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HP Stream vs HP Pavilion (2022): Comparing Affordable Laptops

Even at first glance, it’s already obvious that the HP Stream and HP Pavilion are geared toward different kinds of users. Whereas the former is on the budget side of the spectrum, the latter is somewhere in the middle.

Stream laptops are few and far between, and each iteration is almost identical to its predecessor. However, they’re somewhat of a rarity that proves that cheap devices don’t have to look the part. On the other hand, the Pavilion is a mid-range catchall lineup with gaming and convertible options similar to premium models. In a way, they can be considered as a step-down from the Omen and Spectre, among other things.

HP Stream vs HP Pavilion Comparison Chart

ModelHP Stream 11HP Pavilion 13
 HP Stream vs HP PavilionHP Stream vs HP Pavilion
PriceCheck Price at Walmart.comCheck Price at HP.com
Display11.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) anti-glare13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS
ProcessorIntel Core N4000Intel Core i7-1165G7
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 600Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM4GB16GB
Storage32GB eMMC (expandable via microSD card)512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Operating SystemWindows 10 in S modeWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 13 hoursUp to 8 hours and 30 minutes
Weight2.37 lbs2.9 lbs
Dimensions (L x W x D)11.08″ x 7.58″ x 0.66″12.17″ x 8.07″ x 0.7″

Design and Build

The HP Stream may have a lower build quality than the HP Pavilion, but it’s still a beaut.

HP Stream vs HP Pavilion Design and Build
The HP Stream (in photo) features a unique design, which is rare among low-end laptops.

Compared to previous models, the Stream is no longer as brightly colored. However, it still retains a number of things: form factor, woodgrain wrist rest area and matte finish. Thing is, it’ll remind you from time to time that it’s cheap, particularly because of its plastic build.

Now the Pavilion 13, 14, 15 and 17 mainly differ in size, corresponding to their screens. Put simply, the higher the number, the larger it’ll be. Then there’s the Pavilion Aero. It sets itself apart with its ultra lightweight design, coming in at less than 2.2 lbs. In fact, it even weighs less than the 11.6-inch Stream, which clocks in at 2.37 lbs.

Meanwhile, the Pavilion Gaming and the Pavilion x360 are outliers for unique reasons. First off, the Pavilion Gaming sports a typical gamer aesthetic with green accents, and it has the performance to back it up (more on that later). As its name suggests, the Pavilion x360 has a 360-degree hinge that lets it fold into tablet mode, putting it in a category of its own.

Display and Software

Out of the box, the HP Stream runs on Windows 10 in S mode, while the HP Pavilion has the full version of Windows 11 installed.

HP Stream vs HP Pavilion Display and Software
A closer look at the HP Pavilion Aero (left) and the Pavilion x360 (right) in tent mode.

One of the things that make the Stream stand out is its compact size, and as such, it features an 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 anti-glare display. There’s also a 14-inch variant with the same panel, but it loses some of its charm. After all, it has a bigger screen with the same resolution, so those pixels are going to get stretched. What’s more, it won’t be as portable anymore, and its battery life is taking a hit too.

As mentioned, the Pavilion 13, 14, 15 and 17 have different screen sizes, and their names give it away. On that note, the Pavilion 13’s display is 13.3 inches, the Pavilion 14’s is 14 inches, the Pavilion 15’s is 15.6 inches and the Pavilion 17’s is 17.3 inches. Next, the Pavilion Gaming’s screen measures either 16.1 inches or 15.6 inches, the former of which is pretty uncommon to see. Again, the Pavilion x360 distinguishes itself from the rest with its touchscreen.

Software-wise, the Pavilion range is made up of full-fledged laptops in that they run on a full version of Windows 11. That’s as opposed to the Stream that’s powered by Windows 10 in S mode.

Performance and Storage

To no one’s surprise, the HP Pavilion blows the HP Stream out of the water in terms of performance.

HP Stream vs HP Pavilion Performance and Storage
The HP Pavilion Gaming (in photo) can handle plenty of the latest titles, owing to its Intel Core i5-11300H and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti setup.

The specs of the Stream aren’t anything to write home about. Under the hood, it only has an Intel Celeron N4000 paired with 4GB of RAM. That means it’s limited mostly to streaming, browsing and typing. It’s a similar story with its storage too. The 11.6-inch model comes with 32GB eMMC, while the 14-inch variant has 64GB eMMC. In their defense, they’re compatible with a microSD card, so there’s that. But no matter how you slice it, they’ll have subpar read and write speeds.

Needless to say, the performance of the Pavilion varies a lot. Notably, the Pavilion Gaming can have up to an Intel Core i5-11300H or AMD Ryzen 7 5800H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, 16GB DDR4-3200 RAM and PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD. Also, the Pavilion 13 can go up to a Core i7-11995G7, 16GB DDR4-3200 RAM and PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD with discrete Intel Iris Xe graphics.

The takeaway is the Pavilion line can be configured for performance or according to your budget. In contrast, the Stream is lacking in this regard, but for its target market, it gets the job done.

Verdict

From the look of things, the HP Stream is designed with a niche audience in mind, whereas the HP Pavilion is made for just about any kind of user.

At the end of the day, the HP Stream has its place. In other words, it’s the perfect affordable device for things like streaming on Netflix or Hulu, browsing the web and doing schoolwork—practically any non-intensive task. It’s worth mentioning that it has advantages over similarly priced Chromebooks too. For one thing, it can run the full version of Microsoft Word instead of its browser counterpart.

For those looking for a bit more, the HP Pavilion can fit the bill. In fact, it has so many options that it’ll be hard not to find a suitable model for all sorts of users. There’s the Pavilion Gaming for gamers (excuse the redundancy), for instance. Then there’s the Pavilion x360 that doubles as a tablet, making for a convenient on-the-go media machine. Moreover, the Pavilion Aero is just the thing if you want something light and portable. Lastly, there’s the Pavilion 13, 14, 15 and 17 if you’re after something more “standard” with varying sizes and performance options to suit your budget and needs.

FAQs

📌 What’s the difference between the HP Stream and HP Pavilion?

At the risk of oversimplifying, the HP Stream is a budget lineup with a distinct design. Meanwhile, the HP Pavilion is made up of mid-range options targeted at different users.

📌 Is the HP Stream worth it?

Yes, the HP Stream is one of the most affordable Windows 10 laptops available that does what it’s made for well. It can handle some light browsing, streaming and work- or school-related tasks.

📌 Is the HP Pavilion worth it?

Yes, the HP Pavilion range consists of various kinds of laptops for any type of user. Unlike more premium counterparts, it focuses on balancing price, performance and features.

📌 Is the HP Stream discontinued?

The HP Stream is still available from third-party retailers such as Walmart.

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.