Toshiba has announced it will begin selling a Chromebook on Feb. 16, becoming one of many vendors that are shipping laptops with an operating system other than Windows.
The device will cost $279 and feature a 13-inch display with a 1366x768 resolution, 2GB of RAM and a 16GB SSD, according to the company's press release. With battery life up to 9 hours, the Chromebook falls in line with many of its other Chromebook competitors, but don’t expect any serious horsepower under the hood as the device uses an Intel Celeron processor.
The laptop is clearly a casual computing device, as you can’t get any applications such as Photoshop, Office or any games that don’t run in a web browser to install on the platform but for Google, that’s OK. Google is all about living "on the web," as nearly all of its services are now browser-based, and if you live exclusively inside the Google ecosystem, a Chromebook may not be a bad value proposition if you can live with its shortcomings.
Of course, Microsoft is surely not pleased about the onset of Chromebooks and has even started to do a bit of negative advertising against the product. Sure, you could write off Chromebooks as not being a serious competitor to Windows, but you can bet that Google will continue to push the platform which means Microsoft better pay attention.
In case you forgot, the last time a competitor entered a computing market and Microsoft wrote them off to quickly was with the iPhone. That oversight has caused a massive headache for Microsoft, as it has found itself well behind the competitor in terms of market share in the mobile segment. So, with Chromebooks, you can bet that Microsoft is looking to avoid the mistakes of last time and is surely taking Google’s OS quite seriously.
Only time will tell if Chromebooks are able to carve out a niche in the market or if they will turn into another iteration of the netbook. But, for those of you who are interested in trying out the platform, you now have another low-cost option on the table.
Image via Toshiba