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Google’s Chrome OS Flex aims to turn old laptops and netbooks into snappy Chromebooks

Chrome OS Flex will allow users to easily try out Chrome OS on PC or Mac (Image source: Google)
Chrome OS Flex will allow users to easily try out Chrome OS on PC or Mac (Image source: Google)
Google recently announced Chrome OS Flex, a USB-based Chrome OS installation that users can deploy on Windows and Mac computers. While it might not offer significant value on modern systems, Chrome OS flex could help users get more out of ageing netbooks and other devices that struggle to run full-fat Windows.

Google recently announced Chrome OS Flex, a new method to install and try out Chrome OS on PCs and Macs without having to swap out your existing operating system. Chrome OS Flex will allow users to turn their USB flash drives into bootable instances of Chrome OS, and to also replace Windows/MacOS or dual boot with Google’s web-centric operating system. 

Chrome OS Flex has questionable value for owners of newer PCs or Macs. The lightweight operating system is limited compared to a full-fat Windows or MacOS installation. Chrome OS does allow users to run Android apps, which somewhat compensates for the lack of desktop apps, though.

Chrome OS Flex’s real value lies in extracting use from ancient desktops and low-powered netbooks that really struggle to run Windows apps. Something like the Intel Atom-powered ASUS T100 netbook would have a hard time handling multiple web browser tabs along with productivity software. With that kind of hardware, Chrome OS Flex could offer meaningfully snappier performance for regular users.

If you’re not afraid to tinker and want a full desktop experience, a lightweight Linux distro might still be the way to go, though. 

Check out the Samsung Chromebook 4 here on Amazon. 

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 02 > Google’s Chrome OS Flex aims to turn old laptops and netbooks into snappy Chromebooks
Arjun Krishna Lal, 2022-02-16 (Update: 2022-02-16)