Toshiba announces the first ever 13″ Chromebook

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Who said Chromebooks would never last? Toshiba is the latest manufacturer to throw its weight behind Chrome OS, showing off a 13.3″, $313 AUD Chromebook that delivers a familiar design with a more premium build when compared to Samsung’s current offerings.

Spec-wise, the laptop has the typical 16GB internal memory, 2GB RAM, HD webcam, and 9-hour battery life we’ve come to expect with a Chromebook. Powered by an Intel Bay Trail chip, the laptop is cased in a ‘light gold’ plastic exterior, with the hinge hidden from view. It’s 20.2mm thick and weighs just 1.5kg, which is 350g less than the HP Chromebook 14. But it doesn’t come in those cool colours, instead coming in classic, MacBook Air-inspired silver.

There’s a HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, Wi-Fi a/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, a typical chiclet-keyboard with the awesome search-button replacing the caps-lock key, and a familiar plastic unibody trackpad. A dull-screen, with a higher 1366 x 768 screen resolution, is typically average also.

It’s a laptop that ticks boxes, and it does that well, and it may even be the best Chromebook on the market so far (excluding the Pixel). But the Chromebook continues to be a netbook in disguise, rather than a true competitor to the MacBook Air or Ultrabook lineups on display at CES 2014.

No word so far on Australian availability, but this might be my next, purely thanks to the screen size. Although not having the colours of the HP Chromebook 14 makes the decision harder. No matter what, though, I won’t be proud of it.