Expanding its Chromebook lineup, Toshiba is updating its original model by releasing the Chromebook 2. During my time with the device the most immediate difference on this new model is the display, as it now offers some very good colours and viewing angles. Toshiba now provides a 1080p IPS screen on the higher end model that is worlds apart from the screen used in their original Chromebook. Toshiba is planning to also offer a 720p matte screen display in a lower end edition, but this wasn't on display.

The specs are pretty modest; the Chromebook 2 comes with an Intel Celeron Bay-Trail processor which according to Toshiba may be subject to change due to device's later release date, so the exact model number was not provided. This creates a bit of anbiguity on how performant the final hardware will be. Main memory comes in at 4GB DDR3L at 1600MHz for the 1080p model, or 2GB for the 720p model. Toshiba advertises 11.5h and 9h usage times for the low end and high end model on a non-replaceable battery.

Connectivity is provided by 1x HDMI-out, 1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0 (including Sleep-and-Charge), SD/SDHC slot, headphone/mic combo jack connectors, and a Kensington security lock. The device sports 801.11ac+agn WiFi capabilities with BT 4.0 and a HD webcam with dual microphones. 

Toshiba representatives told me they tried to improve on the main issues their user-base reported on the predecesor model, which beyond the screen was also the form factor, and indeed the Chomebook 2 shaves off a lot of weight and size while still retaining the same 13.3" screen size.

There was a noticeable lack of visible speakers anywhere on the device and that's because they were built-in into the device. The sound was quite acceptable for laptop speakers and plenty loud.

The Chromebook 2 isn't scheduled to be available until in Q1 2015 in Europe. While again Toshiba didn't comment on the price, I expect something similar to the current models which hover around 300€.

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  • DrApop - Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - link

    Can they at least put an i3 in this thing. As the cloud expands and better cloud based applications come on line, the celeron is going to fall behind just like it has for standard windows machines. it may take a year or two for more robust applications to develop.

    I wish AMD would get on board this train with an APU. but I don't think they make anything that is fanless at this time.

    But the cloud is they wave of the future. it was talked about at the turn of the century but didn't catch on until a couple of years ago. But I see more and more internet driven applications developing in the consumer market. After all, the internet is not just for email and web surfing.
  • Christobevii3 - Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - link

    I'm hoping i3 with m2 or pci-e slot open. Basically would be a sweet bring your own os ultabook without stupid stuff I don't need pushing it over $1000.
  • flashpowered - Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - link

    Very pleased to see an IPS 1080p display, I'm still hoping for a backlit keyboard and metal chassis as Chromebooks edge more upmarket.
  • landale - Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - link

    With the US release is scheduled for October 5 which doesn't give much time to change the processor to something better than the slow N2840 Bay Trail mentioned in the official spec sheet. I completely understand their reasoning to go with a fanless design but you'd think they could have at least used the quad core N2940 instead to try and at least keep performance in line with last years model.

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