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There’s a new Toshiba Chromebook 2 in town

The backlit keyboard is a nice premium feature to an already superb laptop.

The backlit keyboard is a nice premium feature to an already superb laptop.

The new Toshiba Chromebook 2 2015 version adds more processing power and a backlit keyboard.

Toshiba Chromebook 2 2015

The new Toshiba Chromebook 2: choose from a Celeron 3215U version or an Intel Core i3-5015U version.

I called the Toshiba Chromebook 2 awesome in my review  but the new model (same name but different model numbers) is even err… awesomer! Why? Because you get a better processor and a backlit keyboard.

Chrome OS is great for what it’s designed to do. Last year’s Toshiba CB2 works really well and in my opinion is excellent value for money.

If on the other hand you intend to buy the chromebook to install Linux on it, well then, that’s another story. Last year’s CB2 with Linux installed is more than capable of handling tasks that most users need to get done on a laptop.

CB2 backlit keyboard

Looking cool! The backlit keyboard, a nice touch.

Those users that need to do more resource intensive work should really go for the newer model. It’s a broadwell processor and comes in 2 flavours: the Intel Celeron 3215U version (model CB35-C3300) and the Intel Core i3-5015U version (model CB35-C3350).

For us in the UK, these chromebooks are not available yet with Amazon saying that they’re not sure when it will be back in stock. 🙁 Update: It appears these Chromebooks won’t ever be available in the UK since Toshiba announced they will soon stop making consumer laptops in favour of business laptops. These Toshiba models will also become harder to find as the stock runs out.

If you need help installing Linux on the new chromebook you can use my guide but I would also recommend reading this additional guide for more specific info on the newer model (Thanks Josh for your work on that).

Use the table below to make it easier to compare and decide which model is better for you:

Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2014)

Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015)

Standard

HD

HD

HD

Model No.

CB35-B3330

CB35-B3340

CB35-C3300

CB35-C3350

Processor

Intel Celeron N2840

Intel Celeron N2840

Intel Celeron 3215U

Intel Core i3-5015U

Memory

2GB

4GB

4GB

4GB

Screen

LED

Full HD IPS

Full HD IPS

Full HD IPS

Resolution

1366 x 768 pixels

1920 x 1080 pixels

1920 x 1080 pixels

1920 x 1080 pixels

Can Hard Drive be replaced?

No

No

Yes

Yes

Price

Check price

Check price

Check price

Check price

Based on the ability to add a higher capacity hard drive, price and spec, I would recommend spending a little extra to buy the newer CB35-C3300 or the more powerful CB35-C3350 for more processing power.

Any questions, as always leave a comment and I’ll try to find an answer.

29 Comments

  1. Josh

    actually on pricing, the new ones aren’t THAT much more expensive unless you have to have an i3 processor. The current (12/6/15) prices < ...see above table for current prices - Captain>

    But note that the CB35-B3330 has only 2GB of RAM, and not a 1080p IPS display. So throwing it out of the comparison, since that model is tangibly inferior, at current pricing, $30 more gets you a Broadwell CPU, and the ability to upgrade the SSD. I think I may have confused you in my comments because I included the cost of the 256GB SSD in my $400 cost, but the base Chromebook was only $300. I’d find it hard not to recommend spending $30 for the Celeron and the ability to upgrade the SSD… unless you really wanted total silence (the new ones have a fan — a quiet fan, sure, but the old ones don’t have a fan at all). I wouldn’t recommend the cb35-c3350 (i3 CPU instead of Celeron) unless you were really hard up for CPU power. The cb35-c3300 just isn’t that much slower.

    • Captain

      Holy smokes Batman (err..Josh) you’re right! See my update in the post.

  2. Dave

    Thanks Cap. I bought new Toshiba Chromebook 2 after reading your post and installed xubuntu following yours and Josh’s guide.

    Weird thing was when I opened the chromebook the metallic sticker wasn’t there. Any way I removed the screw and put the insulating tape and everything worked normally.

    I got boot error with xubuntu 15.10 just as Josh said but remade live usb in windows using universal usb installer and it booted up.

    So my issue is , after finishing my work I closed the lid just as I do with my macbook and in morning battery was completely drained from 80%. Is it the problem of the chromebook or do I have to enable some deep sleep mode in linux?

    • Captain

      That’s strange, perhaps you brought a used one? The issue with the battery draining is because the BOOT_STUB BIOS modification that we’re using from John’s work does not support suspend. So your Chromebook has been running idly all night hence utilizing the battery. Anyway, well done and I’m glad the guide helped you 🙂

      • Dave

        Hi so I ran into an issue and I really need your help. I was using xubuntu on my 3300 chromebook. Yesterday in my absence my roommate tried to use my laptop. I am not sure what he did but he probably followed onscreen instructions like “press space to re enable” and I guess he disabled the developer mode and tried to boot. In evening I tried to boot by pressing CTRL+L it showed that os is damaged and insert usb or sdcard to recover. Then I tried booting after enabling developer mode but when I press ctrl+L laptop gives beep sound. Please help I don’t wanna reinstall xubuntu since it took a lot of effort to get it working. Do you think disabling developer mode might have removed johnlewis’bios? Then I guess first I have to install chrome os then install bios then install linux. Ok I gonna have a word with my roommate about personal property. Thanks in advance.

        • Captain

          So we’re you dual booting Chrome OS and Xubuntu?

          • dave

            no, only xubuntu.

          • Captain

            Try booting a live Xubuntu USB drive and running the bios script again, otherwise sounds like you’re going have to start over again. I hope your roommate is hanging his head in shame right now!

          • Mark Sheikh

            Hi Captain,

            Just to clarify I just installed Elementary OS on my late 2015 Toshiba Chromebook 2. Is it the case that if someone hits the space button rather than hitting “ctrl + l” on reboot when the developer screen comes on, that the entire Linux OS becomes completely useless?

            This is pretty scary. In case this happens, what should one do? I didn’t make a backup of the ChromeOS because I only had 1 USB flash drive on me, so how would I make a copy of that? I wiped ChromeOS off my system, so not sure what to do.

            And for future use, if someone hits space on boot in developer mode, would having both ChromeOS and Elementary OS (Ubuntu) dual installed be better?

            Finally, someone claimed that when the Toshiba Chromebook 2 battery is dead – that after about a week or so at being at 0%, it will “reset” whatever flags/commands that are needed for being able to boot into Linux. Are you aware of this?

            There are instructions for an Acer Chromebook here http://jrs-s.net/2014/04/01/restoring-legacy-boot-linux-boot-on-a-chromebook/ which state:

            “If you just get several beeps when you press Ctrl-L to boot into Linux on your Chromebook, don’t fret – press Ctrl-D to boot into ChromeOS, but DON’T LOG IN. Instead, change terminals to get a shell. The function keys at the top of the keyboard (the row with “Esc” at the far left) map to the F-keys on a normal keyboard, and ctrl-alt-[Fkey] works here just as it would in Linux. The [forward arrow] key two keys to the right of Esc maps to F2, so pressing ctrl-alt-[forward arrow on top row] will bring you to tty2, which presents you with a standard Linux login prompt.

            Log in as chronos (no password, unless you’d previously set one). Now, one command will get you right:

            sudo crossystem dev_boot_usb=1 dev_boot_legacy=1

            That’s it. You’re now ready to reboot and SUCCESSFULLY Ctrl-L into your existing Linux install.”

          • Captain

            You’re right, pressing the spacebar will take you to the recovery screen which will prevent you from booting Linux. See https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/1086551?hl=en.

            To recover Chrome OS you need to install the app https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/chromebook-recovery-utili/jndclpdbaamdhonoechobihbbiimdgai on any working comuter but will need a 4GB flash drive. See https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/1080595?hl=en-GB
            If you are worried about pressing the spacebar dual booting is probably a good option but you will lose space on the hard drive.

            You are also right about the battery and the BIOS flags. When the chromebook goes into recovery mode or loses battery the flags reset. Using the instructions you referenced sudo crossystem dev_boot_usb=1 dev_boot_legacy=1 will solve this problem.

          • Mark Sheikh

            Captain,

            Just wanted to let you know that one can flash the Toshiba Chromebook 2 (Broadwell version) to get rid of the dumb developer mode problem when the battery dies out. I would recommend updating your instructions to include this info which will allow one to get rid of the developer mode screen, and allow Windows 10 and Linux to run fully without any issues (which I’ve done successfully).

            Flashing the Toshiba CB2
            CoolStar’s ROM: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nFZmoRzQ03btPCGVSa4ku6JPQik-SxD__zOd1CoB2yg/edit

            Specifically this: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/59964215/chromebook/ROM/coreboot-seabios-gandof-20160309-coolstar.rom

            I was able to remove the stupid “Developer’s Mode” bootup at startup. Why is this important? Because I gave it to my dad who isn’t tech savvy, and whenever the battery dies out, after a few days ago, all the flags for booting the computer to skip developer mode gets reset, forcing you to go back into ChromeOS (if you still have it installed), to re-enable the flags.

            Flashing with coolstar’s rom prevents this dumb issue from happening & even lets you run Windows on it (only issue with this currently is that trackpad doesn’t work in Windows, not that I use windows, I use elementary OS).

            Oh yeah to anyone who wants to do this –> remove the Toshiba CB2 screw -> enable developer mode on laptop -> to flash the bios yo have to enable developer mode in ChromeOS -> ctrl+ alt + T in chromer browser -> in crosh type “shell” -> then make a backup of your rom using sudo flashrom -r backup.bin in a folder ideally the downloads folder. Then when you’ve backed it up (email or put this file on USB), download CoolStar’s ROM for the Dell CB13, then do sudo flashrom -w coolstarsrom.bin (or whatever the name of the file was above in which case was “coreboot-seabios-gandof-20160309-coolstar.rom”).

            Best,
            Mark Sheikh

          • Captain

            Hi Mark,
            I have been eagerly following CoolStar’s work on this but haven’t had the time to test for myself. When I do I will be posting my experiences.

          • Mark Sheikh

            Also one typo – I said that the trackpad doesn’t work under Windows 10 after flashing with Coolstar’s ROM. That is wrong, the trackpad, and everything else works PERFECTLY under windows 10.

            But yeah Coolstar’s ROM works flawlessly.

  3. KL Tah

    is the RAM upgradable too?

  4. nick

    Hi, i have the 3300 model that i just picked up. I ran the script, however am only getting an option for, “1. Modify my Chromebook’s RW_LEGACY slot.” Am i supposed to receive another option? When inputting my thumb drive with Ubuntu Mate and booting the system, i am only receiving chromeOS login after two beeps.

    • nick

      Nevermind!!! I got it. For whatever reason i read the guide that stated to plug it in the USB 2.0 slot. After plugging into USB 3.0 (blue port) it now works fine. Awesome! Thanks.

  5. upVibrations

    Hello Captain! Thank you very much for making this site, I’ve found it very helpful. Planning to purchase the C3300 turn it into an ‘ultrabook’.

    Mainly I’ll be using the laptop for eclipse, just started java and html, heavy web browsing, spotify playing in the back, classic games through steam from the early 2000’s (unreal tournament), and other light applications. Seems like I can only do at most two things with the 4gb, but thats still reasonable.

    Does the 2015 model hold up with Elementary OS and heavy web browsing? How has the battery life been treating you? I’ve read about TLP (http://goo.gl/OBy9yM) and might consider installing it for better battery life.

    Thanks again!

    • Captain

      It’s always nice to hear from visitors like you because it encourages me to carry on creating content for my site, so thank you 🙂
      You’re going to better off getting the i3 version for the kind of things you want to be doing. I have the 2014 model and Elementary OS runs very well on that, so it will have no problem on the 2015 version. I did read about TLP and Powertop at the time I made these guides but have got a bit side-tracked with this project. Once this is done I will be revisiting my beloved Chromebook with some more videos and guides. Good luck with your ultrabook adventure!

  6. Neil Barnes

    From your comment three weeks ago, Captain:

    >>The issue with the battery draining is because the BOOT_STUB BIOS modification that we’re using from John’s work does not support suspend.

    It certainly seems to suspend in Mint 17.2 – I haven’t powered down since I stopped playing with the installation (uptime is currently 69 days and change); I just shut the lid. It wakes up to a login box within a couple of seconds opening the lid. The same behaviour occurs when using the ‘suspend’ option and the ‘on’ button.

    I haven’t tried the hibernate option (I suspect there isn’t sufficient left of the 16G ‘disc’ to store the state) but I haven’t had a need for it to be honest.

    It may be that it isn’t actually hibernating, and that as I keep it plugged in most of the time I don’t notice the drain, but I haven’t observed it when the machine has been unused for half a day while travelling. I’ll leave the power off tonight and find out!

    Neil

  7. JJ

    Hi, thanks for those review. Sorry if you’ve already answered this one: Is it worth upgrading to the faster CPU on the newer Toshiba 2? I’m a light user but do want to be able to multitask. Thanks!

    • Captain

      For the cost difference it’s worth while getting the i3 version for multitasking. I have the older 2014 version and it’s perfect for most uses, but if I had the choice when I first brought it, I would have definitely gone for the i3 version.

  8. Ken Ehrlich

    Thanks you for a very informative review. FYI: Bad link under CB35-3350, it takes user to Toshiba Radius Premium High Performance 14″ Touchscreen Flip Convertible Laptop on Amazon, not the Chromebook 2

    • Captain

      No problems and thanks for the heads up, I have fixed that link now.

  9. Caren

    Hi, any idea where I can buy the right battery for the 2015 CB35-C3350. Not even a year old Chromebook 2, and battery won’t charge. I can’t seem to find the battery for sale. Thanks….

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