That cheap Chromebook may be too good to be true


Discover out your Chromebook’s AUE date.

Screenshot by Josh Goldman/CNET

With the holiday shopping season beginning and Black Friday simply across the nook, you are more likely to see some nice offers on Chromebooks. However earlier than you pounce on that deep doorbuster low cost, there’s an essential date you want to examine first: a Chromebook’s expiration date, aka its Auto Update Expiration date

As a result of Google can solely assure Chrome OS and browser function help on non-Google {hardware} for thus lengthy, each system at the moment has a date on which it stops receiving updates — its AUE date. If you happen to’re serious about a specific mannequin with an unbelievable low worth, it is best to seek out out the AUE date before you purchase. (It is also a good suggestion to do that for those who’re shopping for a used Chromebook or passing on a gently used one to a good friend or member of the family.) The excellent news is, Google makes it extraordinarily simple to seek out out the date for any Chromebook. 

For extra on Chromebooks, this is how they differ from laptops, why most people should get a Chromebook, and the best Chromebook deals for students.

Learn how to examine an AUE before you purchase


Final yr’s Lenovo Chromebook Duet has an AUE date of June 2028.

Screenshot by Josh Goldman/CNET

Getting the AUE date for any Chromebook is so simple as discovering its title on an inventory. Google maintains a full list of AUE dates for all models. Simply head to the record, discover the make of your Chromebook or the one you are trying to purchase or cross alongside. Click on on the make and the mannequin record will drop down with its AUE date. 

In keeping with the policy page, Google will publish a mannequin’s AUE date after its launch, so you must at all times be capable of discover a particular Chromebook earlier than making a buying resolution.

Learn extra: Best Chromebook for 2021: Acer, HP, Asus, Lenovo and more compared

Learn how to examine your AUE in your Chromebook


The About Chrome OS web page takes you to your AUE.

Screenshot by Josh Goldman/CNET

Already personal a Chromebook and wish to understand how lengthy you might have for updates? You may examine on your mannequin on Google’s record that I famous above or you can find it right on your Chromebook. There are a number of methods to get to the knowledge, however primarily you simply need to dive into the settings menu to seek out it. 

Open up your Chromebook’s settings menu by clicking on the time within the decrease proper of your display screen after which clicking on the Settings cog icon. On the backside of the left navigation panel (you might have to click on the three bars on the prime left to open the panel), you will see About Chrome OS. Click on that, after which on “Further particulars.” That is the place you will discover your AUE date. 

Nonetheless, now that you recognize it is within the About Chrome OS space, you can even simply search your Chromebook for it and go straight there. Press the Search key, assuming you have not modified it to operate as a Caps Lock key, and seek for “About Chrome OS.” You too can two-finger swipe up from the underside of your display screen to carry up a search bar, or there is a search icon on the prime proper of the settings menu you need to use. As I mentioned, there are a number of methods to get to the data. 

What occurs when a Chromebook reaches its AUE? 

At present, as soon as your AUE date arrives, the Chromebook will not obtain software program updates from Google. These embody safety updates, bug fixes and new options. And with these updates, issues like Chrome OS and browser apps and extensions would possibly not operate correctly. So whilst you can nonetheless use a Chromebook previous its AUE date, its usefulness will deteriorate. 

A part of the difficulty is that the Chrome OS and Chrome browser are deeply linked. In the mean time, which means not getting a Chrome OS replace additionally means not getting a browser replace. Google, nevertheless, seems to be at work on separating the two. With the 2 separated, you would possibly miss out on new OS options, however the Chrome browser would keep updated. Google CEO Sundar Pichai could have even hinted at this separation in a tweet in March. 

Google can be engaged on extending these dates and, as of November 2020, it introduced new fashions would have longer lives, which roughly interprets to wherever from seven to eight years or extra. Nonetheless, the date varies from system to system and is not essentially decided by when the system was launched or by once you purchased it. 

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2, for instance, was launched this March and has an AUE of June 2028. That is very long time for a brand new Chromebook, however issues are trickier when shopping for an older or second-hand mannequin. | That low cost Chromebook could also be too good to be true


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