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 [company]Toshiba[/company] was adding support for faster 802.11ac wireless networks while also swapping the Intel chip inside the device. Instead of an [company]Intel[/company] 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.