|Screen Size||13.3 inches|
|Max Screen Resolution||1920X1080 pixels|
|Processor||1.7 GHz Celeron 3215U|
|Hard Drive||16 GB flash_memory_solid_state|
|Graphics Coprocessor||Mobile Intel HD graphics|
|Wireless Type||802.11 A/C|
|Number of USB 3.0 Ports||1|
Toshiba Chromebook 2 - 2015 Edition (CB35-C3300) Full HD, Backlit Keyboard
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From the manufacturer
Do more. Wait less.
Toshiba’s all-new Chromebook 2 offers brilliant performance for an outstanding experience on and off the web, plus entertainment-inspired features, style and awesome battery life—all so you can get things done faster, while staying entertained from anywhere.
Brilliant screen quality.
Take in more of the web, comfortably work through your sheets, slides and docs, edit your latest home-movie masterpiece or just kick back and relax with your favorite TV shows and movies—all a 13.3 inch diagonal, Full HD, 1080p IPS display that’s bright and vivid from every angle. On this screen, text on web pages and docs is sharp, clear and easy to read, and photos, videos and games are brought to life with bright, natural color.
Great things do come in small packages.
Featuring a sleek, compact design, this Chromebook 2 is able to house its gorgeous 13.3 inch diagonal display in a 12 inch body. Lightweight at just 2.9 pounds, it’s also a breeze to carry around.
Intel Inside: Because performance matters on the web.
Powered by the latest Intel Celeron processor, the Toshiba Chromebook 2 accelerates content-rich web page load times, provides brilliant video playback and lets you multitask effortlessly, while delivering up to an amazing 8 hours and 30 minutes of battery life.
LED Backlit Keyboard
Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB35-C3300
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UPDATE: When I wrote this review the Celeron 3215U was $329.99 and the Intel Core i3-5015U was $429.99.
To start with, the standout feature is the screen. It's a bright IPS 1080p display. It's better than displays found in much more expensive laptops. It's not as good as the retina macbook pro I have... but that costs ten times as much, and the gap between them is closer than it has any right to be. Meanwhile, the screen easily bests that of a 13" macbook air. In terms of other hardware:
Physical: The laptop is very similar to a 13" macbook air in size and weight. It's plastic, which is to be expected at the price point, but it's overall solid plastic with a non-slip texture to it. I like the build overall. The hinges worry me for long term, but they are also not the worst I've seen. Overall it's not bad considering that you're not paying for carved aluminum.
CPU: The Celeron (I have the CB35-C3300) is snappy. I mean, it's not a high end processor, but it's on the above average side of the line for this price range.
RAM: 4GB is enough for most things you'd do on a laptop this size, and is above par for the price point.
Sound: Very good for laptop speakers. It's not going to replace your stereo, but the sound is pretty good given the limitations of small speakers, and the volume is sufficient.
Keyboard: Feels good, almost like a macbook keyboard (a compliment) and it's backlit too (albiet I havn't gotten that working in linux yet)
Trackpad: My one complaint -- the track pad takes a while to break in. It's not horrible, but I'd have paid $20 more for a better trackpad.
Storage: The bad news: it's only a 16GB SSD. The good news: It's a 42mm M.2 card, so it can be upgraded. I replaced mine with a Transcend 256GB SATA III 6Gb/s MTS400 42 mm M.2 SSD Solid State Drive (TS256GMTS400). NOTE: the older B-series Toshiba Chromebook 2 is can NOT be upgraded. The 2015 edition CAN be.
Battery: Once I got linux setup correctly with laptop-mode-tools, I am mind blown. I havn't drained the thing, but I used it all evening on battery last night and was still over 85%. I am betting that with "typical" use I could get a good 10-12 hours, and if I were doing something heavier the entire time maybe 6-8 hours. (note: ChromeOS has the laptop-mode-tools enabled by default)
Overall: This has become my go-to machine for casual use given the battery life, light weight and size, the fact that it won't melt my lap, and the fact that I am more willing to risk this getting banged up than I am my more expensive laptop. If I am needing to do real work on the road, my 15" Retina Macbook Pro is coming along... but, with full linux, I could do everything I absolutely need to for work on this. Basically, you really can't beat this machine without spending more than twice as much. And that is really the key thing here... this device has a lot of very good features relative to its price point, and the compromises Toshiba made to get it into this price bracket were overall the right ones to make. The end result is a device that is a joy to use, without breaking your budget.
PS: I kept notes on installing linux here: [...]
UPDATE: I got the keyboard backlight working. The instructions to patch it in are in my notes, although newer kernels may support it out of box.
Please be aware that I am reviewing the Intel Core i3-5015U model which is not the same as the Intel Celeron 3215U. Amazon sometimes bundles reviews for what they believe are similar products into one pile of reviews, probably because they believe that 'more reviews' is better but, in my view, this can be confusing.
NOTE ON THE VIDEO:
It's probably not the best quality video ever but I am only trying to show how this Chromebook can stream and play videos from 3 different sources simultaneously: Netflix, Yahoo and a news channel without breaking a sweat. The clicks come from the wireless mouse. Also note how quickly it loads my Amazon page while three other videos are running. Quite impressive.
By the way, the Octane score for this Chromebook is 21,453 (average of 5 runs)
I am not in the habit of writing over-enthusiastic reviews and I totally believe that my mission as a Vine reviewer is to help my fellow customers (I don't like the term 'consumers') make better informed decisions by helping them cut through the fog of marketing and presenting a product's qualities and defects as they are. So, these being said, I was a little skeptical when I agreed to review Toshiba's latest Chromebook 2 because 'Chromebooks' to me translate into 'about $200' when it comes to price and this one sells for twice as much but, here I am, absolutely wow'ed if that's a word, by what seems to be one of the most amazing Chromebooks ever or at least the best I've had the opportunity to try so far. But, let me explain why I believe that this Chromebook is worth its high price.
- Backlit keyboard: yes, I place this as the 'number one' feature because I've always wished that my Chromebooks had one so this is a dream come true. I keep a Chromebook on my bedside table and often I work on emails late at night and I just love the ability to simply press Alt+Screen_brightness key to light it up and let me do the work.
- The display: yes, it's a true 1920x1080. I was and I still am happy with the standard 1366x768 found on most Chromebooks so the better resolution makes me... more than happy? But it's not just resolution. This is the crispest, most brilliant, color rich screens I've seen in a Chromebook. And that's not all. The viewing angle is close to the perfect 180 degrees. It's probably 170 degrees but, you get the idea. This Chromebook's display is beautiful.
- Speed: a 2.1 GHz Intel Core i3-5015U is not the fastest Intel has ever made but on a Chromebook, because of its natively low overhead it translates into satisfyingly 'fast'. It simply runs rings around the other Chromebooks we keep in the house.
- 802.11ac: if 300Mbps is not fast enough then... 802.11ac can get a little faster, to about 450Mbps. This is our second Chromebook that supports 802.11ac standard and, thanks to the faster processor, it can take better advantage of it.
- 13.3" screen: (vs. 11.6" for 'classic' Chromebooks) bigger is not always better but, in this case, given the excellent resolution and display quality, it's just great.
- Skin: it's probably plastic but it's good quality, with a titanium-like, rugged finish that's totally fingerprint-proof and looks super-cool.
- 4GB or RAM: it's okay and Chromebooks work well with this amount of memory.
- I/O: USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI out (full size), headphone jack, memory card reader. No complaints whatsoever.
- Keyboard: as expected. Good for doing emails, probably not good enough if you are planning to write a 300-page novel.
- Trackpad: is good. Most Chromebooks have good trackpads.
- Battery life: 8 hours claimed, more like 5-6 hours in my 'real life' tests and that's good enough.
- Camera, internal stereo mic: good, no complaints.
- Bluetooth: doesn't everybody?
- Weight: at 2.9 lbs is where a 13.3" Chromebook is expected to be.
- Google incentives: 100GB in the cloud for 2 years, some complimentary airplane usage deal.
- Dedicated charger: I am still spoiled by that HP Chromebook 11 of a couple of years ago that could be charged through a USB port which, by the way, my wife is still using and she just loves it. This Toshiba, like most other Chromebooks comes with its own, dedicated (little) power brick so it's a small disappointment.
As far as my experience with the product, the first adjective that comes to mind is 'flawless'. I didn't time it but I'm sure it took less than 5 minutes between pressing the power button, connecting to Wi-Fi and entering my email address and password for the Chromebook to be activated, fully updated to the latest Chrome OS version and to have all my extensions and shortcuts loaded and ready to go, giving me my full, familiar Chromebook interface, only faster and brighter in this case. It is able to handle Netflix, Youtube and some streaming news channel and it's like is asking for more. The keyboard is what it is: chiclets but well made and the backlit makes all the difference in the world.
Without a doubt in my mind, Google's own Pixel aside (which is way overdone) this is the best Chromebook I've ever experienced and this is coming from someone who, if anything, is not a friend of Toshiba as I had some issue with a laptop under warranty a few years ago and I did not appreciate how I was treated. But I have to be objective so, yes, it's a great product.
THOUGHTS ON CHROMEBOOKS
Those who already use Chromebooks probably don't need to read this but for anyone new to Chromebooks, please be aware that this is NOT a Windows laptop. It's probably worth Googling (or Binging) 'Chromebook' before deciding on getting one but, here are some of my thoughts on the matter.
Why a Chromebook?
There's so much to say here but let me make a quick summary. And never forget that we are talking about a not so expensive device here because, yes, anything that costs 3-4-5 times as much should do SOMETHING better or very few of us would pay more for such devices.
' My Chromebooks is by far my most used computers in the house excluding work hours and by 'computer' I mean PCs, laptops and tablets.
' They are malware, spyware, adware-free. Since nothing is really 'installed' on a Chromebook and not much is physically stored on it, it would be very hard for one to be infected. It is now my habit to open suspicious emails or click on dubious URLs on Chromebooks only, never on a phone, laptop or tablet.
' Extremely safe OS. I don't know if this is common knowledge but Google is constantly challenging hackers to crack their OS. As far as I know, Chrome OS wasn't cracked yet.
' Easy to share among any number of users without any concerns of compromising privacy. If you have a Google account, you simply sign in and you are going to be within your own, personal environment in seconds and it all goes away once you sign out or turn your Chromebook off.
' Constantly updated and upgraded. Google updates Chrome OS every few weeks and I found my Chromebooks actually getting better all the time rather than slowly fall into obsolescence.
' Nearly maintenance free. Whenever I don't use a tablet or even a laptop for a while, they tend to get very busy once I turn them back on, downloading and installing various patches, updates and upgrades. Not the case for Chromebooks. Whatever upgrades may take place they don't hit my Chromebook. Whenever I call up an app, I get it in its latest version.
' The attached keyboard helps a lot. Yes, you can pair a keyboard and even a mouse to a tablet but the Chromebook's keyboard is always there, it negates the need of a stand or even some protecting case.
' Chrome OS is streamlined and efficiently focused where it matters, on the everyday uses most of us need a 'computer' most of the time.
' Chrome OS being such a streamlined one, browsing and running apps on a Chromebook is faster than off a PC/laptop/tablet of equivalent specs.
' Relatively low price, excellent display and lightweight seem to be just about right for something that typically you'd be using to browse the Web while watching TV or take to and from school.
Why not a Chromebook?
Yes, Chromebooks can't do everything. Google's productivity suites notwithstanding, Chromebooks are best at media consumption rather than production. Nobody should buy a Chromebook and expect to be able to edit video for a living or do some hard-core gaming. There are other machines and devices better suited for such tasks. My experience is that a Chromebook can't do 'everything'. Tablets are more portable, PCs and laptops are more powerful and versatile but, to me, my Chromebook is the most fun to use and it's likely to stay this way. I am not going to call it my 'second' or 'third' or 'first' computer but, objectively, it's the one I most use outside business hours if what we measure is 'hours'.
Most recent customer reviews
Never had any issues, still works amazing, and with great battery life!!