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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My first experience with a Chromebook.
I'll start with the pros and cons before my life story with the Toshiba

Pros
Very good keyboard
Excellent battery life
Awesome download speeds (both via internet and local file transfer via wifi)
Very Low Heat resulting in silent operation. (Literally silent)
Secure -- Browse the entire web (trusted sites) with no worries about key...
Published 3 months ago by Ahwaiz Mohammed

versus
44 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Chromebook?
If you're looking for a new laptop for e-mails, browsing & watching videos and everyday general use, then this comes highly recommended.

Great screen, fast and responsive, user friendly. Battery life is fantastic, runs cool - passive cooling so quiet as a mouse.

I'm very impressed, so much so that I've bought one for myself after buying one for my...
Published 5 months ago by Alan


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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My first experience with a Chromebook., 9 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Toshiba Chromebook 13.3-inch Chromebook (Intel Celeron 2955U 1.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB SSD, Google Chrome OS) - Silver (Personal Computers)
I'll start with the pros and cons before my life story with the Toshiba

Pros
Very good keyboard
Excellent battery life
Awesome download speeds (both via internet and local file transfer via wifi)
Very Low Heat resulting in silent operation. (Literally silent)
Secure -- Browse the entire web (trusted sites) with no worries about key loggers, viruses, malware etc
Extremely responsive
Very fast resume from standby
Exceptionally loud stereo speakers (these are REALLY GOOD)
Bluetooth 4.0
USB 3.0 x2
HDMI Out
Nice stylish minimalistic design, very Macbookesc :)

Cons
Screen leaves much to be desired, low resolution, washed out colours and banding. However, this isn't so bad or noticeable when playing you tube or local videos, which brings me on to the next con.
Nightmare getting to find videos with the correct codecs / envelope combination which wont play or cause errors five mins in to video
Doesn't support DTS or AC3 (this is more a licensing issue as with the video codecs, but its not something which causes me problems on my windows laptop so I'm going to mark the Chromebook down here)
Not the best Mouse pad
Comprised access to devices on the local Network, notably the NAS drive.
The build quality isn't the best (but bear in mind the budget price tag :))

And that's about it for the Pros and Cons

Screen:
As one reviewer said, he was shocked to learn that not many other people have complained about the generally poor quality of the screen, as am I quite frankly. However, other than one critical review which called it 'vibrant' (excuse me?), quite a few critical reviews have mentioned that it actually lacks vibrancy, which is about right. I always thought my MSI Laptop with its 15" plus screen was poor, but every time I see it now it seems like leagues better, not a good start for the Chromebook when the whole idea is for it to drown out the windows laptop for day to day use. I also entertained the idea that it may just be my Chromebook with a faulty screen, but I was able to compare a Toshiba on display at PC World, and its exactly the same. However, on that note, so was the HP 14, it also looked washed out. In fact the only two Chromebooks there which I would say had better screens were the HP 11 I think it was, but that only has an 11" screen and the Chromebook Pixel (which to compare with would be just stupid).
I found that the best viewing angle in terms of screen colour reproduction etc is with the screen almost at 45 degrees tilted back. You can almost go a notch down on the brightness at this tilt and not compromise the screen.

Video:
I must stress though, this screen issue only really bugs me on the general OS navigation and web browsing; Its not concerned me on video playback, YouTube or local content.

That said, watching videos on this have been quite enjoyable, when they played... Given the option between a good screen and sub par sound, or sub par screen and good sound I actually think I'd favour the device with better sound (or maybe its just that I've actually come to like my Chromebook that I'm making excuses for its shortcomings, hmm). I can't remember ever watching a full length movie, or many YouTube videos on my MSI with the far superior screen, mostly because the sound is almost non existent, however on the Chromebook I've practically stopped using my Nexus 7 (2013) for YouTube.

One of my gripes with Chrome OS is its lack lustre in the codecs department, both for sound and video. I've got a collection of videos, and for one reason or another, I can't play 95% of them, maybe even less. Its either unsupported codecs, video or audio, or the video will error within minutes of playing; I'm still troubleshooting this particular issue and will report back if I find anything significant, but for now I'm putting it down to unsupported codes. Now, this on its own is fine, I mean Chrome OS is locked, and has to play ball with the likes of Dolby etc the likes of which fiercely control the use of their codecs as such. However, as you can probably appreciate, when you've got a collection of videos over some time, never once having a problem playing them via Windows, then to suddenly find you can't play it on Chrome OS, without converting it first, it's not exactly the kind of news I wanted to hear. To be fair, the Windows default settings can't play some of the combination of Codec / Envelopes which give me problems on Chrome, but I was always able to download and install the required files, which of course you can't do on Chrome.

Sound:
Anyway, enough about the screen. Lets talk about the sound! Which, is spectacular. Ok, so its not going to replace your stereo system, but for watching movies its really really good. As one critical review said, its even got a little low end. And the sound by no means is distorted even at full (assuming the audio source is clear to begin with). I really enjoy watching videos on this just because of the sound. It has stereo down firing speakers, which actually help increase the sound EVEN MORE when place on a hard surface, not that the sound needs unceasing. My sofa arm is often the place of rest for my devices and the Chromebook is no exception. Thankfully, it does nothing to dull out the sound despite the speakers on the underside of the device due to the curved profile towards the edges of the Chromebook, a good design in that department.

Keyboard:
The keyboard is really responsive, I'm typing this review on it right now. I'm a touch typist so the quality of the keyboard was really important to me, and after a little getting used to the ever so slightly different key sizes and spacing, I was up and away. It even, to my ears any way, makes a ever so light jingly sound as you type. Very satisfying mmmh. Remember, this is 'only' a 13" laptop screen so I'm not going to do it an injustice and make comparisons to full size keyboards.

Trackpad:
That said the mouse is only let down by its double click to drag. You can adjust its settings in the Accessibility options but the double click to drag is really a pain. You either have to be quite slow and deliberate in your selection or apply a little extra force to the second click when you execute the hold. It may not bother some, but does me.

Processor:
You'll hear a lot of talk regarding the use of Intel's 'old' Celeron processor being used here. But thats just the ignorant talking. Yes its got the same name as the older gen Celeron but this is the newer Haswell processor and its because of this you'll get the excellent battery life and nippy performance. I'm not going to say how I'm getting 8 hours plus battery, not because I'm not, but because quite simply I've never really measured it. But I'm getting hours of usage and am only charging every 2 days or so with HEAVY use. Another benefit of this processor is very less heat. As I mentioned earlier the sofa arm is the usual resting place for my devices, which is not the best place for devices which produce a lot of heat (my MSI laptop cough cough) which as a consequence will get really hot and noisy. No such issue with the Chromebook. Deafening silence :)
UPDATE: This unit does have a fan and will kick in when under load e.g. Streaming Youtube Video via Chromecast

Web Browsing:
Using the web on this is a shear joy. Maybe I've succumb to a touch of ignorance myself, but I've visited so many sites and entered user name and passwords without a worry of spyware and / or viruses. Of course you'll still have to be careful of phishing scams and sites. A wise person once told me that peace of mind is priceless, and that's how I feel using the Chromebook on the web.

Build:
As I mentioned at the beginning, the Toshiba has a minimalistic design reminiscent of the Macbook. It has a dotted texture on the lid and bottom with a plain finish around the black keyboard and screen brezel, all which personally I like. There is a vent on the underside which will most likely house the heatsink and processor and due to my bad practice of using it on the sofa arm is the area which gets warm. There is also a vent for the fan on the top left, looking at the screen. It's obvious plastic build wont be fooling anyone but it doesn't need to, it still looks good. However, this is a budget construction. The area / bezel beneath the screen has A LOT of play and flex; now of course you don't want to be flexing your screen for no good reason, but when you're carrying the laptop and holding it in that area the flex is quite pronounced. There is also ever so slight play in the main body where the different parts of the chassis meet. That said there is no creaking or any other unpleasant 'cheap' sounds.

I forget what I was supposed to be doing before I set out to write this review, so I'll call it a day now, and maybe add to this later sometime. One final thing, some of you may not actually consider the 'cons' I've mentioned as actual true cons of the Chromebook or Chrome OS, and for you lot, BUY THIS; you won't regret it. But despite its cons, it loses only one star.
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139 of 145 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lightening Fast Internet, Great Screen, Keyboard and Battery, 9 Mar 2014
This review is from: Toshiba Chromebook 13.3-inch Chromebook (Intel Celeron 2955U 1.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB SSD, Google Chrome OS) - Silver (Personal Computers)
Length:: 1:17 Mins

If you're looking at this Chromebook, or any Chromebook, I will assume that you are aware of the differences between a PC and diving into the Google world wholeheartedly. Therefore, I am not going to review the entire Chromebook platform but to say that I am very pleased with it and have not looked back. 2 years of Cloud storage for free is a great deal. I love Google docs and the flexibility of it -- not to mention not being chained to expensive upgrades with Office. Likewise, you can see the specs on the product description, so I will stick to my own experience in this review:

(You can read my more detailed review below, but the first thing I think should be noted is that I have NEVER used an internet machine with this much speed. It is almost ridiculous how quickly pages open. I pay for high speed wireless but didn't realize how much I was under-utilizing it until I started browsing and streaming music and videos with this laptop. I am literally awestruck. I am even able to stream smoothly from the public internet at the airport, Starbucks and the free citywide internet that is part of my Brighthouse package -- I have never been able to do that on any of my other laptops, iPads, Android devices...nada. More details to follow).

This machine feels very well built. It is lightweight but sturdy. The SD card slot works great, allowing a full insert of the card so you can add local memory and leave it in without having the card sticking partway out. The usb inputs all work great and as expected. There is a small, nearly silent fan, two little speakers and rubber nubs on the bottom for stability.

The keyboard is ideal. The keys take the perfect amount of pressure and make the perfect satisfying little click -- I know keyboard preference is very individualized, but of any laptop I've ever owned this is my favorite keyboard for fast typing. I have avoided the Chromebook to date primarily because I didn't want one of those tiny screens and smaller, more compact keyboards. Likewise, I didn't want one too big. As Goldilocks says: this one is Just Right. For reference, I have large hands for a woman with long slender fingers. Compared to a man's hands they're about the same length as an average man but slimmer.

The screen half of the computer is well weighted, allowing it to be opened without pulling down on the computer, but still keeping the computer closed when desired. The case is nicely textured not allowing fingerprints and helping to avoid being slippery so you won't butterfinger it and drop it. I am posting a very short video so you can see how the screen opens. I despise a laptop that feels like I have to pry it open on my desk. Please forgive the crappy video quality, I don't do this professionally.

I have watched a lot of movies on this and the streaming is great. The Internet speed I get with this is awesome and makes for a smooth feed. The screen is glossy and very clear, which was a pleasant surprise considering the other Chromebook reviews I had read about a less than stellar screen experience. If this screen is in any way subpar to my Asus Zenbook, I can't find the difference. By default, I had it set on 480p and was happy. But I just switched it to 1080p HD. I am even more impressed by the video quality. I watched a video clip HD and it was really nice. I will say that at certain angles while watching a show, the screen becomes distorted. But when I get it set just right, I am pleased with the display.

Connecting to my internet was easy. I have Brighthouse 90mbps (or that's what I pay for...I never get that much) This connected without issue and seems to make better use of the high speed than my other laptop. I've used this in the airport and at Starbucks and have had good luck connecting and staying connected. I also use my Bose Bluetooth headphones and connected it to the Bluetooth in my car to play an audiobook, the connectivity is perfect and simple.

I should also mention the sound. I was truly surprised by the quality of the sound for those tiny speakers and this low price. Don't expect surround sound, but for their size and location, they're really great.

The booting speed is impressive too; open it and it is on -- ready to serve. In fact, everything I do with this is extremely fast. The battery has a long life and an even more wicked standby. I charged it for a couple of hours, used it, then went on a road trip for 7 days. Came back and the thing was still basically fully charged. Using it constantly, I would say I am getting 8-9 hours out of the charge.

Connecting to Cloud printing was a small challenge for me as I've never used Cloud printing. However, I was pleased to find that my printer is Cloud ready and with 2% brain power I figured it out. I can print to my home printer from anywhere. Very cool. My printer is an Epson XP-810.

I've had Toshiba computers in the past and have always been pleased. I have complete faith that this will be another excellent, reliable addition to my computing life.

UPDATE: I have been using this little chromebook for a few weeks now and I have to say, I am in love. I still love the keyboard and this thing is WAAAAY faster than my ipad for surfing the internet. I was always complaining that I was being ripped off by paying for the super fast speed through the cable company. However now that I am using this more than my ipad for surfing, I really can see what I am paying for. Pages open INSTANTLY. Why it is so much better on this, I do not know. -- Whoa! For the heck of it I tested my speed at Ookla speedtest.net and on this, wirelessly, I am getting 72mbps download 13 upload with a Ping of 8. That blows my iPad away. It blows my Asus Zenbook away too. I ran this test at around noon on a rainy Saturday. [...]

Update 4-15-14. Still working great. Still a favorite. No problems at all and I use it every day for several hours. This is my new traveling device and the iPad stays home.
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106 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Laptop - like Macbook Air but MUCH Cheaper!, 27 Feb 2014
By 
P. Wall "Pat Wall" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Toshiba Chromebook 13.3-inch Chromebook (Intel Celeron 2955U 1.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB SSD, Google Chrome OS) - Silver (Personal Computers)
I love this Laptop, but when I first went to order it - I read some negative reviews here and on Amazon USA so was a bit anxious at first - well that anxiety was totally unwarranted.

I had ordered a Windows ultrabook laptop previously too but sent it back because I loved the chromebook so much. I am very knowledge on computers, and I would recommend this Laptop to a basic user or an expert regardless.

Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons:

Pros:

- My friend has a Macbook Air that cost him about 3 times as much. This Laptop by comparison is practically as light, and as stylish (minus the backlit keyboard). You can tell they have modelled this Laptop on the Air - I just cannot believe how light it is.

- The design is like a piece of art, smooth rigid and I love the plastic rigid texture on the outside. Although it is all plastic, you could be forgiven for thinking its Aluminum.

- The trackpad is beautiful and response, easy to tap and click, and I love the finger gestures for right click etc, and scrolling - identical to the Mac.

- The Keyboard is wonderful and easy to type on, I have no problems whatsoever typing. I love the chiclet design of the keys, again a copy of Apple's keyboard you can adjust the volume and brightness (just like on an Air).

- The battery life is super and I have no complaints, it doesn't heat up on my lap like my old Laptop - generates virtually no heat, and runs silently.

- The screen is clear and brightness can be adjusted, I expected a poor screen, but actually I am pleasantly surprised.

- It's a shame the speakers are located underneath the Laptop but the sound is plenty loud enough and audible, nothing stopping you plugging headphones in!

- It is virtually virus proof since everything is based in the chrome browser

- The webcam is a real treat, and I have got used to Hangouts (Chrome's version of Skype)

- Because its hard drive is otherwise known as an "SSD" (Solid State Drive) it has no moving parts, so everything is lightning fast, booting up the laptop is a matter of seconds on/off, it also runs very cool.

- You are given 100GB of cloud space for Google Drive, so I am safe in the knowledge everything is backed up!

- You are given Google Docs - which can edit Microsoft office files e.g. Excel, Word etc. however, this takes a while to get your head round. You can also create documents from scratch, it is basically a free office google provide with this laptop that is cross-compatible!

Cons:

- You cannot presently run skype, make skype calls, and I am not able to sign into skype chat at the moment, on any of the alternate apps available. However, you can just use Hangouts instead for the same purpose.

- You cannot stream videos from Amazon Prime (if that bothers you) - however, it does support Netflix

- The Keyboard has no caps locks key, although you can simply hold shift (or re-assign one of the keys)

- The charger is quite long, so although a long battery life you will probably need to carry it round, if you want to work for extended periods.

- Don't expect to run things outside of the browser, if you do a lot of work outside the browser, or require applications like - Microsoft Office (you get Google Docs instead), Skype (you get Hangouts instead), want to play games outside of Chrome's Apps offering, then this is not for you.

I hope this review is useful I would highly recommend the Laptop as a 2nd computer/portable device.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, easy to use and hassle-free - even if you're 87!, 14 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Toshiba Chromebook 13.3-inch Chromebook (Intel Celeron 2955U 1.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB SSD, Google Chrome OS) - Silver (Personal Computers)
At age 87 most have given up on IT, not gran! But when her Windows laptop broke she wanted something fast to start up, free of viruses (that frightened her) and gave her easy access to email, internet, her photos and basic word processing. Chromebook sounded perfect - and it is (plus it's capable of much more in the unlikely event she ever needs it). This Toshiba has a good size, clear screen and is light to hold. Its build quality (no it's not a metal cased MacBook, nor is it that price) seems quite adequate and overall it is in our opinion excellent value.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, 15 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Toshiba Chromebook 13.3-inch Chromebook (Intel Celeron 2955U 1.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB SSD, Google Chrome OS) - Silver (Personal Computers)
I needed something cheap and cheerful and opted for the chromebook. It is good but so complicated to use for an old guy like me. No Skype, No Word and I really struggle with google docs etc. However I do like it ... shock horror !
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect mix between HP and Acer chromebook. Won't find much better for 250., 22 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Toshiba Chromebook 13.3-inch Chromebook (Intel Celeron 2955U 1.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB SSD, Google Chrome OS) - Silver (Personal Computers)
I bought this a couple days after release. Its the first laptop I have bought since I bought a Toshiba satellite 12n 650 3.5 years ago. I am a student so wanted something portable with a good battery life. I bought this laptop due to its lightness (1.5kg i believe) and also the 9 hour battery life. It fullfills the essentials and much more, infact I have not used my old laptop (which I intended to use as a desktop, kind of) since I bought this.
As most people know, chromebooks are cloud based so 90% of its functionality goes when offline. However, word processing is still available offline. For me internet access is not a problem, I live on a uni campus with internet access everywhere and I have internet on my mobile which I can use as a hotspot. Therefore so far I have not had any problems with the cloud-based operating system.
On the subject of screen, most people say this is a weakness but I honestly think these are people who are used to super high quality screens. My old laptop was 15inch and had the same number of pixels as this and I was perfectly happy with that! To me this is an amazing screen and movies and picture look great! But some people still see the screen as poor - I struggle to understand this.

Strengths
-Fast to boot up and no lag so far even with 10-15 tabs open
-Very good battery life - I dont carry the charger when I am out for the day
-The 16gb of hard drive space is enough for me, I only save documents and small numbers of pictures so get nowhere near the max
- Good speaks for the size of the machine and price
-GOod looking design - the only thing that put me off the Acer 720 were the looks and the screen was too small

Weaknesses
-Need internet - if you have little access to the internet then this is NOT for you
-No access to programs like skype etc

In summary, people looking for a cheap portable machine with good speed will love this.
If you have a macbook then there is no need for this, the macbook already has the looks, the battery life and the screen. The only downside compared to the Chromebook is the price.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking laptop, 21 Feb 2014
By 
P. Nelson (Halifax, west Yorkshire.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Toshiba Chromebook 13.3-inch Chromebook (Intel Celeron 2955U 1.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB SSD, Google Chrome OS) - Silver (Personal Computers)
I've been using this laptop a few days now and I absolutely love it. I work at a university and I am always writing, accessing pdf. files, emailing and so on and I've had no trouble with this as my primary machine. Sure I can't use photoshop or whatever but that doesn't matter to me.

If you are an everyday user you'll have no problems whatsoever with this laptop. And it looks great too.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super device with a couple of niggles, 15 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Toshiba Chromebook 13.3-inch Chromebook (Intel Celeron 2955U 1.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB SSD, Google Chrome OS) - Silver (Personal Computers)
This is exactly what it promises to be - a 13 inch Chromebook. I'm not going to go into the ins and outs of the Chrome OS since there are many more qualified than me to be able to fill you in on that. I also make the assumption that if you're looking at this device you have done a little research beforehand.

What this device does is extend the Chrome experience to the bigger screen. I've been after a biger screen than the (what seems to be de rigeur 11" Chrome standard). I swerved the HP 14" as I didn't want the weight and the Toshiba really fits the bill, It weighs a couple of pounds but still delivers a strong 6 hour battery life.

It's fast, switching windows effortlessly and the quick startup is wonderful. Screen resolution isn't fabulous but is more than good enough to watch videos at 720. The angles ar OK although you'll probably not be sitting in a group round this device. If that's what you're after, get a decent HDMI cable and plug it through a screen; the picture is more than presentable.

The only other noggle I have is the lack of a decent mail client. I have a number of accounts on AOL and I'd like to see a wider option of mail apps rather than the limited Mailstrom.

All in all it's a sound device, well made with good connectivity. I've ordered a 1TB portable hard drive to support the lack of wifi access that I know will irk in the future. Similarly, I've ordered a mouse to account for the limitations of the trackpad; this isn't an issue with this device but rather all trackpads. The 2 finger tap for a right click and 2 finger swipe do, however, work well.

Edited
I've found that you can add additional accounts from your Gmail which I didn't know. This is now a 5 star device.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Mine Me!!, 25 Feb 2014
By 
N. Roberts - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Toshiba Chromebook 13.3-inch Chromebook (Intel Celeron 2955U 1.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB SSD, Google Chrome OS) - Silver (Personal Computers)
well happy with it, I got this after my sister had got the acer 11 inch one. I like them both but much prefer the tosh due to the screen size and keyboard. Does everything I want except sky plus!!

Screen is good, not amazing but very good. The laptop weight and portability is perfect. Battery life is supurb and the charger charges it in about an hour and half which I do every few days and I am tied to it all evening. I never used my old laptop much on battery as it lasted about and hour and half top, used to drive me mad!!

Just get it they are great!!
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44 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Chromebook?, 13 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Toshiba Chromebook 13.3-inch Chromebook (Intel Celeron 2955U 1.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB SSD, Google Chrome OS) - Silver (Personal Computers)
If you're looking for a new laptop for e-mails, browsing & watching videos and everyday general use, then this comes highly recommended.

Great screen, fast and responsive, user friendly. Battery life is fantastic, runs cool - passive cooling so quiet as a mouse.

I'm very impressed, so much so that I've bought one for myself after buying one for my wife as a gift yesterday.

Benchmarked it against my 2 year old laptop running Linux (which was no slouch) and it is twice as fast. You really can't go wrong for the money. So glad I opted for this rather than a tablet, well done Toshiba.

UPDATE:

Toshiba seem to have quality control problems with this laptop. My chromebook arrived and the mousepad was unresponsive with the charger connected. OK, no problem, replacement ordered by Amazon's great customer service as per normal.

Replacement arrives 3 days later only to have exactly the same fault on the mousepad. Someone needs their head knocking at Toshiba. Therefore, I cannot recommend this laptop as I've given up and requested a refund. If you're luckier and get a working one then it's still a cracking buy, but is the quality there?

Downgraded my review from 5-stars to 3-stars, which I think is fair.
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