Look, we love a great deal more than most but sometimes a “killer Chromebook bargain” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and we want to make sure you’re getting a good value when you spend your hard-earned dollars.
One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to online listings for Chromebooks comes from marketplaces like Amazon and eBay where sellers can list a device practically any way they want with little to no policing from the powers that be.
I’m sure you’ve seen it. The listings all go a little something like this.
Newest, 2019 Chromebook blah, blah, blah
That Acer Chromebook R11 you’re about to spend $230 on has been around for a while. Hasn’t it? A classic example of “buyer, beware.” It doesn’t matter what that listing says. Shoot, it doesn’t even matter if that Chromebook you just bought was assembled last week.
Your shiny, new laptop my be on the short-timer’s list for guaranteed software updates. Google’s Auto Update Policy, which is normally five to six and a half years, has little to nothing to do with the production date of the specific Chromebook as much as it is all about when the device was originally released.
Lucky for us, there’s a place where this information lives and is ready to guide us on our purchasing journey. Google’s Auto Update Policy page contains nearly every Chrome device ever made and lists the month and year each of these devices is promised updates.
For some devices that have multiple iterations, (Lenovo Flex 11, C330 and N23 for example) the expiry date is based on the first model. For the Lenovo devices, that would be the Flex 11 which is June 2022 even though the C330 was released just last year.
Hopefully, this will give you a more objective eye when looking at the total value of a Chromebook purchase. For the entire list, head to the link below and see when the device you have or are looking at, will reach its end of life.
Note: The EOL (end of life) date is just the guaranteed update range. Many devices have continued to receive updates weeks and even months after the EOL matured but you should probably plan on looking for a replacement before that date arrives.