Two Hardware Hacks to Improve your Chromebook: SD Cards and USB Modems

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Two Hardware Hacks to Improve your Chromebook: SD Cards and USB Modems

What’s the greatest approach to boost the functionality of your Chromebook? To make your smartphone do more, try these two hardware hacks.

As previously said, Chromebooks are wonderful travel companions since they are portable, lightweight, and have good offline capabilities. However, if you are delayed on a train or traveling away from home for an extended length of time, you may need extra memory or an urgent need to connect to the internet. What are your options?

Luckily, we have the answers…

USB Modem

With Chromebooks’ extensive offline software library, they can work flawlessly without a data connection. If you don’t have a 3G-enabled device, a portable hotspot or USB modem might give you with some peace of mind in an emergency. A USB modem connects directly to one of your Chromebook’s USB ports and utilizes a network-provided SIM Card to offer customers with on-demand mobile internet.

Before you purchase, keep in mind that not all USB modems are compatible with Chromebooks. Chromebooks utilize the Linux ModemManager packages, meaning they will only support modems that employ open-source drivers. If your modem employs binary or licensed drivers that are incompatible with ModemManager, it is doubtful that Chrome OS will support it. Huawei’s E173 and E303 devices, available for $29 and $60 on Amazon, respectively, are good examples of supported modems.

Once you’ve found a suitable modem, just put it in, and your device will either display a settings screen or recognize it as an Ethernet connection.

If you don’t have a USB modem and badly require internet connection, keep in mind that most smartphones support tethering or the construction of a Wi-Fi hotspot. Be aware that this strategy can quickly deplete your phone’s data plan and battery capacity.

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SD Card

This is an excellent hack if you want to simply extend the local memory of your Chromebook without using a bulky USB stick or external hard drive.

Although Chromebooks are meant to utilise cloud-based memory, some users may be disappointed with the meager 16 GB of local memory that most models come with. There are just two ways to enlarge it technically: pay for extra Google Drive space or open up your Chromebook to physically add more storage.

The quickest and easiest approach is to have an SD card in your computer at all times. SD card memory sizes seem to be expanding by the day, and with 64GB cards being ubiquitous, you may significantly boost the amount of your locally accessible memory for a fraction of the cost. The method is both discreet and safe; most SD card ports for Chromebooks are on the side of the device, so the card is not visible, and you are considerably less likely to miss an SD Card left permanently within your laptop than a portable USB memory stick.

You should ideally get a Class 10 SD Card. Class 10 refers to a data transmission rate of 10 MB/s, allowing you to utilize the SD Card’s memory nearly as effortlessly as the SSD. Amazon has a Sony 64GB Class 10 SD Card for $33 and a somewhat more expensive Sandisk SD card for $45.

Remember that you may expand the storage on a Windows 8.1-based device by inserting an SD Card.

Other Suggestions

Of course, there are a number of other hardware add-ons that will enhance your experience without significantly altering the functionality. A wireless mouse, USB keyboard light, and good headphones will all help you save time.

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It’s also a good idea to acquire a protective cover, particularly if you travel often. Simple clip-on covers are lightweight, unobtrusive, and will protect your machine from normal wear and tear. If you’re not sure where to look, Amazon has iPearl shells for practically every Chromebook on the market, with prices beginning at $16. If you need something more durable, you may purchase carry-bags or neoprene coverings produced by the Chromebook’s various cottage businesses. Case Logic, perhaps the industry leaders, sells cases on Amazon for as little as $11.

Do you have any recommendations for Chromebook accessories or add-ons, or does it currently do all you want? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.

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