Toshiba updates its Chromebook 2 with a Core i3 chip and backlit keyboard
Toshiba's Chromebook 2 is already one of the most compelling notebooks running Google's desktop OS, but now the company is sweetening the deal, adding new processors and a backlit keyboard.
The new machine will be available in two flavors, one housing a 5th generation Intel Celeron processor, and one with a beefier Core i3 chip. Aside from that, the other big addition is an LED backlight under the island-style keyboard. With exception of Google's own Pixel, we're not used to seeing backlit keyboards in typically budget Chromebooks.
The updated models will hold onto the aesthetic of the existing machine, which was already one of its stronger features. Like many Windows and Chrome OS notebooks, its design looks influenced by Apple's MacBook line, though with a much lower-end, plastic build.
Elsewhere, the notebook has a 1,920 x 1,080 IPS panel, up to 4 GB RAM, front-facing stereo speakers from Skullcandy, and is rated for 8.5 hours battery life on a single charge. It's also not bad in terms of connectivity, with 802.11ac WiFi on board, as well as an SD card slot, a single USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.0, and an HDMI out.
Toshiba has yet to comment on how much internal storage the updated Chromebook 2 will carry, though most other Chromebooks have either 16 or 32 GB installed. Either way, you'll still get the complimentary 100 GB of Google Drive cloud storage for a year, as well as 90 days unlimited music streaming through Google Play and 12 in-air passes for Gogo Internet.
The new Chromebook 2 will be available next month in the US. It's priced at US$330 for the Intel Celeron version, and $430 for the Core i3 variant.