Chromebooks are usually good for basic stuff – web surfing, video streaming and like, that is. They’re ideal for people who don’t require a lot of performance, and especially for those who don’t like to play fancy games. They’re also very inexpensive, and Toshiba Chromebook 2 (CB35-C3300) is no different – it’s a well-priced unit with casual user friendly Celeron processor and 4GB RAM running the show. Questions about its other features and more importantly, value, will be be answered below!
What can I do with this computer?
The idea behind Chrome-based laptops, to put it simply, is that they’re good for anything you can do on a browser. This particular model, the Toshiba Chromebook 2 (CB35-C3300), features Celeron 3215U as its processor. It’s definitely not too powerful one (dual core, 1.7GHz clock speed without turbo), but considering it’s only the Chrome browser you’ll be running, there is no threat this Chromebook would actually slow down.
In addition, having 4GB system memory helps with the system running nicely, even if you like to browse web with multiple tabs open. The 16GB eMMC storage is a feeble one, but then again you won’t be installing a lot of files locally – Windows executables won’t work here. You can get more storage capacity with memory cards or using cloud services.
So can I also play games?
If you mean top level Windows games like Battlefield 4 or Grand Theft Auto 5, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. On the OS level, Chromebooks don’t support such games. If you’re a geek, you can of course install Linux and use Windows emulators, but I don’t think that Average Joe can do that. And there’s a problem at hardware level too, the only graphics engine you’ll find in this unit is the Intel HD integrated one, not really powerful enough to run such demanding games. Browser games will work here, but not those you normally install on Windows systems.
Is the display good?
Very good quality from a 350 bucks laptop screen can’t be expected, right? Well, I must say the 13.3″ display doesn’t look bad at all: it supports Full HD and even the panel type is IPS (good colors and viewing angles). It’s very rare to see a 1080p display in this inexpensive laptop, it never happens in Windows world, but Chromebooks make their own rules :)
Toshiba Chromebook 2 (CB35-C3300) has two USB ports, the other is USB 3.0, so you can’t plug in too many peripherals at the same time (unless USB hub is used). Your television can be hooked up to the laptop’s HDMI-out connector.
Even though Chrome computers are supposed to be used online, this model doesn’t have RJ-45 port, but a high quality Intel’s dual-band A/C WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 combo card is installed. And truth be told, if you want to use the wire (RJ-45, that is), you can always get USB adapter for that.
Optical drive is missing in Chromebooks because the OS has limitations on what you can do with them. You can still read data discs if you want, but indeed you’ll need to get USB-connecting external DVD drive to access discs in the first place.
A HD webcam is embedded in the screen bezel like in all laptops. I don’t think it works for Skype video because Chrome doesn’t support it, but Google Hangouts would be a good alternative if you wanted to video chat.
Other important things
Are you concerned about the portability of this laptop? Well, don’t be, Toshiba Chromebook 2 (CB35-C3300) weighs just 2.9 pounds and its 3-cell 44Wh battery should last 7 hours in real life (ad copy talks about 9 hours but you rarely reach the promised duration).
This Toshiba is nothing but an inexpensive model, yet it features a backlit keyboard.
Toshiba Chromebook 2 (CB35-C3300) is one of the stronger Chrome-powered systems, essentially due to its 4GB memory solution – with that kind of RAM, running multiple browser tabs at the same time will be a walk in the park. Processor is far from stellar, but for stuff done on the Chrome browser it’s very, very sufficient. Gaming is of course a bad choice on any Chromebook, but for day-to-day use this kind of Toshiba is a good alternative if Windows is boring the heck out of you.