All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
– J.R.R. Tolkien
Opening Windows explorer gave me a bit of a shock when I noticed a device on my network was broadcasting my full email address. Shock might be a bit dramatic, but I was concerned for sure. I’d rather not see something like that being broadcast. Maybe it only shows up on my home network but I don’t like it. So, after some poking around I found the culprit in the media streaming options. To get there go to the Network and Sharing Center.
Click “Change advanced sharing options.”
Scroll down to the “All Networks” section and click the down arrow.
Click the “Choose media sharing options…”
On this screen you will see the email address that was being broadcast as the name of your library.
I took this a step further and decided to turn off the media sharing so the devices don’t even show up. I’m not sharing anything through these devices anyways. I’d rather turn on the things I want than have them on by default. In Windows 8 I was able to just tell the machine to leave the homegroup and that made those devices not show up. Windows 7 devices still showed up. To get rid of these I had to stop the actual Windows Media Player Network service. I first tried setting the service to manual but something else kept starting it back up when I rebooted so I disabled it.
The HP Stream 7 tablet seems like a good tablet. Solid build, good performance and nice screen. At $99 it’s a very good deal. Also comes with a year of Office 365 which is worth $65ish on its own. Full Windows 8.1, 1gb of ram, 32gb of storage (though you end up with about 18gb usable) with a micro SD slot. Can’t speak to battery life yet because I haven’t used it long enough. The only bad thing I’ve noticed so far is the speaker is weak and small and on the bottom edge. This is definitely a nice alternative to a Kindle fire and far less expensive than an iPad (with a much better operating system in my opinion).
On the battery life I would say it’s on the low end for a tablet. It’s around 5 1/2 hours of web browsing, email and such. That’s not long compared to many tablets out there but at $99 that’s not bad either. Unless you are a traveler and need longer or you have no life and can spend 8 hours a day on a tablet For the way I use this size of a tablet 5 1/2 hours is fine. And if you were just reading books and not surfing as much that would probably be more like 6 1/2 hours. A Kindle Fire is going to last longer probably closer to 8 hours and an iPad mini is probably 9 to 9 and a half. But each of those costs more, especially the iPad mini which starts at $400 unless you get a previous model which will still be $300ish.
A major issue I’ve found is the headphone jack on this is horrible. It has bad static and a slight buzz. If you are playing music you don’t notice it unless the music gets quiet and between tracks. This only happens when you have headphones plugged in but when you do it’s very noticeable. When you have a low cost device there are going to be compromises but this seems like something you shouldn’t see (or hear) these days. This one is a puzzling issue to me, how HP would put it out like this I don’t really understand. I found a couple of others who reviewed this tablet and mentioned the sound issue to so I don’t think I’ve just got a bad one. Very disappointing considering I really liked everything else about this tablet.