Top critical review
50 people found this helpful
Excellent tablet for the price, if you are technologically inclined.
on December 13, 2014
If you bought a the first generation iPad Mini in Nov-Dec 2014 - you'd get a non retina display, 16 GB Wi-Fi model for $ 199 - $ 249, depending on how good a deal hunter you are. This tablet has a 4G (not LTE!) capability, 32 GB (available memory 18 GB) and a SD card slot which accepted my 64 GB SDXC (Samsung) card graciously. So for less than iPad mini's price - I have almost 80 GB of free memory to do as I please, whereas in the iPad the available memory to me would have been 12-13 GB. I have already activated the T-mobile 4G connection, and I was quite happy with how fast it was. Enough to get work done. So, for me, I love the value this tablet is offering. But I rated it 4 star (probably would have given 3.5 if it was possible) because of its limitations.
Pros of the device (HP Stream 8) - See images uploaded:
1) Storage - comes with 32 GB (around 18 GB available to you) + expandable - I put a 64 GB (58.5 available) SDXC card
2) Price - $ 179 for 4G enabled tablet
3) Screen is IPS - most cheaper android tablets are not. 1280 x 800 isn't the highest resolution but gets your work done.
4) Decent build quality - should last
5) USB "On the go" capability - with a $ 8- $ 10 OTG cable, you can convert the micro USB port into a full size USB to attach keyboard or mouse, or a powered hub to attach other devices.
Pros of the Operating System (you will get these pros on this device, but also on other tablets running win 8.1)
1) Runs Win 8.1 - this is a mini computer, with a complete desktop mode, my computer, control panel and like - what that means for you is that say you want to install any non power intensive traditional windows program (e.g., VLC player) or want the familiarity which you have with your work or home computer, you can switch to desktop mode and enjoy it. This is not Win 8.1 RT - which you should run away from!
2) Quality free apps - remember Microsoft is no Blackberry/RIM (I also bought a playbook by those people and they stopped supporting it just one year down the line). Microsoft creates quality software, and in their app store, they have provided plenty of free quality apps. The home screen layout is beautiful with live tiles refreshing itself.
Cons of the device (HP Stream 8):
1) Plasticity feel due to back cover - no where as premium as an iPad, or a galaxy note's synthetic back
2) SD card is below removable cover, which you need to remove extra carefully - so clearly you can't keep swapping cards
3) No mini HDMI out
4) Just 1 GB ram - it doesn't impact the win 8.1 apps from store, but if you run intensive programs in desktop mode, they will run slow or not at all
5) Just one micro USB port which you need to use for charging as well as OTG (connecting keyboard, mouse etc.) So you can either charge the device or use a keyboard/mouse.
6) Sleep mode isn't sleep mode. 80% charge, put it to sleep - next morning its dead. That does not happen with my win 8.1 computer, iPad or even blackberry playbook. Also, unlike an android tablet or iPad's sleep mode, where some apps keep refreshing and give you notifications when needed, when this tablet will sleep, it will really sleep (as good as shutdown)
7) The screen is a finger print magnet - more than any iPad - it does not have oleo-phobic coating
8) Screen's glass has a sticky feel to it. Its weird but I have never felt that way with other tablets/screens.
9) Battery life is only 4 hours with a good brightness (which you enjoy) and 5 hours max with dim lighting (you'll hate it!)
Cons of the Operating System (you will get these cons on this device, but also on other tablets running win 8.1)
1) Very very very few apps - no subway surfer, just one angry birds (that too paid), and almost no google ecosystem apps. If you are buying the tablet mainly for apps (e.g., online banking etc) then you will be very disappointed.
2) The desktop mode is a great plus, but to be honest it is tough to use with a touchscreen - press and hold for options and then use your pinky finger and hope you clicked the right option.
1) Invest in a Bluetooth keyboard like Logitech K810 and bluetooth mouse like Logitech T630 - these devices can support multiple tablets/computers and then you can really enjoy this tablet for the hybrid it is.
2) There was a problem with my order but Amazon was wonderful. Assuming amazon's price is competitive (I would say even if it is a little bit more) but it from them because the peace of mind is worth it!