Google has launched a ‘Works with Chromebook’ initiative so third-party manufacturers can build accessories for the popular laptops. This means you’ll finally be able to get chargers, mice and other peripherals designed specifically for Chromebooks. We explain what it all means and cover some of the products already available.
What is Works with Chromebook?
Much like the old Made for iPhone program that Apple started years ago, Works with Chromebook allows accessory manufacturers to build products that are certified to work with the Google powered laptops and display the official badge so that customers know they can buy with confidence. So, if you’ve been looking for an external keyboard, charger, connector, mouse or other peripheral, just check if it says Works with Chromebook on the box and you’re good to go.
So far, the program has been adopted by a wide range of brands, including Anker, Belkin, Brydge, Logitech, Acer, Targus and more.
Won’t any keyboard or accessory work with Chromebooks?
Technically yes, but as Chromebooks have different keyboard layouts to a standard Windows machine, users wanting a separate keyboard have often had to compromise with the wrong keys in certain places – such as the Search one that instantly opens up a Google search window.
Also, laptop chargers usually have to be ordered from manufacturers, but with Chromebooks switching to USB-C for power delivery, this has allowed the Work with Chromebook program to certify that a generic charger will work with your device.
Basically, the badge gives you peace of mind and means you won’t get the glitchy performance that can sometimes come with third-party products that are designed primarily for Windows.
What Works with Chromebook products are available now?
With the initiative only announced in March 2020, there isn’t a huge selection of peripherals in the shops yet. But the various manufacturers listed above have stated that many will appear in the coming months and some have already made it to the shelves, including the following;
Logitech M705 wireless mouse
The Logitech M705 mouse features a central scroll wheel, optical tracking that has 1000dpi for accurate control, forward and backwards buttons for moving through webpages, and a whopping three-year battery life. You can buy the M705 on Amazon UK for £34.22 and US customers will find it on Amazon US for $29.99.
Brydge C-Type keyboard
Brydge made its name by creating excellent keyboards for iPads a while back, but now Chromebook owners can benefit from the company’s skills thanks to the C-Type keyboard. An aluminium frame house full-size keys which include dedicated ones for the various Chrome related features such as search, open apps, reload page, back, and Google Assistant.
Users have the choice to either connect via Bluetooth 4.1 or USB-C and the six-month battery life makes it an able companion on the road. You can buy the C-Type keyboard directly from Brydge for £49.99 in the UK or $49.99 in the USA.
There have also been chargers from Anker and Chrome keyboards from Logitech spotted in the wild, so expect them to arrive in the very near future. If you’ve yet to try a Chromebook or are thinking of upgrading your current model, be sure to also check out our chart of the best Chromebooks.