Home Review How you can flip an outdated laptop computer right into a Chromebook

How you can flip an outdated laptop computer right into a Chromebook


Not everybody wants a pc with a full set of bells and whistles. A Chromebook’s simplified interface makes it fashionable with colleges—and people of us who function IT assist for much less tech-savvy relations. It might probably value lower than a funds PC, too.

You may not even have to spend something if in case you have an older laptop computer already mendacity about. Putting in the equal of Chrome OS onto aged {hardware} takes lower than an hour’s price of elbow grease, and the ultimate outcome usually feels snappier than right now’s dirt-cheap Chromebooks.

Right here’s find out how to do it.

How you can convert a laptop computer right into a Chromebook

For this undertaking, we’ll be utilizing Neverware’s CloudReady working system, which relies on Chromium OS—the identical open-source code that Google constructed Chrome OS on. You’ll be able to learn extra in regards to the fundamental differences between the two in case you’re curious, however all you might want to know is that Neverware has made the expertise of utilizing CloudReady all however similar to Chrome OS.

Step 1: Verify that your laptop computer will meet the necessities

Neverware CloudReady system requirements PCWorld

CloudReady’s system necessities are very minimal: Simply 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, full BIOS entry, and manufactured after 2007.

Like Chrome OS, CloudReady’s system requirements are very minimal. The laptop computer will need to have 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, full BIOS entry, and ideally been manufactured after 2007. You’ll nonetheless have to verify your CPU mannequin, although, as Neverware says that processors with Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500, 600, 3600, or 3650 graphics {hardware} don’t meet CloudReady’s efficiency requirements. (In different phrases, Atom processors from the Silverthorne, Lincroft, and Cedarview households, which have been present in low-end laptops between 2008 and early 2012.)

Your best-case state of affairs is to seek out your laptop computer on Neverware’s checklist of certified devices, which clearly outlines assist for options like a webcam or touchscreen. (Click on on the mannequin’s title to see these particulars.) We lucked out that our check mannequin, a 2013 Lenovo ThinkPad X240, had full function assist throughout the board.

Neverware CloudReady Lenovo ThinkPad X240 feature support PCWorld

We lucked out with our check machine, a Lenovo ThinkPad X240: All of its main options are supported.

Observe: On the compatibility checklist, you’ll see desktop programs like iMacs and NUCs listed as nicely—so if in case you have a spare monitor, mouse, and keyboard, you possibly can as a substitute spin up a Chromebox. Programs operating built-in graphics work finest.

In case your laptop computer meets the {hardware} necessities however isn’t on the licensed gadgets checklist, don’t fear. You’ll be able to check out CloudReady from the flash drive you’ll create subsequent, which can assist you to check out how nicely it really works with out having to nuke your system.

FRIENDLY REMINDER: Earlier than you start putting in CloudReady, again up any information inside your current OS! The method is identical as a clear set up of Home windows, Linux, or MacOS and can utterly wipe your drive.


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