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Toshiba Enters Chromebook Market

LAS VEGAS – Toshiba officially entered the Chromebook market today with a $279, 13.3-inch device.

While the Chromebook market has made a splash in education circles, Toshiba believes this model’s larger screen size will change the perception of the Chromebook from a browsing-centric device to one capable of serious productivity through the use of Google supplied docs, sheets and slides software.

To further highlight this new perception, Toshiba has powered the Chromebook with an updated Intel Celeron processor.

“It is important for consumers to see Intel — it is a trusted brand,” said Carrie Cowan, Toshiba’s senior product marketing manager.

The 3-pound device has 2GB of memory and a 16GB solid-state drive. It will also come with 100GB of Google Cloud Drive space.

Early tests rated the laptop with nine hours of battery life.

Cowan added that like all Chromebooks, it is not a spec-driven device, but will entice customers through its price and ability. The impact this Chromebook and the category as a whole will have on the Windows laptop market remains to be see, Cowan said, but she called the adoption rates on Chromebook good so it has the potential to rob market share.

Toshiba’s target audience aims at the two ends of the computer using spectrum, Cowan said, with millennials and seniors squarely in the company’s sights. Cowan said the price point should help bring in the young folks; in addition, that generation understands the Cloud and can make the most out of the device.

Cowan also sees people buying the laptop for their parents because it is low-priced and simple to use.

Toshiba is also not ignoring the traditional Chromebook customer: the student. The company is working to that distribution angle again hyping the idea that the larger screen size is more beneficial for students to do their work.

Toshiba will sell the Chromebooks through its normal retail channels staring on Feb. 16.