Chromebook buying tips for Office users

A few quick notes if you’re buying a Chromebook to use with Microsoft Office.  4.5 ways to use Microsoft Office on a Chromebook

ChromeOS is essentially the Chrome browser running in a separate device.  Any web site or web based application that can run in the browser will work on a modern Chromebook. In recent years, Google has expanded Chromebooks to include Android apps, including the Microsoft Office apps for Android.  If you’re buying a Chromebook, make sure you get a modern one with full app support, not an older non-app model.

A second-hand Chromebook can be a good deal especially if it’s for ‘around the house’ use and battery life isn’t a big concern.

Support date

Always check the Auto Update Expiration or AUE date for that exact model, before buying.

Chromebooks are only updated for a limited time according to the device you buy (not when you purchase). Some ‘new’ Chromebooks are older models with only a few years before operating system updates stop.

See this Google page for more info and a list of Chromebooks with their AUE.

Memory – RAM

Just like Windows or Mac computers, Chromebooks love memory, though they can work with less than Windows/Mac machines.

A 4GB RAM Chromebook is the absolute minimum to use Microsoft Office well.

Don’t even think about a Chromebook with less than 4GB of memory.  It will be slow and frustrating not just for Office but also video calls and playing high-quality movies.

Disk Space

Chromebook are intended for use mostly with a good Wifi/Internet connection.  Most files and documents in cloud storage and downloaded only as needed.

A 32GB or 64GB device is enough for most people unless you’re intending to use offline often or save a lot of images or videos on the Chromebook.

Screen Size matters

Any device with a screen larger than 10.1 inches is considered by Microsoft a ‘computer’ and a Microsoft/Office 365 licence is necessary to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint apps.  That applies to Windows, Apple iPad or any device.

A Chromebook with a screen over 10.1 inches will need a Microsoft 365 plan (Home, Personal, Uni or Enterprise) to use the Office apps.

4.5 ways to use Microsoft Office on a Chromebook

Office 365 Chrome extension – yawn

Office now available on Chromebooks

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