New Chromebook features cause slight annoyances for students


A Chromebook restarts after having its lid closed, much to students' frustration.

Lindsey Baum and Jenny Chen

When HHS announced the acquisition of brand new Chromebooks for the 2018-2019 school year, students were overjoyed. Many were excited about the prospect of faster, lighter, and more aesthetically appealing devices. However, most of these students have been left disappointed by the various shortcomings with the devices.
Upon receiving the new computers, many were not happy with the addition of a mandatory case, which makes the device bulkier and heavier than past models. Chromebooks lacking a hardshell case are not eligible for insurance.

In addition, the school removed the complementary stylus, rendering many of the device’s touchscreen features useless. Recipients were also upset about a new rule which prohibits the decoration of Chromebooks with stickers or personalized covers.

“It’s annoying that we have to keep the cases on all the time,” senior Shreya Kaul said. “It takes up way more space in my backpack, and makes it a lot heavier.”

On a more technical level, students have found that the new laptops are much slower than in past years, and prone to lags and deleting unsaved work. Some also observe that network connectivity seems to be more prone to failure this school year.

“My internet is much slower this year than it was last year,” senior Hanna Kim said. “It’s frustrating when I’m trying to take notes or do an assignment and the computer won’t let me.”

On Oct 18, the school board introduced a new security system which automatically logs the user out when the Chromebook lid is closed. This new regulation poses an issue to many students, as unfinished work or opened tabs are lost upon return.

Although students may adjust the settings to prevent tabs from disappearing, having to restart the Chromebook every time it is opened hinders productivity, as the computer takes longer to start up.

“Before I saw the email about the update, I closed my Chromebook and lost several open tabs,” senior Meghan Patel said. “Restarting the Chromebook every time it opens just makes it take longer to get ready to take notes at the start of class.”

Hopefully, the district is able to work out the few wrinkles surrounding the new Chromebooks.