Chromebooks are Terrible and Need to be Replaced


After a miserable 5 years of using chromebooks, I am of the opinion that the high school needs to be rid of them. Rocking a low end processor from 2016 and only 4 gigs of RAM, the chromebook 500e is slow and struggles to do the very thing it was named after: running chrome. 

First off, to preface, the chromebook 500e itself is not a terrible product, but I think the choice to use them in a high school setting isn’t a good one from a productivity standpoint. In high school, students in general have a heavier workload, and I think our school issued devices should be able to handle it. Personally, I have not found this to be the case, especially for things such as working on slides, sheets, or doing any kind of research. I often feel bogged down and not very motivated when doing these things. I typically just resort to using my own computer at home because why would I spend 25 minutes working on something using my chromebook when I could spend 10-15 minutes on my personal computer? Using the chromebook is just flat out inefficient.

Secondly, the chromebook 500e has now been in service for 5 years, and they experienced a lot of wear and tear, as well as general degradation. For example, my trackpad wont hold a click for more than a second or two, so highlighting things is quite difficult. Also another big issue that has come to face is the battery life. Over time batteries tend to degrade with more and more charge cycles, and again these being 5 year old batteries are starting to become an issue. I have set aside time to plug in my chromebook almost every day, even with just light usage. Occasionally the percentage will display incorrectly, giving a false sense of security, and before you know it your battery will drop from 50-60% to just 5% in an instant. 

Lasty, the chromebook 500e is just very low specced and very dated. The processor is a Intel Celeron N3450, which was released in 2016. It is a quad core cpu with a base frequency of 1.1 Ghz, and can temporarily boost to a frequency of 2.2 Ghz. This is very slow by today’s standards. The celeron itself draws 6 watts of power, and is passively cooled, meaning there are no fans. The chromebook 500e is just not pushing out much power at all. This combined with only 4 gigs of RAM, means you will have to reload apps, and websites fairly frequently, and very slowly due to the processor.  For a point of comparison I have CPU  benchmark scores, from a geekbench 5 cpu benchmark  from the Intel Celeron N3450, and the Apple M1(which is used in the teachers’ new macbooks). The N3450 archives a multi-core score of 879, and the Apple M1 wipes the floor with it achieving a score of 7557, which is 859% faster than the N3450.

The chromebook 500e is a very dated, slow machine and can’t keep up well with a high school workflow. This is why I and many other students advocate for its replacement.