It’s the first 13.3-inch Chromebook, though at 12.85 inches, the screen on the super-expensive Chromebook Pixel wasn’t far off. It didn’t have the battery life of this baby though – read on to find out how this is one notebook you won’t need to charge that often. Unlike just about every other notebook announced this CES, the Toshiba Chromebook doesn’t have a Full HD display, instead opting for 1,366 x 768. This doesn’t exactly what our appetites, but then most Chromebooks are designed to hit a price point – although the Toshiba Chromebook price has yet to be determined.
Given the location at which we spotted it, you won’t be surprised to find out that the Tosh Chromebook sports an Intel Celeron 2955U processor. Before the low-end name puts you off, let us make it clear that this is bang up-to-date silicon – it’s a latest-generation Haswell part that’s a special low voltage variant – therefore Toshiba is claiming a whopping 91 hours of battery life for this Chromebook. We can’t wait to find out how true that is. A note of caution is that the battery life was measured using Google’s own test, so we’ll see how it performs under review conditions. As you’ll realise, the Chromebook runs Chrome OS, so that’s basically a web browser with offline support for GMail and Google Docs. You do get 100GB of Google Drive storage for two years, which is just as well as there is hardly any local storage – just a sliver of flash at 16GB.
Connectivity is a strong suite, with HDMI, USB 2.0, a SD card slot, audio jack, up to 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. Here’s the left side with Kensington security slot, power and SD card slot. And on the right you’ve got the headphone jack, two USB 3.0 ports and full-size HDMI. There’s also a webcam as you’d expect from any notebook these days (especially one designed for Google Hangouts). The trackpad and keyboard were of sound quality, which hasn’t always been the case with Toshiba’s lower end devices. Apparently, this is light gold, but it looked more silver to us under the strong lights of the show floor.
The Toshiba Chromebook release date is the first quarter of 2014. As with all Chomebooks, the success or failure of Toshiba’s first foray into Chrome OS will be measured by price. If the Toshiba Chromebook can hit a decent price point, it will be a genuine success. It’s well-built, decent if slightly plain to look at and works well for a simple device. And if that battery life claim is true – well, we’re sold.
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