Jump to content

Buying a Chromebook was a BIG MISTAKE - Chrome OS Flex

AdamFromLTT
 Share

Your old Macbook is really chugging these days. But new computers with fancy Nvidia GPUs and AMD Ryzen chips are very expensive. Here's a way you could save a buck! Chrome OS Flex! Google will now let you install Chrome OS on your own device for free. But can it actually improve old devices? We tested to find out!
 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

And people laughed at me back in the day for rocking a netbook with Windows 7 versus a more "fashionable" iPad with one of those silly keyboard covers:

 

101 Things You Can Do With A Netbook

 

Granted that article is from 2011, but Android and Google tablets were nowhere at that point. Even GAMING was doable on the Atom N570 with AAA titles, never mind the convenience of having full Windows on hardware that didn't skimp on connectivity. The HP 210 Mini was probably one of the best 10 inch netbooks ever made in my opinion, and I certainly put heavy use on mine for many years.

 

What I am laughing at today is that Windows 7 still beats Chrome OS in functionality and flexibility, yet is able to run on hardware that Chrome OS can't. For an OS like Chrome to have such demanding hardware requirements that it gets beat out by OLDER hardware running a more superior OS screams at how wasteful Google handles resources. It also kind of hammers home why Windows 7 continues to survive even to this day with support and drivers for current hardware - I still use 7 on all of my systems and IT JUST WORKS!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

At the start of the Pandemic many school systems jumped on the Google Apps for Education train for remote learning.  The platform (as well as some others) essentially saved an entire generation of student education.  

 

The only problem with it is that there are still many schools in inner cities and poorer rural areas where most children did not have access to computers at home.  ChromeOS Flex would be a great solution to that problem, as these school systems could take nearly any old hardware, throw Flex on it, and hand it out for student use.  Since the entire platform is web-based, it doesn't need the Android Play store to be functional in this capacity, and all the login/administration for the OS is all handled by the student's school Google account.  

 

ChromeOS Flex is not a great solution for everyone.  Anyone with the knowledge to make it thru Flex's install could probably just throw a lightweight Linux distro on it and get more functionality and a much more robust application library. However, I can see a few niche places where Flex is an obvious choice.  

CPU: Ryzen 5 2600  | Motherboard: ASROCK B450 pro4 | RAM: 2x16GB  | GPU: MSI NVIDIA RTX 2060 | Cooler: Noctua NH-U9S | SSD: Samsung 980 Evo 1T 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

I still have a laptop from around 1998 that has an HDD with a fraction of the RAM my current computer has and it's still usable with Linux for taking notes etc.

 

Replaced it with a ThinkPad from 2005 once the previous owner thought of it as obsolete and put Arch on it, but without a desktop environment. Just CLI. Was really snappy for note taking in vim.

 

And that eventually got replaced with a 2010 model, which I am still using and which still can do pretty much everything I need to do on the go, including remote work. Granted, the battery only lasts 90min, but that's okay.

 

 

In summary, screw Google. Use Linux to revive old laptops. It Works™

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Caroline said:

Using anything related to google is always a mistake. ⚰️

Bet you use an android phone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Sakuriru said:

Bet you use an android phone.

I don't use a smartphone at all, nor will I ever use it.

 

now, how much did I win? pay up :old-laugh:

Tender is the night

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I could see how chromeflex could be a decent concept but I much rather use Linux than some chromeos. I just find it a better OS compared to chromes. But if my old laptop really does run like crap realistically I'm taking it apart and using it for spare parts or just to run a few experiments on before I retire it under my bed with all the other laptops and desktops I have shoved down there  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

For some time, Youtube’s use of VP9 precludes a lot of older devices from using hardware acceleration. 1080P software decode of VP9 is actually pretty CPU heavy. For a more fair video playback test, you’ll want to force h.264. 

My eyes see the past…

My camera lens sees the present…

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've installed ChromeOS using brunch myself on my windows tablet with an atom, 2gb of ram and 32gb of emmc storage and it actually runs well, having access to android apps was also a useful features and I could even code after I downloaded the linux subsystem using VS Code. ChromeOS Flex on the other hand seems like a significant downgrade to this, but I'm hoping that google will bring feature parity to it as well at some point. This is definitely a good OS to install on a PC or laptop of an older family member rather than Linux, since it's easier to use, especially if they're already using a smartphone and less likely to mess up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

My laptop was pretty well spec'd when I bought it for $2200 CAD in 2012 and even in Windows today it still does what I need it to do (photo editing). But I found the "leave Windows for better performance" trick back in 2015 when I switched to Linux Mint. 10 years on and the ol' girl's still going strong (I daily drive Mint but I boot Windows for photo editing).

 But I'll be dead in the cold cold ground before I install chrome.

PS: Best intro ever!

System Specs: Second-class potato, slightly mouldy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pleasantly surprised an old ThinkPad could still work well, even in 2022.

 

On 10/4/2022 at 12:37 PM, Zodiark1593 said:

For some time, Youtube’s use of VP9 precludes a lot of older devices from using hardware acceleration. 1080P software decode of VP9 is actually pretty CPU heavy. For a more fair video playback test, you’ll want to force h.264. 

It's a compromise in quality but I recommend h264ify for any laptop pre-Skylake.

Refresh before reply, I edit my posts often.

I tend to make dumb mistakes sometimes (thanks to ADHD) so corrections and clarifications are always welcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×