Toshiba Chromebook 2 video review



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September 5, 2014, 3:33 am

Could be a tablet killer.

Prem Desai

September 5, 2014, 12:58 pm

Hopefully they'll up the processor for a bit more cash.

I tend to stay away from any intel atom or celeron kit - bitter experiences and an empty wallet have taught me that .....


October 1, 2014, 9:29 am

The Haswell Celeron CPU's work more than fine with Chrome - Windows does not work well with Celeron - it's not a windows machine it's a CHROMEBOOK!

Andrew Ballard

October 1, 2014, 4:46 pm

HP Chromebook 11 (using one now), released last year I think, also has a lovely IPS screen, it's great all round, including build quality, excepting the trackpad and rather sluggish CPU it uses, which also hits the battery life. The Chromebook 2 from Toshiba looks really fine indeed, and the Celeron is more than enough for chrome, and significantly superior to an exynos one.


October 1, 2014, 10:01 pm

Damn! This is a Windows killer!


January 27, 2015, 11:59 am

What's the point of 1080p when ChromeOS doesn't properly handle H264/5 and AC3 video and sound codecs?

Matthew Bunton

February 6, 2015, 6:08 pm

It's not for me but looks great value for money. I would imagine that students will be the target market.


February 7, 2015, 9:12 am

Not without any AC3 and various other software support it isn't.

I love Chromebooks (I have one) but I still find I need to keep a Windows laptop available to use certain other pieces of software.


February 7, 2015, 10:18 pm

What are you talking about?


February 7, 2015, 11:07 pm

There are a complex mix of video codecs, audio codecs and containers possible - most are used very rarely - I think you are getting very confused by the meaning of screen resolution, container, video codec, and audio codec.

The Chromebook handles all common video streaming formats on the Internet. Certainly it handles the following media container formats:

mp3, ogg, H.264 and .3gp, .avi, .mov, .mp4, .m4v, .m4a, .mp3, .mkv, .ogv, .ogm, .ogg, .oga, .webm, .wav

First audio codecs, video codecs, and container support are all required to play a video - and that applies to 1080p resolution as much as 720p resolution or lower resolution videos. You won't be able to any video without the necessary codecs and container support.

Second ChromeOS does support the H.264 video codec. ChromeOS also supports all the other commonly used video codecs - Theora, VP8, MPEG4, DIVX, XVID. It also supports the commonly used audio codecs MP3, AAC and AMR-NB. AC3 is used in HD-DVD and Blu-Ray disc playback, not in web based streamed media, so it seems a little pointless including it in a Chromebook, which doesn't include a DVD or Blu-Ray disc, and is not intended for video ripping. AC3 is included in XBox One only because it has a Blu-Ray drive.

Third, the very recently released VP9 and H.265 video codecs are very new, and very few hardware devices, media services or software support them as yet. There doesn't seem to be much point using H.265 over H.264 if there is no hardware support. Suffice to say that given ChromeOS's rapid release cycle of updates every few weeks Chromebooks will support them before most Windows devices or tablets will. Google is the biggest provider of video content. Suffice to say that Chromebooks will be better supported for video codecs than Windows devices. Case in point as of Dec 10 2014, XBox One does not support H.265 either. It also doesn't support VP8, Theora, or the .ogg audio container format which are much more common:

>>Cursory testing showed that both MPEG-4 and H.264 video codecs were supported, with AAC, HE-AAC, AC3, and MP3 audio all working. The relative newcomer H.265 and open source friendly Theora and VP8 video codecs did not appear to work.<<


February 8, 2015, 12:23 pm

You don't understand English? Or are you just unfamiliar with software and technology?


February 8, 2015, 5:19 pm

No, I understand English perfectly well. I am saying you don't understand what you are talking about, because what you are saying is complete gobbledegook..

1) 1080p is a video resolution, not a codec. Playing of any video in any resolution resolution will require video codec support - not just 1080p, so saying what is the point of 1080p if it doesn't handle the video codecs, is nonsensical since you would need the same video codecs for 720p and every other resolution.

2) Chromebooks do support the H.264 codec (and all the common modern video and audio codecs and container formats used on the Internet).

3) The H.265 video format was released late 2014, and very few hardware decoding devices support it yet. For example Xbox One does not support it. I will be some time before H.265 video has a significant presence in Internet media. There is also not much point supporting it on a device that can't do accelerated hardware decoding of H.265 on the device - because without hardware accelerated decoding, you get better performance if you stick to the ubiquitous H.264 video codec since virtually all devices have accelerated support for this, and this codec is universally supported by media providers on the Internet. Suffice to say that ChromeOS will support H.265 sooner than XBox One given the much quicker update cycle for ChromeOS. Of course this will be for future Chromebook models with H.265 hardware decoding support. Of course while newer PCs with high end GPUs supporting 4K video are likely to get H.265 support eventually, XBox One is unlikely to ever get H.265 support, because of the need to maintain 100% software/hardware compatibility through all models of the same gaming console.

4) The AC3 audio codec is used in BlueRay movie media as it is included as part of that standard. It is not used to any significant extent on the Internet. This codec makes sense on devices with BlueRay drives built in, but since Chromebooks do not have a BluRay drives built in, and does not support external optical drives other than as USB storage devices (ie. they will read data from external USB optical drives, but will not do playback), it makes no sense to include the codec and pay a license for it.


February 8, 2015, 5:43 pm

Chromebooks do support H.264, there is no point supporting H.265 until hardware decoding for the codec is provided on the device. H.265 is very rarely used because it was released at the end of 2014, and most devices don't support the codec in hardware.

AC3 is an audio codec used on BlueRay disks. There is no point supporting it on a Chromebook if it doesn't come with a BlueRay drive built in.

Adrian Bell

February 9, 2015, 10:59 am

Excellent post, the scaremongering over the lack of audio and video codec support within the OS was stopping me from pushing the button on a Chromebook. However clearly its not as big a deal as some are making it out to be. Thanks for clearing that up.


February 10, 2015, 11:29 pm

Wow, it must have taken you Google all that and STILL get your information wrong. You clearly missed out the part about 'cursory testing' and omitted to mention that you clearly don't have any real world experience of trying to run various format sound and video files on ChromeOS.


February 10, 2015, 11:29 pm

You are clueless. Absolutely clueless. You clearly don't have much experience of trying to run various video and audio files on ChromeOS, given that the native ChromeOS video player doesn't decode AC3. If you think ChromeOS is a "Windows killer" given that it can't do half the things that a Windows OS can, you must be smoking the crack pipe or are some deluded 'fan boy'.


February 10, 2015, 11:33 pm

It's a terrible post with a ton of misinformation. Go download some popular videos from a well known file sharing site and see how few of them will actually play AC3/AAC sound. It's a proprietary codec which ChromeOS doesn't have a licence for.

Adrian Bell

February 11, 2015, 9:44 am

Ill reply in that someone with a Chromebook wades in, although I suspect I'm about to get horribly insulted judging by some of your previous posts:).

AAC is in the list of supported codecs:

There is a h265 player available:

And doesnt PLEX sort all this out?

Adrian Bell

February 11, 2015, 9:45 am

Anyone have any idea where you can actually buy one of these things from in the EU?


February 15, 2015, 12:23 pm

Adrian, forget what you read on Google. I can assure you that in the real world, AC3 codec support is problematic. I'm typing this on a Chromebook, and there are a huge number of videos that do not play sound in the native ChromeOS player. Yes you can use H265 player but it's pretty raw in development and a real resource hog (think dropped frames, pixelled screens etc the larger the file). It also doesn't support subtitles. So for example, if you were to try and play Andrey Zvyagintsev's "Leviathan" as an Xvid / AC3 file in a MKV container, you either have to play it through H265 player with subtitles but no sound, or use Subtitle Videoplayer (from the Chrome Store) which will give you subtitles but no sound, or use the native ChromeOS video player which neither gives you sound nor subtitles!

The only way around this seems to be creating Ubuntu as a dual boot and using Linux VLC, but then it's no longer ChromeOS....

If you are aware of a way around this, I'm all ears, I've yet to find a native solution in ChromeOS. In fact, it's a pretty common issue from the online forums. I love the lightweight footprint of ChromeOS but needs a lot of development. It was only about 2 months ago that they finally got round to a fix a mouse speed bug that made the pointer move too slowly when using an external mouse!


February 15, 2015, 9:22 pm

No point supporting AC3? The majority of compressed videos use AC3.


February 15, 2015, 9:25 pm

You clearly don't have much experience of trying to run various video and audio files on ChromeOS, given that the native ChromeOS video player doesn't decode AC3.


February 15, 2015, 9:33 pm

Celerons are fine on Chromebooks. ChromeOS is lightweight and efficient. With ChromeOS memory is more important ie go for 4gb if you can.


February 16, 2015, 1:03 pm

Forgot to mention that even with H265 Player, there are some AC3 sound files that simply refuse to play, throwing up a 'Error whilst decoding audio packet' error.

Adrian Bell

February 17, 2015, 9:15 am

Well, looks like a bit of a complex situation. One question though. doesn't PLEX sort all this out for you (if you have a central media sharing device of course)?

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