There is still a dearth of 13″ Chromebook computers with only a Samsung, Toshiba and Asus model available. The Toshiba was the first out of the gate, but I was waiting to see what Samsung and Asus had in store. Turns out, not enough.
The Samsung held great promise with the first Chromebook with a higher resolution screen and a new Samsung processor. Unfortunately, as much as Samsung may hype the new Exynos processor, it doesn’t hold a candle to what Intel has to offer. The new Samsung Chromebook is also priced way to high at $400, high-res screen or not.
The Asus C300 looked very promising at just $250 and with a new Intel Bay Trail processor promising very high battery life. What you need to know about the new Intel processor, however, is the long battery life comes at a price. Compared to the Toshiba which sports an Intel Haswell processor, the Asus comes up short on performance. I also did a sanity check and benchmarked my current second generation MacBook Air against the Chromebooks and it actually ran faster than the Asus but slower than the Toshiba.
So it becomes a clear choice for a Chomebook at 13″. Is battery life or performance more important to you? Since this will be nearly a primary computer for me, I just can’t give up performance, even though I like the looks of the Asus a bit better and who doesn’t like long battery life? I did go back and look at some reviews for the Toshiba and the battery life, while not as exceptional as the Asus, is quite good in itself. Overall, the Toshiba gets very good reviews.
So, it’s a Toshiba Chromebook for me, the best performing Chromebook at 13″. If I had wanted a more common 11″ Chromebook, I think the Dell 11 has the top spot at the moment. It also runs a Haswell processor. The rest of the Chromebook Chronicles will focus on using a Chromebook as a primary computer as well as new software and tricks. Stay tuned, there’s lots more to come!