Some of the key selling points for Chromebooks is that they’re easy to use, secure, and always getting better thanks to software updates delivered regularly.

But the truth is that Google only guarantees 6.5 years of software updates from the release date of a particular Chromebook (or rather the board that a Chromebook is based on — often multiple devices use the same baseboard).

That may not seem like a huge problem if you spend $300 or less on a Chromebook on day one and get 6.5 years of support. But buy a pricier model that’s been around for a few years and you may be disappointed when it stops getting software updates.

But now it looks like Google is extending the life cycle of some Chromebooks by another 3 years.

Lenovo 300e Chromebook

Previously, Google had promised that automatic software updates for these Chrome OS laptops would be available through June, 2022. Now the company says the “Auto Update Expiration Date” for June, 2025 — although the company notes that “providing updates beyond June 2023 is subject to certain limitations including reliance on third party component suppliers.”

Here’s the list of models that are getting extended support:

  • Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook
  • Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen MTK
  • Lenovo N23 Yoga Chromebook
  • Lenovo 300e Chromebook
  • Lenovo 300e Chromebook 2nd Gen MTK
  • Lenovo Ideapad S330 Chromebook
  • Lenovo Ideapad C330 Chromebook
  • Poin2 Chromebook 14

As noted by Android Police, all of these Chromebooks were released between 2017 and 2019, and some are no longer available for purchase.

Another thing they have in common? They’re all powered by a MediaTek MT8173C processor. There’s no word on if or when Google will offer extended support for models with other processors.

But 8 years of support is certainly better than 6.5 years… which, in turn, is better than the 5 years Google promised when I first complained about this issue last year. Hopefully Google’s auto update expiration date for other Chromebooks will continue to move further down the line as well.

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7 replies on “Google gives some Chromebooks another 3 years of support”

  1. C720 was on sale on Acer’s website Nov 2017, and it stopped receiving updates in July 2019. That’s less than 2 years.

  2. Why do they set a date in the first place? It’s disgusting. They have brilliant people. They could make the software work, or they could make the software not work. It’s all in their hands. This is good news, but this is barely a ripple. Why would they take this route? Gradual so it doesn’t look obvious how contrived this was in the first place? There is that too.

    1. It’s actually not that simple. Even aside from the fact that after six years, most Chromebooks will have been replaced by their owners either because they broke (they’re not that well made in most cases) or they simply no longer fit their needs, providing extended support for hundreds of different models going back a decade is not practical.

      I used to work for a major software development corporation and we would occasionally get bugs reported on hardware we did not have anymore (things break, as I said) and given they were out of production, there was no way to get anything to replace it. I blew up more than one box by plugging in the wrong voltage in the days before power supplies could handle both 120v and 240v as standard!

      Official support requires a full suite of tests to be run to ensure everything works, and as the number of models increases over time, the requirements in lab space and time and manpower goes up too, and if the hardware dies, it’s often near impossible to replace after it’s been out of production for a few months.

      And sure, “just throw more money at it” is always a solution, but that’s not how budgets work in reality. Everything line item has to be justified up the chain, and other departments and projects are always competing for that money, and when a bean counter asks ‘how many customers will that support” when you ask for an extra $5k to support an eight year old line of Chromebooks, you shrug and say, “probably about fifty”, they’re going to cross out that item before your finish your sentence.

    2. Because capitalism favours anything that increases sales, including mandatory planned obsolescence. I don’t have anything against capitalism, but I think it’s time governments stepped in and enforced some minimum support periods in the interest of quality of life / ecological impact / public wealth. Making consumers throw perfectly good hardware in the garbage every 3-5 years is stupid for the economy, just like if we were going to knock down every building in the world every 3-5 years. I get that computers are becoming obsolete a lot faster than buildings are, but they are not obsolete in 3-5 years.

      1. Only Microsoft and many Linux distros will support all kinds of hardware dating back over a decade. In the case of Windows 10, it does require some features that really old CPU’s don’t support but for the most part, Windows is pretty reasonably hardware agnostic. It’s odd Google even has a cut off for updates on older hardware. I don’t think there’s physically anything preventing newer OS versions from running on older hardware especially if it’s x86.

  3. This whole 6.5 year support lifespan thing is really annoying. I’ve passed up on sales on Chromebooks a few times now, and later found that Google announced extended support for those devices.

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