Toshiba added its name to the growing list of companies that offer a 1080p Chromebook on Wednesday. The company introduced its Chromebook 2, a revision to the model it announced in January. The Chrome OS device still has a 13-inch display but now there’s an upgrade option for a full HD experience.
Last week, Toshiba’s Australia site actually leaked the new Chromebook 2 but only provided limited details. We know, for example, that Toshiba was adding support for faster 802.11ac wireless networks while also swapping the Intel chip inside the device. Instead of an Intel Haswell processor, the Chromebook 2 uses a more power efficient Intel Bay Trail chip. That’s why the new device will gain more run time on a single charge: up to 11.5 hours.
That battery rating is for a lower-end model, however. For $249, the Chromebook 2 is equipped with the same 1366 x 768 display resolution as its predecessor, along with 2 GB of memory. Spend $329, however, and you’ll get a 1920 x 1080 display with IPS screen for vivid color repoduction and improved viewing angles. That model gets double the memory but will only run for 9 hours on a charge.
Thew new Chromebook 2 also went on a diet: It’s slightly smaller all around and weighs 2.95 pounds compared to the 3.3 pound version I reviewed earlier this year.
Look for the new Chromebook 2 to be available in early October here in the U.S.; I’m hoping to get a review unit between now and then to compare this version with the prior unit. I’m sure the new IPS display and battery life will be welcome but as I said on this week’s Chrome Show podcast, moving to a Bay Trail chip will lessen the overall performance of the device.
Toshiba isn’t the only Chromebook maker that offers a 1080p display, of course. Samsung’s follow up Chromebook does the same although the company opted to use its own ARM-based chip inside and chose a lower quality screen for the 1080p model.