Chromebook the fourth

Two years ago, I bought my mother her third Chromebook. The 2012 and 2014 ones were good choices. The 2019 was when I learned about the secret Chromebook end of life policy and inadvertently bought a Chromebook that expired in only two years. So here we are again.

I went the Best Buy like the last three times. This time I chose to use Best Buy online so I could easily return it if it didn’t work. However, i did not go to the store to buy it. Instead, I started by looking at the expiration dates.

Selecting a model

I started by making a list of all the Chromebooks that expire in 2028 or 2029. Then I looked at screensize, CPU, hard drive and connectors. I also confirmed there was a security slot for my mother’s existing Kensington lock.

Comparing the stats from 2 years ago

Last time I got my mother a laptop with good speakers for music. This time, the speakers aren’t as good so I got her external speakers. This laptop cost twice as much as last time. However, I didn’t know I was getting such a good deal last time because the machine was due to expire.

Acer (2019)Acer (2021)
Screen size15.6″14″
Price$240$479
CPUIntel 1.6 GHzIntel 2.6 GHz
RAM4 GB4GB
Hard Drive16GB54GB
USB2 USB 3.02 USB 3.0 + 2 USB C
HDMIYesNo. Bought USB C to display port adapter
Weight4.41 lbs3.42 lbs
Headphone jackYesYes
Battery life12 hours10 hours

Setting up the Chromebook

  • I got started and connected to my home wiki.
  • Signed in as both my mother and myself. Also uploaded a profile photo for me that she likes better than my gmail one.
  • Confirmed the wallpaper was solid light blue
  • Made a recovery disk. I installed the ChromeBoook recovery utility on my Chrome browser on Mac to do so.
  • Accepted Google Play/Google Drive since I want to use an app. I did not enable location services.
  • Tested the all four USB ports headphones and that a Kensington security lock works
  • On settings
    • disabled Bluetooth
    • disabled sync for passwords/addresses/google pay
    • changed time zone to Pacific
    • turned off check if have payment methods saved
    • on site settings, set microphone and camera to ask before recommended
  • Installed Keep Awake browser extension
  • Covered camera
  • Finally, I deleted a bunch of apps. This time I did it from the Chrome OS settings so I didn’t need to right click. I left amazon music, chrome, files, gmail, play store and web store. I also plan to install Zoom but waiting to do that together so my mother can learn how to install an app

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