Chromebook Chronicles: Choices Come into Focus

The search for the perfect Chromebook, at least for me, goes on and there is lots of new information to report. I was waiting in great anticipation for the Samsung 2 Chromebook with it’s 13″ HD screen and the first reviews are in. It’s not a bad machine, but at the same time, it’s not living up to expectations. Especially in the speed department, the Samsung Exynos processor, while an improvement on the last Samsung Chromebook, doesn’t come close to the latest Intel Haswell processor found in machines such as the Toshiba Chromebook. Since this this will be a primary computer for me, speed is even more important than an HD screen. The Samsung is out of the running.

If I had to buy today, the current best 13″ Chromebook is clearly the Toshiba. But more Chromebook are coming by the end of summer, so patience becomes a virtue. Unfortunately, most of the Chromebooks on the horizon are 11″ versions, including a new Dell that looks particularly promising. I am committed to the 13″ form factor, however, so the next best bet looks like an Asus that sports yet another new processor, the Intel Bay Trail. This new processor is built for mobile and features outstanding battery life, but is not as fast as the Haswell chip. Since I value speed over battery, this doesn’t help me much. For real speed, there is an Acer coming with an i3 processor which will make it the fastest Chromebook yet, but again, only an 11″ version for now. Again, I am more than frustrated with the lack of support for a 13″ Chromebook, especially one with a higher resolution. Sure, this would push the price higher, but what of the so-called mid-range Chromebook?

So, Toshiba is in the catbird seat for me right now as I wait with baited breath for something more. I’ll take a look at the Asus but am unsure about the Bay Trail. And I go to sleep every night dreaming of an i3 13″ Chromebook with an HD screen. A boy can dream, can’t he?

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