Chrome OS Flex exits beta, turns anything into a Chromebook

Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook standing tent style

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • The Chrome OS Flex system has exited its beta program.
  • Google has certified over 400 devices to work with Flex.
  • Flex can turn your PC or Mac into a Chrome OS machine for free.

Back in February, Google rolled out an early access system for a new program called Chrome OS Flex. The purpose of Flex is to allow pretty much anyone to put Chrome OS onto a system that wasn’t originally designed to run it.

Google envisions this as a simple way for education and enterprise customers to convert aging hardware into Chrome OS machines. However, the general consumer would also find this useful, as most of us have an old laptop or desktop collecting dust in a closet.

See also: What is Chrome OS and who is it for?

Today, Google is formally moving Flex out of its early access status and into the mainstream. Incredibly, the company says it has certified over 400 devices to work with Flex.

For the general user, there are not too many differences between Flex and the traditional Chrome OS you’d find on a retail Chromebook. Because Chrome OS is so lightweight and has low hardware requirements to work effectively, it could breathe new life into a computer that just isn’t cutting it anymore.

Where Flex really shines, though, is in fleet rollouts. This is what Google is really after. Google hopes Flex will help small businesses and educational institutes adopt Chrome OS on existing hardware instead of buying new Windows- or macOS-based systems. Judging from Chrome OS’s success in the education sector so far, this shouldn’t be a hard sell.

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