HP Stream 11, ASUS X205, Acer E11 Compared

Updated on 03 April 2019 by

There are now three low-cost lightweight Windows 8 laptops on market that are getting good reviews and appear to be selling very well. Here’s a round-up of the HP Stream 11, ASUS X205 and Acer E11 laptops with pro’s and con’s. Each looks to be a good value purchase but there are important differences between them that will affect customer choices.

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Before I go into detail, read this.
For the tinkerers and linux fans the Acer E11 is the best. The HP Stream best out of the box for average user. The Asus’ X205 is the lightweight, long battery life option. All three are in our database and this link will take you to a comparison of the important specifications. Click-through to the full datasheets where you will find all the specifications, notes, more images, videos and links to reviews.

HP Stream 11

HP Stream 11

The HP Stream 11 looks to be the most popular of the three choices. It’s available in two bright colors and has, in my opinion, the best look and feel. It has a Linux-friendly 64-bit chipset and boot capability but no RAM or disk upgrade possibility. This is the only one of the three that comes with one year of Office 365 + One Drive with Skype bundle. The SD card fits flush, it has a better keyboard than the Acer E11, there’s a 100Mbps Ethernet port (the Acer E11 has gigabit Ethernet) and full-size HDMI port. Since I last checked in November the average rating has gone up from 4.2 to 4.3 on Amazon.com It has an amazing 659 reviews on Amazon.com although those reviews and rating include the 13-inch model and the 13-inch model with 4G so it’s difficult to tell how popular the 11.6-inch model is and how it is rated.

ASUS X205

The ASUS X205 uses the Baytrail-T platform and has the longest battery life of the three (rated at 12 hours but users reporting up-to 10 hours) but it’s not a very Linux-friendly build and there’s no RAM upgrade capability. A MicroHDMI, microsSD slot and USB 2.0 ports mean that it’s the worst option for physical connectivity. The quad-core CPU will have the lowest single-threaded scores of the three but might perform better in some multi-tasking scenarios. The X205 is the only one of the three to have Connected Standby / InstantGo capability which means quick-start, low idle battery drain and the possibility to run Windows 8.1 apps in background when the device is in standby. (E.g. Skype, music streaming.) Disk encryption when used with Microsoft account. The ASUS X205 is the lightest, at 2.2 pounds / 1KG. Amazon rating: 4.2 out of 5 (252 reviews)

Acer E11-ES1

The Acer E11 ES1/111 has RAM upgrade possibility and is Linux-friendly once the WiFi card is swapped out. (The WiFi card included is generally unsupported. I dropped an Intel 7260 card in to fix that.) There is another version ($30 more) that has a hard drive which means a real SSD can be loaded because the eMMC SSD version doesn’t have the SATA header on the motherboard. It doesn’t come with free Office but, like the ASUS X205, comes with 100GB OneDrive for 2 years. There’s a Gigabit Ethernet port (means you can build a WiFi router if you want.) The touchpad is not the best quality (needs new drivers I think) although HP Stream users have also complained about a similar problem. Amazon rating: 3.8 out of 5. (157 reviews)

Compare specifications and go to full datasheets.

All three of these devices are great choices in this new $200 laptop segment but each has their unique features. As mentioned above, the HP Stream 11 is the winner for the average user with the ASUS X205 being the highly mobile choice. The Acer E11 better for tinkerers and Linux fans and with the wired Gigabit port make the best home theater PC with something like Openelec.

See the Baytrail-M platform running Openelec / XBMC here.

Just to be clear, I bought the Acer E11-111 (see my deep-dive) and have tested the HP Stream 11 (touch version.) I’ve also had hands-on with the third one – the ASUS EeeBook X205 but while I haven’t fully reviewed it yet. I’ve done a lot of research on it. Brad at Liliputing has just published a full review that’s worth reading.

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3 Comments For This Post

  1. D T says:

    I bought the X205TA and the E11 HDD version. I noticed that the E11 has some reflecting dots (noise) on the screen, similar to some other screens I had in the past, like W3, AO-522 etc. The X205 is clean in comparison, but glossy instead. (E11 is matte).

    I upgraded the RAM to 4GB and swapped the HDD w/ SSD on the E11; so it’s a bit better than stock now. I used a free utility to clone the drive over, and has kept the factory Win8.1 OS. I haven’t tried Linux on it yet, but I will one day when I am bored.

    Thanks for your blog and all the great info (and video etc) all these years. You help clearing out my wallet all the time ;-) .

  2. Gwen says:

    Thanks for the comparison between these three machines. However, when talking Linux (and let’s be honest, that should be your first choice for max performance with these) there are some drawbacks. I’m not sure about the E11, but for both the Stream 11 and X205 significant issues have been reported concerning the eMMC. Hence I suspect the E11 to suffer from this too.
    The eMMC seems to have a Windows specific partition which takes up more than 7 GB of the 32 GB total, and which resists being removed. Furthermore, linux has a problem accessing it, so boots and installs have been reported to take very long. Devs are working hard to let the kernel access this partition (edit: now later kernel versions seem to be able), but this Windows hurdle may require some extra work. Also wifi and the touchpad have been reported to take some extra work. However, these too seem to work (this is as delivered, not exchanging them like you did).

  3. Marko Susimetsä says:

    As an enthusiastic writer who’s been relying on the old Asus Netbooks (the ones with best keyboards, such as the 1005HA model), which one of these would be the best replacement keyboard-wise?

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