Today we are going to give you a detailed review over the Toshiba Chromebook 2 and a few arguments on why this device would be a good investment.
Talking about the style, we can say it looks ok considering its case is made of plastic. The lid is covered in a rough textured surface that might seem a bit different from other Chromebooks; it also carries a Chrome Toshiba logo and the Google Chrome logo we see usually on these types of devices. The keyboard has 13” and a very generous trackpad. The speakers are hidden under the keyboard, similar to those of the HP Chromebook 11. As for connectivity features, you get 2 USB ports, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, an SD card slot and an HDMI port and the classic port port.
If you think about it, the Chromebook 2 seems to have been inspired by the MacBook Air; the top of the lid and its edges are thinner than the back edge. This is fine for carrying it around because it gives a sense of balance, but it could be a bit uncomfortable when used; for instance, if you’re holding your hands on the edge when writing, which is, by the way, a bad posture and you shouldn’t be sitting like that when typing.
It has a normal power port, pretty similar to the HP Stream 11, but the adapter seems to fit better in the port than the Stream’s. On the bottom, the device doesn’t have anything exciting, but the good part is that it doesn’t have any ports on it so you don’t have to worry about blocking any when working. We can say that even though the appearance isn’t the classiest one, it feels well balanced. Its hinge isn’t the usual big hinge in he middle, but it is fixed by two points positioned on the edges of the device’s body.
But don’t get fooled by its looks, because the Toshiba Chromebook 2 is quite a powerful tool. The 1080p full HD display looks beautiful, has solid colours and amazing viewing angles. It works great for watching videos and standard browsing is a piece of cake. Practically, it makes you realise how important it is to have a full HD screen on your Chromebook. It is also surprisingly good for writing code and articles for standard platforms. When coding, you can keep the code on the left of the screen and the terminal window on its right.
The keyboard doesn’t come with any fantastic features and the typing experience is regular. If you’re one of those people who love mechanical keyboards, it won’t be one of your favourites. On the other hand, if you usually type on laptops, you won’t feel any much of a difference. However, the 2” of extra space are an improvement to the typing experience firstly presented by the Chromebook 1, but it’s not that good as the one you get on the HP Stream 11, for instance.
About the trackpad we can tell you that it is well placed, works absolutely fine and doesn’t get in your way, even though it is a bit larger than on the previous model. All the Chrome OS gestures are here, it is responsive and we have found nothing to complain about here.
About the speakers, that can be found under the keyboard, we can say that they are stylish and well placed -they don’t go in your way. However, if you listen to music and type at the same time, you might hear something odd at some point and the same happens when you hover your hands over the keyboard, but it stops in the end. As a whole, the sound is quite neat and the speaker system comes from Skullcandy. And if you are an audio fan and you look for a portable device, this could be a plus. We have seen some Amazon and Google Plus videos on it and we can say that they sounded pretty great.
As for internal hardware, it sports a powerful Intel Celeron processor which, as opposed to the ARM-based HP Chromebook 11, doesn’t present any lag and checker-boarding when uploading large files. The Toshiba Chromebook 2 also comes with 4 GB of RAM, as opposed to the 2 GB regularly found in a Chromebook, to support the powerful processor. These being said, you can leave as many windows open, it won’t make much of a difference. It can offer great performance, without even getting near the crazy Chromebook Pixel specs.
Considering the powerful hardware, you might have been expecting a serious loss on battery life. But this is not the case. The Toshiba Chromebook 2 can last up to 9.5 hours of battery life on hardcore usage, so we believe that on a regular use, it could last up to 14 or 15 hours on a single charge.
After a thorough verification, we can say that we’re absolutely in love with the Toshiba Chromebook 2; it looks pretty cool, has powerful hardware and proves that Chromebooks don’t have to be either too expensive nor too cheap: it has great specifications but isn’t Apple like expensive. If you’re still going over your head with choosing a Chromebook we suggest to take this one for a spin. It will make you realise what you really need from such a device.