So who decides how much memory is in a Chromebook?


The glut of Chromebooks(s goog) with 2 GB of memory is a curious thing. Chrome OS may not run any faster with 4 GB of RAM, but it sure can handle more browser tabs, making power users happy. There are still a few Chromebooks with the higher amount of memory though: Dell(s dell) has it as an option, the $349 HP(s hpq) Chromebook 14 includes it and Acer has long had a 4 GB version of the C720 although it’s difficult to find these days.

It’s not Google dictating the memory capacity; something I thought was a possibility. It’s the companies that make the hardware as we found out this week on the Chrome Show. Tune in below or download the podcast here to listen to what I found out. We also share a new Chrome app that’s handy when diagnosing connectivity issues, discuss what’s inside the newest stable version of Chrome and talk about the LG Chromebase after some brief hands on time.


John Lucas

Which (if any) of the current model Chromebooks allow users to upgrade their RAM? I don’t own a Chromebook (only a ChromeOS virtual machine), but I doubt I would want one if I couldn’t expand the RAM beyond 2GB.

Louis Dalesio

Kevin, there are a lot of discussions about the amount of ram that is needed. I recall an article that you wrote about enabling swap. I followed your directions and it made a world of difference on my first chromebook. Problem solved. I purcheased an HP 14 ( new white not pavillion black) w/4gb of ram. I enabled it there too, cause….why not?! The experience was so good, as you know, I bought a Pixel. You guessed it, it’s enabled on that as well. With swap so effective, does the ram really matter?

Kevin C. Tofel

Actually, swap is enabled by default now, so even a 2GB Chromebook can take advantage of it out of the box. Given that some folks have lag after opening a bunch of tabs, I think 4GB is a nice option to have. Just my $0.02 of course. :)


If you think about it, one could equate the numbers of tabs open on a chromebook to the number of programs running on a pc and that is where the relevance of more memory comes into play.
By the time I am ready to move on from my $249 Samsung chromebook I hope I will be able to buy a mid-level chromebook with a higher quality screen, 4 gbs. of memory, 32gbs. of storage and the ability to switch on/off a back-lite keyboard. I’d pay in the $500 range for a quality built unit like that.


I also have the $249 Samsung chromebook and have been pretty majorly punished by the 2gb of RAM. There’s so much lag / delay in response to even scrolling down webpages such as to render the device largely unusable. I guess you get what you pay for.,,

I’m also eager to see something between $249 and $1299…but may be jaded enough as to just go the safe route and pay for the Macbook Air which is flawless and has never been a headache for me as a work computer.

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