LAS VEGAS—After teasing us with news of joining the Chromebook ranks at the Intel Developer Forum in September, Toshiba has finally pulled back the curtain on its first ChromeOS-powered laptop, the aptly named Toshiba Chromebook.
Curiously enough, Toshiba’s laptop is the first Chromebook to ship with a 13-inch screen. While 13-inchers are all the rage on Macs and Windows PCs, most Chromebooks skew towards smaller, netbook-esque 10- and 11-inch screens. (The pricey Chromebook Pixel measures just shy of 13 inches.) The additional screen size also helps the Toshiba Chromebook squeeze in a full-sized keyboard, giving you a bit more room than its diminutive counterparts.
That TruBrite TN (twisted nematic) display packs a bog-standard resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels, as one would expect of a budget-priced Chromebook. Unlike the display on Acer’s recent Chromebook release, however, Toshiba’s isn’t a touchscreen.
The 0.8-inch-thick machine weighs 3.3 lbs. and packs 2GB of RAM, an Intel “Haswell” Celeron processor, and a 16GB solid-state drive augmented by 100GB of free Google Drive storage—again, all standard for a Chromebook. Connectivity-wise, the Toshiba Chromebook packs a pair of speedy USB 3.0 ports, a full-sized HDMI port, a memory card reader, a security lock slot, and both Bluetooth and a 2×2 802.11n Wi-Fi.
The energy-efficiency of Intel’s Haswell processor helps boost the Toshiba Chromebook’s estimated battery life all the way to 9 hours—just enough for a full work day plus a wee bit of overtime worked in. That, plus the 13-inch display, seem to be the Toshiba Chromebooks main differences from the rest of the Google-powered horde.
The $280 Toshiba Chromebook is slated to launch February 16 both online and at physical retailers. While you’re waiting for the big day, check out PCWorld’s guide to the best offline Chrome packaged apps.
Yep, Chromebooks can work without an Internet connection now.