Google says you can now turn 400 Mac computers into reliable Chromebooks

Zoom / Google Chrome OS Flex.

Google announced today in a blog post that ChromeOS Flex, a version of Chromebook OS suitable for most devices, has moved from early access to general availability. It also said it certifies “more than 400” devices, including systems from Apple, Dell and HP, to run the operating system smoothly and stably.

The Google About ChromeOS Flex In February, it built on its 2020 acquisition of CloudReady (CloudReady ChromeOS Flex now that the latter is stable). Cloud OS Flex can be downloaded to a USB drive for free, allowing you to install it on your Mac or Windows PC.

The most obvious use of ChromeOS Flex is to bring back an old device that might be too old to get software updates for its original operating system. our ChromeOS Flex beta review He found the OS to be an interesting alternative for people who do most of their computing work in the browser and for a budget-friendly Chromebook experience from an 8- to 9-year-old system.

In his blog today, Thomas Riddell, Director of Product, Enterprise, and Education at Google, also highlighted the enterprise capabilities of ChromeOS Flex, detailing 200 Nordic Choice hotels that used ChromeOS Flex to recover 2,000 computers in about two days after a ransomware attack.

In his blog, Riedl claimed that Google used ChromeOS Flex early access to solve “more than 600 issues” and that the company will continue to certify more devices to run the operating system. He said hundreds of devices are already certified – including the Apple Mac Mini 7.1; Apple MacBook 7.1; Apple MacBook Air 5.1; and first-generation Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon—provides a “high-quality, consistent experience” while running ChromeOS Flex.

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You can still install ChromeOS Flex on a device that hasn’t been certified by Google, assuming it meets Minimum Requirements (arm slides, for example, are not supported), however, According to GoogleTo be guaranteed by Google, the device must be certified for the following functions:

  • System user interface and graphics
  • Installations
  • WIFI
  • Ethernet
  • Inner width (if any)
  • At least one method for both audio input and output
  • Sleep and resume
  • The touchpad
  • keyboard
  • USB
  • Non-infrared webcam (if available)

Even with ChromeOS Flex certified, there are some functionality that Google says it has tested but “isn’t necessarily guaranteed to work on every supported model.” They are:

  • Bluetooth
  • touch screen
  • Automatic screen rotation
  • Keyboard shortcuts and function keys
  • SD card slots

And there are many features and ports that Google says have never been tested or supported on ChromeOS Flex, including fingerprint readers, optical drivers, IR webcams, proprietary connectors, stylus input, and Thunderbolt functionality.

Overall, the non-Chromebook ChromeOS Flex may not perform less, including boot speed, battery life, and power savings, as a ChromeOS device, according to The Google.

The list of ChromeOS Flex certified devices shows a wide range, but for those using a different operating system, the transition won’t necessarily be smooth. However, it remains a viable option for those who prefer a temporarily lower power Chromebook instead of more e-waste.

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