Toshiba CB35-A3120 Chromebook Review


If you want a Chromebook, this one has an appealing combination of features. The keyboard and 13.3-inch screen are larger than most, and there are two USB 3.0 ports.

Toshiba Chromebook reviews seem to agree that the CB35-A3120 (starting at $278, Amazon) is a good model to check out if you're curious about a Chromebook. Chromebooks run Google's Chrome OS and make a nice, cheap alternative to a Windows-based laptop, but they're not for everyone. These web-centric machines rely on apps and storage accessible online rather than PC software and files stored on a hard drive. Although some apps don't require it, a reliable, constant Internet connection is a must.

CNET credits Toshiba with creating the first Chromebook with a 13-inch screen (11-inch Chromebooks are more common). As a result the keyboard is larger and more comfortable than most. The touchpad also works well. The CNET reviewer found the display's colors rather dull, however, and its viewing angles limited. On the other hand, the Toshiba Chromebook has a matte screen, so users don't have to worry about glare. Another point in this machine's favor: an HDMI port and two USB 3.0 ports, better options than you'll find on most budget laptops. The Toshiba CB35-A3120 Chromebook has plenty of power to run apps and stream video smoothly, and the CNET expert found its battery life excellent for a Chromebook, totaling more than six hours in testing.

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A PC World expert seems similarly happy with the Toshiba CB35-A3120, declaring it one of the few Chromebooks worth recommending. Overall it turned in a solid performance in PC World's testing, although video streams were sometimes a little choppy -- a fairly common problem in this very low price range. The four-cell battery ran for nearly seven hours. This Toshiba Chromebook review commends the keyboard, which responds well, and the inclusion of USB 3.0 ports and an SD card reader.

The 13.3-inch screen on the Toshiba CB35-A3120 Chromebook has a resolution of 1366 x 768, or 720p high definition. The system runs on an Intel Celeron 2955 CPU. It has 2GB of RAM and a 16GB SSD, or solid-state drive, which is much smaller and faster than the 500GB hard drives on the best budget laptops. Google kicks in 100GB of free storage on Google Drive for the first two years, which makes sense as pretty much all the files users create and save reside in the cloud to begin with. The Toshiba Chromebook supports Bluetooth 4.0 as well as 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi connections.

Chromebooks are an affordable option if you're ok with creating, storing, and using everything online. There are plenty of apps in the Chrome Web Store, including Google's office suite and other tools. The Toshiba CB35-A3120 Chromebook has really nice features for such an inexpensive machine, such as two USB 3.0 ports and a 13.3-inch screen, which makes it a top choice for consumers interested in a Chromebook.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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