Whether schools need help choosing or repairing Chromebooks, Google wants to keep it simple.
what you need to know
- Google for Education is launching a Chromebook Repair Program to simplify the purchase and repair of Chrome devices in schools.
- The announcement came as Google also announced that schools had passed the 50 million Chromebook mark, with 40 million reported a year later on its 10th birthday.
- Google also took the time to highlight its Chromebook discovery tool to help educators choose which Chromebooks to buy, as well as the Chromebook’s ecological footprint compared to other machines.
While Chromebook sales have returned to normal after the 2020 COVID Chromebook boom, districts are still buying them in the millions as more schools turn to Google Workspaces and Chrome for Education. Along with new buying and repair tools, Google announced today that there are more than 50 million Chromebooks in use by students and educators in schools. Google crossed the 40 million mark around its 10th birthday last year, but given the surge in Chromebook sales in 2020 and the first half of 2021, it’s not surprising to see such a big increase.
Google continues to highlight high-end teacher-focused Chromebooks like the Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga and Acer Spin 713, two of the best Chromeboks on the market today, as it puts its Chromebook discovery tools first. The page currently shows only two sections: low-budget “learn anywhere” student laptops and “advanced use” premium Chromebooks for teachers and high school/college students. I wish there were more in-between categories, but that may come in the future as more educators and parents look for Chromebooks for their students.
The more important resource that Google is announcing today is the new Chromebook Repair Program for Chrome for Education. While most Chromebooks for education are fairly easy to repair, navigating between manufacturer repair/replacement and where/with which parts to repair locally or in-house can be difficult. Acer and Lenovo are partnering with Google on the program to simplify repairs on current Chromebooks and guide schools to buy easier-to-repair models when replacing older machines. Manufacturers train local employees to make repairs so that laptops don’t have to be sent out for days or weeks at a time, which helps devices last as long as possible before they need to be recycled.
Google also highlighted the power savings of Chromebooks, claiming that Chromebooks use 46 percent less energy than competitors, and that by replacing 1,000 existing devices with Chromebooks, they could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent. Given the way most Chromebooks drain their battery, I’d like to believe the first statistic, but the latter sounds a bit high considering student/educator devices aren’t a major energy drain for school/district facilities. However, every little bit helps.
Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook
$540 at Amazon from $450 at Lenovo
Strong enough for the classroom, strong enough for any teacher.
ThinkPads are synonymous with absurd durability, and while the C13 may not be quite as tank-like as the old ThinkPAds, it’s still powerful enough to survive the controlled chaos of modern education. Do yourself a favor and get a Ryzen (not Atalon) model with at least 8GB of RAM; you’ll need it when you pop between fifteen tabs during a Google meeting.