Having released an article explaining Chromebooks recently, it was time to take a look at an actual Chromebook. My pick was Toshiba CB35-B3330, a freshly released notebook sporting Google Chrome OS and specs like Celeron processor, 2GB RAM and 16GB solid-state drive. Indeed, the specs at a quick glance don’t offer too much oomph. But there’s more than that in a Chromebook. So let’s see more about the laptop below.
Toshiba CB35-B3330 is controlled by the 64-bit Intel Celeron N2840 running on two cores and clocking at 2.58GHz. For many, the association between Celeron and poor performance is strong. That’s admittedly true, even in-depth CPU reviews confirm this. But one must remember the intended use for Chromebooks. If lightweight stuff like browsing, emails, video streaming etc. is high priority in your list, having low-key Celeron like this is not a problem.
Toshiba CB35-B3330 runs on 2GB RAM. Again, if you look from pure performance angle, it’s peanuts. But for a Chromebook it’s certainly enough. The Google Chrome OS is lightweight and doesn’t require so much RAM as its heavier counterparts manufactured by Microsoft. The storage drive is small 16GB although it’s very fast solid-state drive (SSD). You’ll probably arrive in the login screen after booting up the system in around five seconds, and using the laptop after that is smooth as well. What comes to the raw storage space it’s nothing to brag about, but you’ll use web-based applications (that are not downloaded to your computer) anyway with a Chromebook. And there’s also free 100GB of Google Drive space included for two years if you want to store data in a cloud.
Screen & Graphics
The screen of Toshiba CB35-B3330 is LED-backlit 13.3 incher. It has widescreen support however no touchscreen support. Resolution is the typical 1366×768. Needless to say such a resolution and other specs of this laptop don’t cater well for, say, graphics designers, but everyday use at home, work or school should be a smooth sail. The graphics are handled by the Intel HD Graphics which is a sub-par graphics chip. Combine this with Chromebook’s rather poor support for games the Windows crowd are used to, and you get a computer whose primary use should certainly not be gaming.
Connections compared to Windows-based laptops are similar or slightly worse. There are in total 2 USB ports, one being USB 2.0 and one being USB 3.0. HDMI output is also installed if you want to use the Chromebook through an external monitor. Mic/headphone combo jack is also there. All the ports can be found on right side of the laptop.
What Toshiba CB35-B3330 loses in wired Internet it gains in the wireless. There’s no Ethernet adapter, but the WiFi card supports Dual-Band so you can receive both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Thus, if your router supports it, you’ll get greater range and strength for the signal than you would with just single band 2.4GHz laptop. Consider this a plus if you have a large area, say big home, where you want the WiFi reach every corner of the place.
Other things to consider
Weight. This is one of the things where Toshiba CB35-B3330 shines. At 2.95 pounds and less than inch thickness it’s a breeze to carry around. Thus getting it for an avid traveler or student is a good idea. The 3-cell battery with superb 11 hour battery life adds to the fact the laptop is excellent pick for people on the move.
There’s also card reader supporting SD, miniSD, microSD, SDHC and SDXC formats. Bluetooth 4.0 is likewise supported. Webcam and microphone are built-in. The keyboard has no 10-key numeric pad which is either blessing or curse depending on your preferences.
So what’s the conclusion?
It’s a Chromebook! You will not get the familiar Windows experience with this Toshiba. To get most out of it, you definitely need an Internet access (although that tends to be the situation for any computer these days). You won’t download lots of stuff to your hard drive, rather you’ll use web applications by Google and other provides through the Chrome browser. This is not a good idea for hardcore gamers or power users, but I don’t discourage you from buying a Chromebook.
On the contrary, if your primary use is everyday stuff like web browsing, YouTube watching, office applications (can be found in the Google cloud), this kind of Chromebook can be better choice than a conventional Windows laptop. It weights almost nothings and has a long battery life. It also boots up in seconds. If this kind of things resonate with you, I definitely recommend picking Toshiba CB35-B3330. As said, you might even like it better than your old Windows notebook.