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New Chromebooks to Get Extended Lifespans, but Updates Remain Confusing

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Laptop Mode
Justin Duino / Review Geek

From the fiery Samsung Galaxy Chromebook to the adorable Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook, 2020 looks promising in terms of Chrome OS hardware. It also looks promising on the update front, as Google announced today new Chromebooks will get up to eight years of automatic updates.

On its blog, Google stated Chromebooks “launching in 2020 and beyond will receive automatic updates for even longer.” The search giant didn’t specify how long it’ll extend its Auto Update Expiration (AUE) to, but the company did state that the Lenovo 10e Chromebook Tablet and Acer Chromebook 712 will receive updates through 2028.

This is great news for those who hold onto laptops for more than one or two years. When Chromebooks first shipped in 2011, they received automatic updates for only three years. Google eventually increased the lifespan to six years and even gave most Chromebooks an extra year of support.

However, as Android Central points out, not every new Chromebook will get eight full years of Chrome OS updates. Each Chromebook is built off of one of several hardware platforms, with Chrome OS updates delivered on a per-device basis. This makes it easier for Google to push out updates to hundreds of models since some use the same platform as others.

This also makes things a bit more confusing when it comes to a Chromebook’s lifespan. Take the Pixel Slate and Pixelbook Go. The Pixel Slate launched in 2018, while the Pixelbook Go launched in 2019. However, the two devices use the same Chromebook platform. That means the Pixel Slate and Pixelbook Go will stop getting updates in June 2026, even though the former launched before the latter.

The easiest way to verify your Chromebook’s end-of-life date is by checking Google’s support page or locating the information through the device’s setting’s menu. Google will update both locations with the most accurate AUE date.

That’s all to say some new Chromebooks will get less than eight years of updates, while others will get a little more. It’s a confusing state of affairs in regards to Chrome OS updates, and Google’s wording didn’t exactly clear things up with today’s announcement.

Source: Google and Android Central

Williams Pelegrin Williams Pelegrin
Williams Pelegrin is a Staff Writer at Review Geek. He's been covering technology for over seven years and has written thousands of articles in that time. Read Full Bio »