having terrible selection and quality in general, it has the best RSS (Freely) client I have ever used on a touch device in NextGen Reader.
  • Arbie - Friday, December 19, 2014 - link

    I agree with Hairs. These are interesting devices and some crucial facts like actual battery life are nowhere available. Others comment that 2GB etc are better; well, maybe test some of those devices too. I personally have no interest in flagship smartphones.
  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, December 19, 2014 - link

    Thanks for the review. I've been really curious about the Stream 7 for a while now and I'm glad it got the usual, thoughtful treatment from Anandtech. Windows tablets, inexpensive ones in particular, don't get a lot of attention which makes being an informed buyer pretty difficult.
  • bill.rookard - Friday, December 19, 2014 - link

    The point of this article is that there are no bad devices, there are bad price points. I have one of these, and I picked it up at the local retail store. I didn't pay 119.00 for it, I didn't pay 99.00 for it. I got this for $79.00 out the door. They had a $20.00 off special for it, no coupons required.

    While certainly it is not a perfect device by any means, in truth, at $80.00 it's one of those price points where you just can't go wrong. It runs full Win8. Decent display. Sufficiently powerful for a tablet. Battery life is long enough for what I use it for, and it's removable and replaceable. I haven't tried the audio jack yet (I may do that when I get home now that I'm aware of it), but still, again for what I paid for it, how could I complain?
  • Michael Bay - Friday, December 19, 2014 - link

    Brandon, you really should have reviewed a Stream 8. Nobody expects anything from 7, but at 150$ there should be less compromise in specs and build of the device, making it much more desirable.

    And why all this Mami fixation, really.
  • Spectrophobic - Friday, December 19, 2014 - link

    I don't think a mere inch is worth almost double the price of a Stream 7 on sale. A bigger battery is always good but in terms of running the thing at 100% scaling, a fine point stylus is still required. It's nice for $150 if it has 2GB RAM.

    Also, it's Mami-san. Who couldn't resist her?

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