An excellent keyboard, affordable price point and long battery life make Toshiba's new Chromebook 2 an enticing option for business users. The 2015 laptop has been updated with a better display and better performance than last year's model, but Toshiba didn't touch the low $329 price tag.
A top-notch keyboard might be the ChromeBook 2's defining feature. It offers an impressive 1.53mm of key travel, providing a comfortable typing experience on par with premium business laptops like the Lenovo ThinkPad T450s.
The Chromebook 2's excellent longevity is its other standout feature. It ran for 10 hours and 5 minutes on our battery test, beating out the Samsung Chromebook 2 (9:34) and Acer Chromebook 13 (8:08). That's good news if you need a notebook that can easily last through long business flights.
Other hardware highlights include a stunning 13.3-inch, full-HD display that's roomy and sharp enough for screen-intensive productivity tasks, and a lightweight 2.97-lb. design that makes this laptop more portable than competing Chromebooks. Under the hood, it runs on a zippy 1.7-GHz Intel Celeron 3215U processor with 4GB of RAM, which provides good performance for daily work tasks.
But like all Chromebooks, the Toshiba Chromebook 2 runs on the Chrome OS operating system, which could limit the notebook's potential for productivity. Chrome OS looks like Windows, but you can't install PC or Mac programs on it. On the bright side, the platform can run full-featured Web apps like Microsoft Office Online, which includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as robust email clients.
Despite its limitations, the Toshiba Chromebook 2 is good enough to warrant a look from serious business users. With an excellent keyboard, long battery life and a lightweight design, it's a worthy travel companion that won't break the bank.