Google said it will make its Chromebooks last longer amid complaints about the laptop’s short lifespan. Chromebooks, once lauded for their affordability, have faced scrutiny from school administrators who say the laptops expire too quickly to be cost effective.
All Chromebook platforms will now get regular automatic updates for 10 years starting in 2024, according to a Google blog post. The new update policy means that all existing Chromebooks will last another two years.
Chromebooks are popular options for schools, but between price hikes, repair costs and a fleeting lifespan, administrators began to question whether buying the laptops was just money down the drain. During the pandemic, Chromebook sales skyrocketed as schools tried to meet remote learning requirements. Even though in-person classes have resumed, remote-learning days still occur, and in our increasingly digital world, reliable technology is crucial, especially when it comes to education.
Google said if you have a Chromebook released in 2021 or later, you’ll automatically get 10 years of updates starting next year. If your Chromebook was released before 2021 and already in use, users and IT administrators can extend automatic updates to 10 years from the platform’s release after the last automatic update.
“A small selection of device platforms may not receive the full 10 years of automatic updates, and some features and services may not be supported,” Google said in a footnote. You can find a full list of Google-approved ChromeOS devices and when they’ll get their last automatic update in Google’s Help Center. If your device has an asterisk (*) next to the date, you’ll need to opt in to receive extended updates.
In addition to the updates, Google plans to create more power-efficient features, quicker repair processes and device recycling options.