The company's Auto Update Expiration (AUE) policy has always been somewhat controversial among its customers because it means that smartphones and Chromebooks running its software will only get updates for a certain period of time after their release.
Once a device has reached the end of its AUE, it won't receive the latest features nor will it get the latest security updates which could end up leaving the device vulnerable to hackers.
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Before purchasing a Chromebook or one of Google's Pixel or Android One smartphones, it is important to be aware of the AUE, so you don't end up purchasing a model that is about to reach the end of its lifespan.
Lenovo AUE revision
Normally when Google finishes certifying a Chromebook model's base hardware design, the device is given a window of 6.5 years in which it will continue to receive updates. So potentially a brand new Chromebook could have less that 6.5 years of support depending on when it was purchased.
However, now Google has extended the AUE dates of a number of Lenovo Chromebooks including the Flex 11 Chromebook, the 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen MTK, the N23 Yoga Chromebook, the 300e Chromebook, the 300e Chromebook 2nd Gen MTK, the Ideapad S330 Chromebook, the Ideapad C330 Chromebook and the Poin2 Chromebook 14.
When Chromebooks first launched, they were positioned as a low-cost alternative to Windows laptops. As the years went on though, Chromebooks with improved specs and features were released such as the Chromebook Pixel and because of their higher price, a longer support cycle makes a lot more sense as these devices will likely keep running for longer and consumers are more likely to want to hang onto them.
By extending the AUE of Lenovo Chromebooks, Google could eventually end up changing its AUE policy for more of its devices.
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After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.