Toshiba just announced that it will be releasing its first-ever Chromebook, which it will sell for $US279. The device will hit store shelves mid-February.
If you’re unfamiliar with Chromebooks, they’re laptops that run Google’s Chrome operating system, which is based on the Chrome Web browser. Almost all computing is done within the browser, and you store your files in a virtual hard drive called Google Drive.
The crux of the Chromebook is that you’re always online. Acer, Samsung, Google itself, and HP have all released their own models, with HP’s recent Chromebook setting the uber-cheap $US279 price-mark that Toshiba matched.
The Toshiba’s Acceleron processor and 2 GB of RAM won’t wow anyone from traditional PC standards, but the Chromebook ecosystem is completely different since it works primarily with cloud storage. The device will include 100 GB Google Drive online storage for two years.
Toshiba’s Chromebook is the first to offer a 13-inch screen (other models hover around 11.6 or 12.5 inches, though HP also released a 14-incher) with the standard HD resolution. It comes with two USB ports, an HDMI port, a full SD-slot, and a security lock, since Toshiba is angling the device at college students who will want to keep their laptop safe in the library.
Its keyboard and touchpad are large and comfortable, and Toshiba reports the three-pound laptop’s battery life to be about nine hours.
Although it may take some a while to get used to the Chromebook’s constantly-connected ideals, Google continues to improve the productivity of its offline applications, and Gmail, Slides, and Sheets, for example, are all now functional even if you’re not connected to WiFi.
With its dirt-cheap price, this laptop is also aimed at people who want a cheap second screen to bring on-the-go.