Breathe new life into old notebooks with Chrome OS


Too old, too slow, too little space: after a few years, many notebooks are left unused in the closet because even simple tasks seem overwhelmed. A current Windows usually does not make it better if there is an update and suitable drivers for it at all.

One option to breathe life back into the old bone is Chrome OS. The operating system developed by Google is comparatively frugal. It runs fast enough on many older CPUs such as Intel’s Atom processors, with 2 GB of RAM and a few GB of flash memory. It is fully designed for the Chrome browser and Google’s cloud offering, which is why hardly any preinstalled programs and space for documents are required. Anyone who can come to terms with it gets an easy-to-maintain system that is completely sufficient for typing, surfing and YouTube watching. Even the youngsters can gain their first experiences on the laptop relatively safely, without it having to be a new device.

Google itself does not release its Chrome OS for hardware other than the so-called Chromebooks (laptops with pre-installed Chrome OS). However, there are promising projects based on the open source variant Chromium OS. They can be safely booted from the USB stick without influencing an existing Windows installation. If you are sure, you simply install the system on the plate. We looked at three different paths: the finished and commercially available system from CloudReady, the free images from ArnoldTheBat and a Chromium OS converted to Chrome OS.

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