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189 of 196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lightening Fast Internet, Great Screen, Keyboard and Battery
Customer Video Review     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...
Published 12 months ago by Mandy Payne

versus
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chromebook is the way to go ... but not with Toshiba
My first experience with a Chromebook and must say it has exceeded my expectations. That said, Toshiba has miserably failed on quality. The machine fields plasticy and flimsy, the mouse pad tends to get stuck when pressed which made me resort to purchasing a Bluetooth mouse. Further, unbelievably the screws on the bottom literally fall off on their own, and now I have 2...
Published 7 months ago by Ahmed A.


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189 of 196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lightening Fast Internet, Great Screen, Keyboard and Battery, 9 Mar. 2014
By 
Mandy Payne "Is it just me?" (Hollywood, CA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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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70 of 73 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 placed on a hard surface, not that the sound needs increasing. 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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142 of 149 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little computer (next gen Toshiba CBs just around the corner though), 21 Sept. 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)
5 stars for the Toshiba and Chrome OS.

So, you can't play games on it, I'm not counting the silly little ones in the store. You can't plug in a midi keyboard or a graphics tablet. I can do everything else I can do on a full on power PC with a Chromebook though.

No viruses (it's true, you can't even use exe, com, dll files as they are not supported or recognised), no cost for the OS, fast as lightning as there's not much to Chrome OS. I think it's all good. Google don't even want to risk infection from printer drivers, and so you'll need a Google Cloud Print ready printer, or use of another computer with a printer connected to print.

I tried the HP, but find this better in all sorts of ways.

BE AWARE: Toshiba are just about to launch their second generation of CBs. One will have a full 1080p ips display, and the other will have a 12 hour battery life. It might be wise to do some research and wait for a while. Search YouTube for 'second Toshiba Chromebook' or something like that and you'll see some vids of the new models. I will be buying one of the new ones.

p.s. I read a review here that said the track-pad gets stuck down when pressed. Mine did that, and so I just took it back to PC World and got it swapped for a perfect one (Chinese QA is not perfect right). Note also that you don't have to 'click' these track-pads, they work with tapping and have multi gesture support for scrolling, moving between web pages and Chrome tabs. In a few days you won't miss your mouse; all can be done with the pad.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Chromebook!, 17 Nov. 2014
By 
Silvester (Sheffield, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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)
Chromebooks in general seem to get a bad reputation for only being useful when connected to the internet, or using cloud storage. But if you understand the Chromebooks limitations, and you're somebody who mainly uses your computer for internet surfing (like me), then you will love this simple little computer.

*** Pros ***

✓ Price – when you look at what hardware you're getting for the price, this machine really is a good buy!
✓ Incredible battery life – Lasts a good 9 hours+
✓ Access all your word documents, excel files, etc online
✓ Boots incredibly fast - It boots up in less than 10 seconds. Compared to my Windows PC which can take up to a minute
✓ Clean user interface – easy to pick up if you already use Google Chrome
✓ If you're currently a Google user, set up takes about 10 seconds
✓ No viruses – Saving money on yearly antivirus subscriptions
✓ Chrome Remote Desktop is awesome and free for those times you need to access your Windows machine (although oddly doesn't allow you to remote into other Chromebooks)
✓ Screen size, resolution, brightness, and viewing angles are absolutely stunning
✓ No Bloatware
✓ Regular OS updates – fast & free! No more sitting around waiting for Windows updates.
✓ Recovery media can be downloaded for free – Most manufacturers charge at least £30 when ordering recovery media for Windows based PC's.
✓ Store everything in the cloud making files more accessible from other devices.

*** Cons ***

The main downside when it comes to any Chromebook is compatibility. if you need to run specific Windows-based software or If you use a lot of native Windows apps: iTunes, Skype, Photoshop, and you're not willing to switch to web-based alternatives (Spotify, Hangouts, Pixlr), then this item isn't for you. There are millions of apps and extensions available however, its just a case of doing a bit of research.

Most external devices with the exception of external hard drives and memory sticks won't be detected by this Chromebook. For printing, the Chromebook requires a Google Cloud Print compatible printer, or a Cloud Print Server and setting this up can sometimes be a bit fiddly. Most newer printers tend to be compatible with more and more cloud services however as this becomes the norm.

I've come across a lot of people who say they hate Chromebooks and try and take them back. I generally find this is because its different to what they are use to and don't want to take the time to find alternatives for the programs they use now. It is different, and it will take some getting use to, but if you stick with it, you will like it. If anything, I now prefer some of the online alternatives to the Windows based programs!

If you're looking for a cheap laptop for someone who's not very confident with PC's, this is a good laptop for someone who needs something simple for browsing, but they might need some pointers if they get stuck.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice little item, 25 Jun. 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)
What a fantastic little item, I've never used a Chromebook before as I've always used a PC/laptop. It's perfect for surfing the web, lightweight can be used and taken anywhere connecting through wifi. It is different as it's google based and doesn't have everything a laptop would have like cd rom so doesn't need Internet security because it updates it's built in security by itself. Perfect for someone learning to use the Internet who wants something simple to use.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best value Chromebook yet., 13 Aug. 2014
By 
Mr. A. T. Dugdall "A D" (Hull, 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've had this for about two weeks now, and I'm very, very impressed.

This is a truly great device for the price. If you need a cheap second computer for basic web use, this is it. Previously I would have used my phone or tablet for looking up stuff online, I am now more likely to use this. Netflix and BBC iPlayer work flawlessly, Microsoft Office Online works a treat. It isn't really a device for playing games, there are some on the Chrome store, just don't expect to be playing Minecraft on it. Updates are automatic and unobtrusive, so it's an ideal device for the less IT literate, but don't let that put you off if you are competent with a computer.

The good stuff:

1) Silent operation,
2) Generates very little heat,
3) Boots incredibly quickly (7 seconds),
4) Very responsive,
5) Very good battery life,
6) Nice design.

The only negative is that the screen is not the best I've seen, but it's not as bad as some make out either.

I'm baffled by people who say that Chromebooks are a niche market, try one, this one was a revelation to me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An alternative to a Windows/Mac laptop for web surfing - definitely worth a look, 11 Jan. 2015
By 
John Ryan "One man and his Kat" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
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 was looking for an inexpensive laptop for my daughter to surf the web, when I came across the “Chromebook” - and so far I’ve been really impressed by the Chromebook, and my daughter absolutely delighted.

A word of warning, this is a rather long and non-techie review for people who don’t know much about these devices. My aim is to educate you about the Chrome Book range, what they are, and what they’re good for.

So make yourself a cup of tea, sit down, and read on.

What is it? Is it a laptop?
-----------------------------
That may sound a daft question, but it’s actually quite sensible, because this looks like a laptop, but works like no other. Most laptops run Windows or Apple software, this runs “Chrome” designed and built by Google. It’s different to a typical operating system in that it actually runs “one the web” inside the Chrome Browser. This has several advantages (and a few potential issues), but for someone looking to do online shopping or look up Wikipedia for the homework - this is a brilliant solution - but I’m getting ahead of myself.

So in short - yes, it’s a laptop, but not like any other laptop you’ll have used.

What can you use it for?
---------------------------
Well just about anything! Here’s a short list:-

* Anything you can do in a browser!
* Shopping on Amazon for a start
* Reading and replying to mails or setting Calendar events
* Edit and publish photos to the web
* Updating your Facebook or Twitter status
* Even read or write Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents (for FREE)

If you already have a PC or Mac yourself, you can try out Chrome for yourself. Just search “Google Chrome” and download the browser, then click on this link to see the huge range of “Chrome Apps” available:-

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/apps

The main drawback of course is you’ll need to be connected to the internet to use these services. This does mean you’ll need to use your device at home, but you can always connect at a coffee shop, station or hotel. In fact if you have a modern smartphone, just click “Settings —> Personal Hotspot” and you can use your phone’s data connection get to the internet even when you’re away from a WIFI connection.

You can use some applications offline, but be aware there’s likely to be a few limitations - for example, you obviously can’t send mails while you’re offline. You can however edit documents using Google Docs, Sheets and Slide - the Google versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

What are the main drawbacks?
-----------------------------------
Clearly not everything is available offline, and this is primarily intended as a device to be use while connected to the internet. Unlike a traditional PC you can’t just plug in any old printer. However, if you have a relatively modern printer connected to your WIFI network you’re in luck. There’s a service called “Google Cloud Print” which allows you to set up your printer, and print to it from anywhere in the world with a web connection. It will even let your print from your Android phone or tablet.

As an alternative, if you’ve a home PC with a printer attached, you can install Chrome on that, and print to it. It does mean your PC must be switched on as well as your printer, but it’s an option.

Is it Secure?
--------------
Yes. Very. You see unlike a Windows PC where you can install all sorts of software from the web, you only install special Chrome Apps, and this is managed centrally. If the system detected a corrupt version of the software, it would simply be overwritten by the correct version. This also means you don’t have to constantly update your Chrome device with the latest software version - as it’s done automatically. You’ll therefore save on the cost of annual anti-virus software.

It’s also designed to store documents “in the cloud” (see below), so you won’t have to worry about losing all your documents if your device gets lost or stolen - a fantastic bonus.

What about storage?
-----------------------
Yes, it’s a bit odd to find your laptop only has 16Gb “hard drive” - actually it’s a solid state disk - much faster, but surprisingly it works very well.

This device is designed to use “cloud” storage. This means unlike a traditional PC where you store your documents locally (and have to take a back-up copy in case your computer crashes), using this device you store your documents on the web itself. Google itself provides a service (Google Drive) which gives 15Gb of storage for free, and this can be upgraded to 100Gb for $2 a month (about £1.50 in real money). If you have a PC or Mac, you can also share your space, so documents can be saved on the PC and read/written from your Chrome book.

There’s hundreds of other storage services available, and like Google Drive, you can access these from a PC, Mac, Android tablet or even an Apple iPad or iPhone. The only difference is these aren’t as well integrated into Chrome.

What’s the alteratives?
--------------------------
You should consider the following options:-

1) Buy a Chromebook which will run with the limitations listed above - but generally great value for money, and works well for many people
2) Buy a Windows or Mac laptop. You’ll pay more up front (after all you’ll need a faster processor, Gigabytes of disk and memory), but you’ve a more flexible option.
3) Buy a tablet computer. You get a smaller screen, but for web surfing (Facebook, eMail and shopping - even watching TV or Films) it’s a great alternative. Your main options are Android (there’s lots of options) and Apple (the iPad Air or Air 2).

Personally, I’ve used Windows PCs for years, but recently I find most of what I use it for is online. If you feel the same, a Chromebook or Tablet computer is an excellent option.

Conclusion
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If you want a computer to surf the web, reply to eMails and update your Facebook page, but without all the pain grief and cost of a Windows machine this is highly recommended.

Compared to my old (and incredibly expensive) Windows laptop, this is a breeze to use. It boots up in seconds, runs for hours and is incredibly simple. It doesn’t need constant software updates or virus checking, and doesn’t need to be backed up.

Having said that - I’d also recommend a tablet computer as an alterative which can be picked up for similar money.

I do hope this review was useful.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love this Chromebook, 5 Dec. 2014
By 
Mr. James Rutherford "James" (Newcastle Upon Tyne. England) - 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)
It would be difficult to please me more with this product. I love the larger screen and keyboard. My previous Chromebook was a Samsung Series 5 and I thought that was great. Had this one up and running in 2 minutes, web connected and sync'd.
The screen seems fine to me. Easy to read, colours good and not to overstated. Keyboard felt a little large but once I got comfortable with the ample palm space it is better than my previous CB. Trackpad is very responsive and I have had no need to connect a mouse, right click action and scrolling perfect. I cannot see a problem with writing large documents.
It picks up my WiFi perfectly (Sky) and has not dropped out or slowed down.
After over an hours use it is still running cool and battery is reading 8:47 left. Hard to believe!! So I checked it again and now it shows 9:27 after closing 2 other tabs. There will probably a reduction after a few charging's.
The build is fine no creaking or flexing, screen holds it's position well at any angle. It feels stable even when held with one hand with the screen open.
Another plus is the recharge Jack, it is the full size type you get with larger PC's not the flimsy little thing that comes with the 11 inch models.
I have not found any cons yet. Will update if I notice any.

Update:
The battery life is rather complicated. Calculations made by the computer are unreal as the battery charge suddenly drops off from between 1 to 2 hours to 5 minutes. I cannot explain this. However I estimate the true life to be 6 to 7 hours under normal use, (using emails, fb, and other none demanding tasks. I'm happy with that as the battery is quick to charge in about an hour.
Build - The screen when closed does not quite square up. There is a slight gap at the right front corner. This can be eliminated by gently pushing the right hinge. I does not prevent the computer from going to sleep and start up is instant.
I have changed my star rating to 4 because of these new observations.
This is still well worth the money.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for all students, 4 Oct. 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 was at first hesitant to purchase, as moving to a chromebook means a new mode of operation. However, here is what you can do all of the time (even with no connection); write in google docs, view files you have downloaded (you can't view pdf in offline drive, only google docs, though you are always in the position to access pdfs and open all of your files in downloads). That may seem poor, but ask yourself - what else do you use your computer for offline? Like most students I only need to view course material and write. To obtain the course material I would need a connection, so there is no difference between this and a normal pc, and once downloaded, well, no issue.

Pros

Solid and precise keyboard just remember alt and backspace for delete.
Excellent track-pad, just use two fingers to right click (you'll learn).
Lightening fast. This should come as no surprise. Chromebooks are dedicated platforms for browsing - at worst a start up time of 8 seconds. No software or hard-disk / OS to make things run slow.
No need to be concerned or proactive against malware - chrome updates.
Simplicity - there are absolutely no complicated features or intricate settings on this machine. What you see is what you get.

Cons

Lack of storage. Google tries to get by with offering free 100gb on drive. However, first, what happens after two years? You'll need to pay, and that is unappealing. Secondly, you need a connection to access information if you go beyond the limits of the small hard-drive.

The con can be mitigated via an external ssd in order to preserve warranty though that is undesirable.

To clarfiy: this is perfect for students. Light, the screen is actually good even in sun and the HD youtube option fairs no worse on this screen, battery life is 8 hours, fared nicely, speakers low end though fine if not on loud, no worries about any damage.
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