Chromebooks are popular and recommended in the academic sector because they’re affordable yet well-equipped for students and teachers. But as it turns out, Chromebooks may not be the smart choice in the long run as they start failing in just a few years.

The US Public Interest Research Group recently published a report entitled the “Chromebook Churn,” in which the consumer advocacy organization observed a strong demand for Chromebooks in 2020 amid COVID-19 lockdowns. More than 31 million units were sold in just the first year of the pandemic.

Fast forward to the present, schools are already experiencing their Chromebooks failing on them and essentially becoming e-waste. In their report findings, PIRG determined three main reasons why Chromebooks don’t last: lack of spare parts, end of software support, and designs that impede repair and reuse.


Technicians interviewed by PIRG said that spare parts are hard to find for Chromebooks. Per another PIRG report called “Failing the Fix,” Chromebooks on average only scored 3.3 out of 20 on parts availability whereas non-Chromebook laptops fared better at 9.0. Upon reviewing Chromebook makers Acer, HP, and ASUS, PIRG found that Acer lacks online spare parts ordering, HP only offers limited replacements, and ASUS’s self-repair program is not suitable for maintaining large numbers of Chromebook units used in schools.

As for the software, Chromebooks have pre-determined “death dates” when software updates will cease. Google has stated some models will get up to eight years of updates since the date of release. For schools that bought units way after their release, this means they’ll be denied software updates faster than expected.

This article, Chromebooks have short lifespans, generates excessive e-waste, was originally published at NoypiGeeks | Philippines Technology News, Reviews and How to’s.