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Chromebooks running Windows 

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Most items I get to review have Intel chips in and while specifications say something like Intel i5 or equivalent until I have tested an equivalent I am reluctant to say something will work. A while ago Parallels brought out a product that would allow Chromebooks to run Windows, most recent Chromebooks can run Android Apps but Windows was something new.

parallels Windows on Chrome OS
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If your company or education establishment wants to save on the cost of Windows notebooks this Chromebook may help as it has the basic power and memory to run Parallels for Windows allowing you to run Windows in a ‘sandbox’ while still running Chrome on the machine your company will however still need Windows licenses for every Chromebook running it though, currently they are Windows 10.

There are a list of Chromebooks from all the major players but so far only Acer have gone out of their way to find me ones that qualify. The basic requirements are an i5 Processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage as with any such project more is better.

Recently I have reviewed the Chromebook 714 with an Intel chip that did but I wanted to try an AMD offering before I wrote this piece and hunting through their specifications found that a recent review had a variant that fitted the bill so Acer PR were kind enough to send me one to try.

Let me stress this is currently only a solution for business or education users and not available for end users.

While I was able to install all the extra files on the Chromebook I had to do this via a 16.4GB download from a Parallels test site.

The basic cost of a Chromebook either touch or non-touch is far cheaper than the Windows equivalent. However you still need Windows licenses to run it so the savings may not be quite as good. However files can be transferred from one system to another on a single desktop with both running side by side.

I can see this being popular in Education and the system I tested not only had Windows 10, Microsoft 365, but also some Corel software and Parallels Toolbox on it.

You choose if you want to run Chrome or Windows or both.

It is more likely that everything would be installed by your admin department as via my Wi-Fi 16.4GB takes a while to download.

Both Parallels and Acer have gone out of their way to let me fully test this very interesting development and while other manufacturers have Chromebooks powerful enough to run they were not willing to help out.

So Acer do the Intel processor version The Acer Chromebook 714 is available from the link below for £594.49 Acer Chromebook 714 Intel Core i5 8GB | Box.co.uk

However they also do the Buy ACER Spin 514 14" 2 in 1 Chromebook - AMD Ryzen 5, 128 GB eMMC, Silver | Free Delivery | Currys currently at £499.

This is the link to the lower powered version that I reviewed in August and the unit on sale at Currys is the AMD version with a more powerful processor and more RAM and storage.

You can see Parallels and Chrome working in harmony on the Parallel's website.

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