Blog Post

So who decides how much memory is in a Chromebook?

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

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.
[protected-iframe id=”7bed1a9d5660ed16a021e73d88158dac-14960843-4856826″ info=”″ width=”100%” height=”166″ scrolling=”no”]

5 Responses to “So who decides how much memory is in a Chromebook?”

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

    • 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. :)

  3. 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.