The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund has issued a paper titled “Chromebook Churn,” which claims that Google Chromebooks expire far too quickly, leading taxpayer-funded public schools to incur extra costs and causing unneeded environmental damage.
Chromebooks, according to the research, do not survive as long as they should due to Google’s strategy of discontinuing upgrades after five to eight years, a lack of replacement parts, and repair-thwarting designs. According to the organization, deliberate obsolescence damages the public.
According to the analysis, the 31 million Chromebooks sold worldwide in the first year of the epidemic led in nearly 9 million tons of CO2e emissions. Increasing the lifespan of Chromebooks sold in 2020 may save enough energy to take 900,000 automobiles off the road for a year, which is more than the number of cars registered in Mississippi. Longer-lasting Chromebooks, according to the analysis, may save taxpayers up to $1.8 billion in hardware replacement expenses.
The US PIRG demanded that Google expand its ChromeOS update policy beyond existing device expiry dates, that hardware manufacturers make components more readily available for repair, and that hardware designs allow for easier part replacement and servicing.
Google argues that Chromebooks are good for the environment. However, a spokeswoman for the firm has stated that they are working with its hardware partners to extend the device’s lifespan, utilize recycled and certified components, and minimize emissions. They also give frequent software upgrades to guarantee that older devices remain safe.
The sources for this piece include an article in TheRegister.