Toshiba CB35-B3340 Chromebook 2 Highlights -
Pros: IPS display with full HD resolution. Great battery life. Premium build & finish. Sleek and lightweight.
Cons: Non touchscreen. Memory and Storage can't be upgraded. Not good for intensive gaming.
After a successful launch of it's first Chromebook - the CB35-A3120 Chromebook, Toshiba has come out with another model featuring a faster processor and stunning display - CB35-B3340 Chromebook 2. Design wise, Toshiba has't deviated much from it's predecessor offering a similar plastic silver exterior encased in a textured material with a smoother metallic interior. It would be fair to say that Toshiba got it's design inspiration from Apple's MacBook Air featuring the same sleek, lightweight and elegant look. This fan-less Chromebook is very compact and lightweight. Performance wise the Intel Celeron processor - N2840 is complemented with 4GB of memory for an improved computing experience. On top of this, it has a 13.3 inch Full HD (High Definition) display with a price tag of less than $400, making this Chromebook extremely competitive in this market segment.
As with all other Chromebooks in the market, we would like to point out that this machine runs Google's Chrome OS (Operating System). We briefly touched upon the Chrome OS when reviewing LG Chromebase 22CV241 AIO desktop, but for those who are new to this OS, it's basically a very lightweight operating system requiring minimum system resources. The browser (Chrome web browser) is the OS. Imagine doing all your daily computing tasks using only your Chrome web browser. That's how it feels, using the Chrome OS. For newbies, it is certainly going to take some time to get used to a Chromebook. But having said that, once you get used to this new environment, it is very easy to use. Chrome OS definitely has its advantages compared to a traditional OS like Windows. Faster boot times, cloud storage and enhanced security - just to name a few.
Performance - In order to keep the price down at the same time as having efficient processors, manufacturers of tablets and Chromebooks have opted for more power efficient processors such as Intel’s Bay Trail chips. You can expect to see these new Bay Trail processors becoming very popular in budget tablets and notebooks devices in the near future. Toshiba Chromebook 2 also comes with a Bay Trail processor: Intel Celeron Processor N2840 - a dual-core non hyper-threaded processor clocked at 2.16GHz. This processor is not meant for hardcore multitasking. But the processor should have no issues running the Chrome OS and it's compatible apps. The performance is quite decent for simple everyday tasks such as web browsing and office productivity which is what Chrome OS does best, but not for resource hungry software or demanding games. You may feel a performance lag if you like to keep a lot of tabs open or execute multiple processor intensive tasks simultaneously. But for the majority of people who carry out simple routine tasks, it shouldn't be a problem. Also, because the processor is power efficient, it offers a much better battery life.
Storage & Memory - Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB35-B3340 comes with 4GB of DDR3L memory, which along with Intel N2840 processor offers an overall improved performance and multitasking experience. As with most Chromebooks, a SSD (Solid State Drive) is standard which in this case is 16GB. SSD offers faster data access speeds, has no moving parts, uses less power than a standard HDD and generates no noise. This results in faster start ups and better battery life. You may think 16GB is a bit less but Chrome OS is built for cloud storage where you can save and access your files, photos and entertainment online. Additionally, there is 100GB of free online cloud file storage space included with this Chromebook (as at the time of writing this review) which is great. One thing to note is that the SSD and memory is soldered to the motherboard, therefore it can't be upgraded in the future.
Display, Graphics & Sound - Perhaps the best feature of this Chromebook is it's 13.3 inch Full HD (1920x1080 pixels) IPS (In-Plane Switching) display. IPS panel improves viewing angles considerably and displays consistent and accurate color. Although it is non-touchscreen, it is probably the best display available right now for Chromebooks. You'll amazed at the clarity, color accuracy and viewing angles especially while watching high definition movies or YouTube videos. The Celeron N2840 has an on-board Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), which means that it is capable of running basic games without the need for a dedicated graphics card. The sound quality is surprisingly good thanks to Skullcandy that provides a rich sound.
Battery - The lithium-ion battery offers a battery life of up to 9 hours thanks to it's power efficient processor.
Operating System - Chrome OS.
Click here for a closer look and buyer reviews.
The Toshiba Chromebook 2 is equipped with few but essential connectivity options. On the left you'll find power, USB 2.0 and a SD card slot. On the right you'll find a security lock, HDMI port, USB 3.0 port and headphones/microphone. As for network connectivity, the Chromebook 2 comes equipped with the latest dual-antenna 802.11ac Wi-Fi for faster speed and coverage plus the added advantage of Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity. Also, the front facing HD webcam will enable you to video chat and connect with friends and family. The keyboard and trackpad feels sturdy and responsive too. The Chromebook measures 12.60 x 8.40 x 0.76 inches and weighs 3 pounds.
We really love the Toshiba CB35-B3340 Chromebook 2. Yes, it doesn't have the fastest processor but it has a stunning display encased in a small and lightweight body. If Toshiba would have given this Chromebook a faster Intel Haswell processor, then we think this Chromebook would have been one of the best in the market. However, then it would have been a bit pricier. Still we think the Bay Trail processor will be adequate for most people's needs as it also includes a respectable 4GB of memory for multitasking. A USB 3.0 port, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi are definitely a plus. If you have been waiting to buy a Chromebook that has a great display, sufficient storage and memory and a decent processor with excellent battery life, the Toshiba Chromebook 2 is one of very few Chromebooks which hits the right marks at the moment. We think this one is a winner. There is also a Non-Full HD model with 2GB of memory as well - the Toshiba CB35-B3330 Chromebook 2 - Non Full HD. But we think that if you're going to get this Chromebook then you should consider the Full HD model.