Hands On: Preview of HP's new $200 laptop

HP has a new entry level laptop that the company calls the 'Stream 11'. The device, with its 11in screen and entry level specs, runs a very budget friendly $200. While we get setup with the new device, we snapped a few photos to get you more familiar with the product and have some very early impressions.

First off, we were quite surprised to see that it only took a little over five minutes for this device to boot the first time. This includes the final few steps of the Windows 8.1 installation process, connecting to my home network, logging into my Microsoft account, and syncing all of my settings. Bluntly, we were expecting this process to take a lot longer and right out of the box, this is a good sign.

While the initial performance looks to be ok, the trackpad and screen leave a lot, and we mean a lot, of room for improvement. First, the screen has enough whitewash to keep Tom Swayer busy for months and I could hide a mattress in the amount of space it requires to engage the left and right trackpad buttons.

While writing this post on the Stream 11, the 1366x768 resolution made it hard to get all the content I need on to the screen as well. While the Stream 11 can browse the web just fine, any serious work using a browser will require a higher resolution display. Unsurprisingly, the screen is not a touch screen, but considering how much I dislike like the trackpad, I wish the device was touch friendly.

All of the HP Stream 11's specs are located here.

The hardware is not all bad, and the keyboard is actually quite good. While the travel distance on the keys feels a bit short, they are spongy and have plenty of grip. The shell, while unapologetically plastic, feels like it can take a few drops and keep on running. With a couple of USB ports (1x2.0 and 1x3.0), SD card reader, and HDMI out, all for $200, this device could certainly peak your interest.

While we are far from issuing any sort of final opinion on this device, these are our initial thoughts and over the next few weeks or so, we will have more to talk about with HPs new entry level laptop.

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