Toshiba's Chromebook 2 gets a Broadwell makeover

A new chip and not much else

If you were a fan of last year's Toshiba Chromebook 2, you should look into the newer, souped-up version that Toshiba unveiled today.

The previous Chromebook 2, which techradar ranks as one of the best Chromebooks on the market, came with a gorgeous Full HD screen and 4GB of RAM, which is better than most Chromebooks out today. Unfortunately, that model came with an Intel Celeron processor and a battery that only lasted about 6 hours and 26 minutes, according to our testing.

Toshiba's new Chromebook 2 will come with fifth-generation Intel Core i3 or i5 processors and a battery life that Toshiba says can last about 8.5 hours.

Price and availability

The new version of the Chromebook 2 is almost exactly the same as the previous model (other than the advanced chipset and a backlit keyboard). It has the same silver-colored plastic chassis, it weighs 2.9 pounds, is 0.76 inches thick, comes with a 13.3-inch non-touch display, an HDMI slot, and two USB ports (one 2.0 and one 3.0).

Even the price is about the same as the old model, which was $329.99 (about £205, AU$382) when it was unveiled. This year's laptop, which will be available in October, will also cost $329.99 with a Core i3 processor and $430 (about £280, AU$515) for a Core i5 processor.

Other alternatives

If you really love Google's operating system, but you need a more powerful laptop, you can always turn to the Google Chromebook Pixel 2.

It comes standard with a Core i5 processor, USB 3.1 (and USB-C) ports, a high-resolution 2,560 x 1,700 IPS touchscreen display, and 8GB of RAM. Of course, this will run you about $999 or £799 (about AU$1,277), roughly twice as much as the higher end Toshiba Chromebook 2.

If you just need solid performance, and you don't mind a little bulk, the Acer Chromebook 15 C910 is only $499.99 (£249, AU$620). It's also packing a fifth-generation Core i5 processor, and like the Toshiba model, it's full HD and comes with 4GB of RAM. But the Acer has a 15-inch screen and it weighs 4.85 pounds, so it's not for everyone.