Between the Chrome Web Store and the expanding world of browser-based tools, it’s more feasible than ever to get productive on a laptop that doesn’t run Windows or Mac OS X. To go along with that uptick in productivity, Chrome OS laptops are offering refined looks, good screens, and extensive input options for a much lower price than “full OS” competitors.
Case in point: The just-announced Toshiba Chromebook 2, with its 13-inch 1080p IPS display, 2.58 GHz Intel Celeron processor with 4GB RAM, Skullcandy-branded stereo speakers, and 0.76-inch-thick textured chassis. It weighs less than 3 pounds and offers plenty of I/O options for its price: a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, HDMI-out, and an SD-card reader. There’s a 720p Web cam built in, too. All that costs $330 for its fully loaded configuration.
If you squint while the lid is open, you might mistake it for the MacBook Air. It has a similar chiclet-style keyboard, a multi-touch trackpad, and silver matte finish. Sure, the keys aren’t backlit and the non-unibody is made of resin rather than brushed aluminium, but it only costs $330 (£200).
This meeting-friendly Chromebook ships on October 5, and there’s also a step-down configuration if $330 (£200) seems too steep. For $250 (£150), there’s a Chromebook 2 with a 720p screen, 2GB RAM, and up to 11 hours of battery life.