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2955U that pretty much tops our performance charts – and that’s a nearly two years old processor that is going to be superseded shortly.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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  • KZ0 - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    Table on first page claims 13.3-inch TN 1920x1080. Otherwise good read.
  • ddriver - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    TN is the new IPS
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    Fixed, sorry -- we typically reuse HTML tables and update the content; obviously I missed that one line.
  • ToTTenTranz - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    I don't get it. This chromebook has a TN panel without any viewing angles problem?
  • III-V - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    No, it's an IPS panel. The tabel has a typo.
  • III-V - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

  • GotThumbs - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    +1 on being a great read. To try out a Chromebook for myself, I picked up a reconditioned Acer 720 on a NE Shell-shocker and I have been very pleased with it. It would be nice to have a 1080 res screen, but as a quick web consumption device, I find it more convenient than my tablet. The unique one handed touch-pad movements are very nice as well and provide the feel of using a tablet in some ways. I also like how fast it boots up. With more options coming from other brands, I think Chromebooks do have a niche for certain users. I think Chromebooks are especially great for individuals who are not very tech savy and just tend to browse the web. No need to deal with various OS updates and anti-virus programs. I hope they remain as secure as they seem to be.
  • savagemike - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    My experience is very similar. I too bought a c720 - though as a refurb off e-bay at a price too good to pass up. Amazing little machine for the money and will be happy to pay a bit more for better hardware next time around as the basic usage of ChromeOS is brilliant and gets better as time goes on.
    The fast boot is great and coupled with the cached transaction update system ChromeOS employes means updates to the OS take literally about 10 seconds of my time as opposed to the hours of finger tapping I've spent waiting for Windows to do the same over the years. Even better the return from hibernation is rock solid so I hardly ever even shut the device off in the first place. 99% of the time I just sleep the device by closing the lid and awaken it by opening the lid. My desktop is up and ready by the time I get the screen fully opened.
    Also worth mentioning is the great battery life. This thing lives next to my couch and gets frequent use to look up an actor or movie or whatever. Friends who stop by and want a computer to look up something or the like get it. Just general 'whatever' around the house use. Whenever I think of it - every few days or perhaps weekly - I plug it in for a few hours to charge it.
  • leexgx - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    c720 owner here and typing this, for £120 is very good for what it is battery is good as well
  • leexgx - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    (only thing i would like is 4GB of ram, but i do tend to have a lot of tabs open)

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