Google has found themselves as the subject of the US Public Interest Research Group Education Fund’s (PIRG) ire, as the nonprofit has published a report, titled ‘Chromebook Churn,’ (PDF) that documents the growing number of issues with Google’s Chromebooks. As the pandemic pushed schooling online, schools across the nation found themselves investing in virtual learning technologies, and the Chromebook seemed like the most cost-effective option for most schools. Now, just a few years later, issues have been popping up with the devices en masse that have left schools reconsidering their decision.
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The report’s claim is that a bevy of issues with the Chromebook, including its difficulty to repair and limited upgrade support, means they aren’t built to last. In a PIRG report from February, the nonprofit found that while non-Chromebook laptops have an average French repairability index score of 6.9, the Chromebook comes out at only 5.8. This is mostly due to most Chromebook parts being unavailable for order, and those that are can be around $89. When you factor in the fact that the schools are purchasing the Chromebook its self for $200, its obvious why this price might be unappealing. Other factors, like the entire keyboard needing to be replaced if a single key becomes defective, is causing faulty devices to pile up in schools.