Toshiba Chromebook 2 Performance

After all the praise of the last page, this is the one area where the Toshiba Chromebook comes up short. Here I have to take some exception with Intel’s decision to brand some of the formerly Atom as Celeron, as even the older Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, and Haswell Celerons could offer decent performance. Intel’s Atom has a well-deserved reputation for being merely “fast enough”, and it primarily goes up against ARM SoCs these days. However, while performance (at least on the CPU portion) is respectable compared to ARM, it’s a pretty sizeable step down from the Celeron 2955U, never mind the upcoming Broadwell-U Celeron 3205U. And if the CPU performance is somewhat questionable, the GPU results are downright poor. Here’s the performance of the Toshiba Chromebook 2 in numbers, keeping in mind that there really aren’t a lot of Chrome OS benchmarks available.

WebXPRT (Stock Browser)

Mozilla Kraken (Stock Browser)

Google Octane v1 (Stock Browser)

SunSpider 1.0.2 (Stock Browser)

Additional Performance Results
Acer C720 Acer CB13 Toshiba CB35
CrXPRT 96 55 61
CrXPRT Battery (Hours) 8.52 9.9 7.58
OORT Online (WebGL) 3270 4010 1420
Spacerocks (WebGL - FPS) 18 30 11
WiFi FTP Download (Mbps) 100 115 175

The CPU of the N2840 is able to surpass most ARM processors (at least, those that we’ve tested) in terms of performance. The problem is that the GPU is quite a bit slower than the competition. Take NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 SoC, which pairs one of the fastest SoC GPUs with a respectable ARM-based CPU; by contrast, the N2840’s CPU is generally faster than the Tegra K1’s CPU, but the GPU ends up being substantially slower – less than half the performance by our numbers. For a browser-centric OS like Chrome OS, I’m not sure it matters all that much, but as we discussed earlier there are cases where graphics performance still matters – like YouTube 1080p60 content.

Of course, outside of 1080p60 and a few games, I continue to struggle to find a need for faster graphics performance on Chromebooks. If you have similar feelings the Atom N2840 should be a reasonable compromise. In Octane, Kraken, and SunSpider, the N2840 consistently beats the Tegra K1 and in some cases it even ties (roughly) Apple’s A8X. However, we still have to account for the Celeron 2955U that pretty much tops our performance charts – and that’s a nearly two years old processor that is going to be superseded shortly.

As it stands, performance from the Celeron N2840 is significantly lower than what we measured with Celeron 2955U, edging out the Tegra K1 but not by a lot. It’s certainly “fast enough”, just like the Acer Chromebook 13, but compared to the Acer C720 the performance gap is very noticeable. This is why I’m really looking forward to testing the upcoming Acer Chromebook 15 with a Celeron 3205U (or maybe even a Core i3) – performance even when just surfing the web can still matter, especially when viewing webpages like Google Drive.

Tangentially related to performance, it’s worth noting that the Toshiba Chromebook 2 includes 802.11ac WiFi, with a 2x2 spatial stream solution. Over the local network, I was able to copy files at up to 175 Mbps, which beats the Acer CB13’s 115 Mbps and the C720’s 100 Mbps. This testing however was done via FTP transfers to a local system, which may not be the best indication of maximum WiFi performance. It would be great if there was an easier way to connect to local Windows shares, but as far as I can tell that’s not an option.

Toshiba Chromebook 2: A Beautiful Display Toshiba Chromebook 2 Battery Life
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  • RadioShackLives - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - link

    I really enjoyed this review.

    I bought the Toshiba CB35-A3120 13.3-Inch Chromebook last year for my girlfriend. I am a graduate student studying computer science and have experience with OSX, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS. With the chromebook I don't have to spend an hour every month removing viruses from the PC the way I did with her Windows laptop. If anyone has to deal with supporting Windows for friends and family Chrome OS is a great alternative.

    I also installed Ubuntu on my girlfriend's chromebook. I downloaded Sublime Text and Libre Office. I also downloaded Ruby and was able to run some Ruby programs I created without any issue. Keep in mind the Chromebook I used had the Celeron 2955U processor. I'm curious if Bay Trail would be much different.

    The only downside is to get crouton you ha be to leave the chromebook in developer mode so it won't boot up as quickly. However I like the combination of linux + chrome OS. Linux lets me work on coding assignments but when I want to watch HBOGO I can switch over to chrome OS.

    Lastly, don't be one of these jokers that complains about not being able to run Photoshop. You remind me of the people that buy ultrabooks on Amazon and complain that there is no DVD drive.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - link

    Jeeze, what was she doing to get a virus a month? Reply
  • sirkiwi - Thursday, March 5, 2015 - link

    I am pleasantly surprised that such an inexpensive product can come with such a high quality 13.3" 1080p screen. Now, if only we could get that on a Windows notebook. The fact that we can't is just outright infuriating. Reply
  • calexander16 - Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - link

    Beware of the Toshiba Chromebook 2 - there appears to be a quality issue with its display.

    After four months of normal laptop use, a crack developed in the membrane (?) behind the display glass. I sent pictures to Toshiba for the warranty claim - and they rejected it, claiming "physical damage" was done to the machine.

    If opening and closing the lid normally is considered physical damage, I guess they're right.

    Wondering if I was the lone crank in the Toshiba electronics universe, I went onto Amazon - and lo and behold, under the 1-star reviews there are several reports of display cracks and problems for the Toshiba Chromebook Two within the first few months of ownership. In all of the cases, Toshiba refused to honor its warranty service for these problems.

    So be very careful. I suspect a Quality Control issue - and tried to uplevel my concern to Toshiba but met a dead-end in the customer service department.
    Reply
  • mbhatia - Saturday, October 17, 2015 - link

    Can someone please assist me advising how I can lock an OFFLINE folder/file etc in a Chromebook...on an attached SD card etc. One needs to remain stuck in there because of the low internal memory and I while the Cloud portion of the chromebook is secure, anyone can take out the SD card and access the contents of an unsecured folder. There are apps for this Android and Windows and making a secure drive etc in Mac... how do I achieve something so basic in a Chromebook? This is the only piece of the puzzle missing for me in adopting this full time and loading it up with my data. Reply
  • George.Madison - Thursday, November 26, 2015 - link

    You know, I'm a very demanding customer. One day a came to a conclusion that billion corporations around the globe produce their stuff in order to: 1 - sell their products; 2 - truly help people and make their lives easier. First aim is much more valuable than second!
    That's the reason I always demand products appropriate to thier prices.
    Toshiba laptop costs nearly $270 http://cent.im/popular/259/toshiba_chromebook_2
    For this amount you receive 13,3'' Full HD screen (which I consider the best decision), fast SSD inside, 4 Gb RAM and 64-bit Windows.
    Keyboard is quite convenient. As for mouse, I use my old Logitech.
    Reply

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