Why You Should Convert Your Windows Laptop Into A Chromebook

Why You Should Convert Your Windows Laptop Into A Chromebook: you probably haven’t heard about ChromeOS Flex. It’s Google’s initiative to convert old PCs into Chromebooks, which is a cool concept in theory. However, its primary target audience has been educational and professional settings.

However, I felt like giving it a try. My aging Windows laptop has been begging to be transformed into a speedy and modern Chromebook. As someone who has relied on Chromebooks exclusively for nearly half a decade, I was eager to take on the challenge of determining whether or not ChromeOS Flex is a viable means of giving aging notebooks new life.

Even if the final product has several drawbacks, it’s still an easy method to give a stale laptop a new lease on life.

Thanks to ChromeOS Flex, any notebook may function as a Chromebook. The concept is sound, but there are significant restrictions on which devices may make use of it and how the implementation works (more on that later). ChromeOS Flex, however, makes the platform accessible to virtually any laptop.

Chrome OS Flex certification for Chromebooks is in the works at Google, but you can test it on pretty much anything. Since 2020, my “Chromebook” of choice has been a 14-inch Asus Zenbook. It ran on a Core i3, so it wasn’t exactly lightning-quick, and it frequently slowed down, froze, or crashed.

Installing Chrome OS Flex makes the machine perform as quickly as it should. Quickly launch and close apps; works well with a wide variety of operating systems and software, including Linux (though they kick the fans into high gear).

As a Chromebook fanatic, the cheap Chromebooks running Chrome OS weren’t the selling point. The fact that I could narrow down my Chromebook search to models within my desired price and specifications range allowed me to get a high-end model at a much more affordable price.

If I wanted to, I could store every meme I saw on my 256GB Chromebook without having to sign up for anyone’s cloud service. Or not. Having a choice is more essential than anything else.

If you’re familiar with ChromeOS, you’ll immediately recognize ChromeOS Flex. The Chromium logo is a blue Chrome, but this is not CloudReady; it’s the real deal when it comes to ChromeOS.

Your passwords will automatically sync, and you will receive all the same upgrades and new features that users of traditional Chromebooks enjoy.

Watch this video to learn the 5 telltale indicators that it’s time to upgrade your laptop (USA TODAY)

Additionally, it represents an idealized version of ChromeOS. ChromeOS, as it currently stands, is a mishmash of features designed to appeal to as many people as possible.

These include the Parallels software, the Google Play Store, the Linux operating system, and the Chrome web browser. Chrome OS Flex, with the exception of Linux, lacks all of these features.

However, because of these exceptions, the speed is decent. Chromebooks are sometimes advertised as quick regardless of price, however, this typically refers to how fast they are in comparison to other laptops in the same price range.

Anyone who has used both a low-end and high-end Chromebook will immediately notice a difference in performance. This means that switching from Windows to ChromeOS on a relatively recent laptop should result in a noticeable increase in performance.

The drivers for ChromeOS Flex have been the source of most of my problems. Drivers are like aglets, therefore it’s an odd one. You hardly give them a second thought until they’re gone. CloudReady existed before ChromeOS, so this is extremely strange. Bluetooth was functional in CloudReady, however, it was not as feature-rich as Chrome OS Flex.

We lost our ability to use Bluetooth devices after installing ChromeOS Flex. Consequently, you couldn’t use Android apps or features on your Chromebook any longer, such as Nearby Share, Phone Hub, or Smart Lock’s remote unlocking functionality.

It’s important to note that it’s not as if ChromeOS Flex lacks these capabilities. If your Bluetooth setup is compatible, you can use them. As Google claims, this isn’t exclusive to unofficial ChromeOS hardware, and it’s not always the same problem. Because of this, trying to figure out what’s wrong is a huge hassle.

You can’t use Android apps or access the Google Play Store either. There appears to be no official explanation for why Android apps cannot be installed on ChromeOS Flex, but we can make some educated guesses.

The Play Store is out of the question because of the rigorous certification procedure that all companies shipping goods with Google Play preloaded must undergo. As a result of ChromeOS’s containerized design, it may need more effort than Google would like to invest in light of the possible reward. It’s useless to second-guess yourself; alas, this capability does not exist.

While it’s true that you can do a great deal with a web app, and that this is true whether you’re using Windows or macOS, there are occasions when it would be preferable to have an app that can be used without an internet connection.

Cloud games are playable on Stadia, however, there is a much larger selection of games available on the Play Store. While services like Spotify and YouTube Music and Video can be helpful, what if you were on a lengthy vacation with inconsistent Wi-Fi and wanted to avoid draining your phone’s battery? What can I say?

The experience of using a device running ChromeOS Flex is similar to that of using an early-generation Chromebook.

It Was Worth A Shot

ChromeOS Flex is an excellent plan that promises much in the future. After using it for six months, I was astonished at how well it functioned on a platform for which it was not developed nor certified. On its best days, Google has always exemplified this platform-independent, libertarian ethos.

However, the path is not entirely without bumps. If you’re using relatively new hardware, you might have fewer problems with ChromeOS Flex, but don’t expect Google to address every single one of them. This means that using a ChromeOS Flex tablet as your primary computer isn’t the greatest option. You’ll be longing for a certified Chromebook’s assistance and access to updated ChromeOS capabilities.

However, if you enjoy the concept of having a Chromebook as a secondary device and have an old computer lying around doing nothing, it is worth giving it a try.

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