PREVIEW: IFA 2014 – Toshiba Chromebook 2 laptop

IFA 2014 – This second incarnation of a cloud computer will sell for just £199

IFA 2014 trade show, Berlin, Germany

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Toshiba’s second Chromebook is a bit of a cheat. Based on Google’s future-gazing concept of cloud computing where all software and data can be stored not on individual laptops but 100% in the cloud, Chromebook 2 kinda dumps on that by including a 16GB HDD.

However, we can see where Toshiba is coming from; cloud computing might be a goal to aim for, and perfectly possible while you’re in your home country, but from a traveller’s point of view it’s a nightmare. Imagine not being able to access any of your file for days on end – or even for the duration of a long-haul flight, if you’re working – because you couldn’t get a reliable Wi-Fi connection?

As well as local storage, this 13.3-inch laptop bundles 100GB of cloud storage from Google Drive. It also adds a USB 3.0 port, an optional Full HD panel as well as an extended battery life of up to 11.5 hours. It’s also got some speakers tuned by Skullcandy for when do you do arrive in a hotel room and need some music, Chromebook 2 runs on an Intel Celeron processor, measures 320x214x19.3mm and weighs 1.35 kg. To us if felt solid, the keyboard was good and appeared to ape the appearance of a MacBook Air.

Price as previewed: £199 (HD screen)/£249 (Full HD screen)