After quite a few leaks and all its internals being paraded around for all to see, the Toshiba Chromebook has finally been made official. The specs – exactly what were leaked – are nothing mind-blowing. As a matter of fact, they are the same internals we’ve seen in many other Chromebooks recently. Here’s a rundown if you haven’t seen them already:
- 13.3-inch screen (1366×768)
- Intel Celeron 2955U @ 1.4GHz (Haswell-Class)
- Intel HD Graphics
- 2 GB RAM
- 16 GB SSD
- 2x USB 3.0
- SD Card Reader
- HDMI Out
- 3.3 Pounds
- 9-Hour Battery Life
- $279.00 Starting Price
- Available February 16th in the US
Even though these specs are similar to the HP Chromebook 14, the Acer C720 and Acer C720p, there are a few small differentiators. First, the screen size is a new form-factor in the Chromebook space. While not wildly different, the screen size has been popular in other laptops and is sure to fit the bill in the Chromebook space as well. I, for one, have loved the extra screen size on the HP Chromebook 14, so this may be a great choice for many people.
Secondly, the weight is substantially lighter than the HP 14. At a bit over 4 pounds, the HP 14 feels a bit hefty at times. Coming in around 3/4 of a pound lighter may be a big win for the Toshiba.
A couple other factors that could play in Toshiba’s favor (or against it) are the input elements (touchpad and keyboard) and the quality of the screen. Since Toshiba is not making any claims about the screen, it is fair to assume that it will be (like most other Chromebooks) some sort of cheap TN panel. While serviceable, they pale in comparison with the screens on both the HP 11 and the Pixel. With abnormal colors, poor viewing angles, and only serviceable brightness, these low-cost panels have marred the overall great experience offered by the new generation of Chromebooks. Perhaps Toshiba has put a quality panel in this device. Perhaps not. If it could be relatively bright with true colors, the poor viewing angles wouldn’t be so hard to live with.
The other parts of the relative unknown are the input elements. HP, Samsung, and Acer have all done a very good job providing very decent – and very great in some aspects – keyboards and touchpads in their Chromebooks. Both the HP 11 and HP 14 excel in this area. The Samsung Series 3 Chromebook was very good in this area as well with the Acer trailing ever-so-slightly behind. That being said, they have all been very usable and enjoyable to type and navigate with. Here is hoping Toshiba has been paying attention because a slip up in this department would put it well behind the other offerings available now.
At $279, this machine is priced and spec’d to sell well. I’m hoping for solid build quality, a better screen than the HP 14 and Acer C720, and solid input methods. If this all pans out, we could be looking at a really solid offering from Toshiba.
Keep an eye on Chrome Unboxed for the unboxing and review when this device becomes available in mid February!
[photo credit: Toshiba]