Toshiba Chromebook 2 (CB35-C3300) 2015 Edition first impressions [Review]

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Chromebooks are wonderful computers for light and medium computing. While Windows and OS X are superior for heavy lifting — especially with legacy software — Chrome OS is a dream for web surfing, email and writing. If either you or someone you know lives in the web browser, laptops running Google’s Linux-based operating system could be perfect. By design, they are virtually malware free, and OS updates are a breeze.

Finding the perfect Chromebook is difficult, as everyone’s needs may be different, but I only suggest models with at least 4GB of RAM regardless. I also demand a quality keyboard and display, and I think all consumers deserve this too. Toshiba’s new Chromebook 2 (2015) meets all of my needs, while also being affordable. In other words, it will probably be a winner for you too. Here are my first impressions.

Specs

Screen Size 13.3 inches
Max Screen Resolution 1920X1080 pixels
Processor 1.7 GHz Celeron 3215U
RAM 4 GB
Storage 16 GB
Graphics Mobile Intel HD graphics +HDMI out
Wireless Type 802.11 A/C
Number of USB Ports 1 x 3.0, 1 x 2.0

Unboxing

First Impressions

Taking it out of the box, the 2015 model looked very similar to last year’s model. The color is different, however, as it is more grey than silver. Also, the 5th generation Broadwell Celeron processor (3215U, 2M Cache, 1.70 GHz) is now fan-cooled, and there are vents on the back and bottom. While the fan is audible, you have to try to hear it. In other words, it is a non-issue.

As far as ports, they are identical to last year’s model. The right side features a 3.5mm audio jack, USB 3.0 port, HDMI-out port and a Kensington lock hole. The left side has a full-size SD card slot, a USB 2.0 port and a power port.

Opening up the laptop, we see a backlit keyboard (woo-hoo!) which looks similar to last year’s model, but is actually much improved. The keys themselves are constructed of a higher-quality plastic and are more stiff. The 2014 variant has a passable keyboard, but it was a bit mushy, leading to unregistered keystrokes. This is remedied on the CB35-C3300, making it a very pleasant typing experience.

The trackpad is largely the same, although it is a bit stiffer this time around. While I prefer the more reassuring “clunk” sound, it is more of a personal preference. Truth be told, both models have great trackpads; you will like it.

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The star of the show is the 1080p IPS display. This is unchanged from last year’s model, and that is a good thing. Whether you are reading text, viewing images or watching a movie, it is simply glorious. Many Chromebook manufacturers skimp on the display, but Toshiba wisely makes it a focus.

The other focus that Toshiba makes is on audio. The Skullcandy-tuned audio comes from speakers that are underneath the keyboard. Not only is the audio loud and clear, but it is positioned at the user for optimal listening. Whether enjoying music on Spotify or movies on Netflix, the sounds was satisfying.

The Intel Celeron processor coupled with 4GB of RAM offers wonderful performance. Having many tabs open was not an issue, and all web pages load without struggle. For an additional $ 100 you can upgrade to a Core i3 processor, but I would suggest against it — the Celeron absolutely screams with Chrome OS. Save your money!

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Overall, the Chromebook 2 (2015) is another home run hit by Toshiba. The build quality and specs are wonderful, while the $ 329 price tag is very affordable. Even with my limited initial testing, I can confidently say that the Toshiba Chromebook 2 (CB35-C3300) 2015 Edition is highly recommended.

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