Toshiba's 13-inch Chromebook: A great bargain or just plain meh?

Should you buy this larger-screen Chromebook from Toshiba?

If 11-inch Chromebooks cramp your style and productivity, you'll want to consider Toshiba's new 13-inch Chromebook. Is it a winner, or something you should pass up?

At the moment, Chromebooks typically have 11.6-inch screens, which makes them light, portable, and inexpensive, typically selling for between $200 and $250. Toshiba is looking to change that with its new 13.3-inch Chromebook, which sells for $275. The first thing you'll notice about it, of course, is its larger screen. The extra few inches make for a big difference, particularly when using it for productivity-related tasks. Apart from that, though, the 1,366 x 768 pixel screen isn't a knock-out, with poor viewing angles.

It's not just the screen that's bigger, but the keyboard as well, and that's also a big productivity-enhancer, especially for fast touch typists or those with large fingers. With thise size keyboard, you can type fast, without the slowdowns you might experience on smaller Chromebooks.

As for the rest of the device, it's pretty standard fare: 1.4-gigahertz Intel processor, 2GB of RAM, a 16GB solid-state drive, plus 100 GB of free storage on Google Drive for two years. There's also a 720p Webcam, two USB 3.0 ports, and an HDMI port.

So is it something you should buy? As tempting as the size and price are, you might want to wait a bit, depending on your needs. Samsung will be coming out this month with a 13-inch Chromebook. It will cost $400 compared to the $275 Toshiba, so if that extra $125 doesn't matter to you, you'll want to hold off and compare the models. However, if you want the larger screen size now, and don't like the idea of spending $400 for a Chromebook, the Toshiba may well be worth it.

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