You can now run Parallels Desktop on lower-powered Chromebooks

Parallels Desktop on Chromebook
(Image credit: Parallels)

What you need to know

  • Parallels announced it is expanding support for its Desktop VM client. 
  • 11th Gen Intel Core i3 and AMD Ryzen 3 5000 series powered Chrome OS devices are now supported.
  • Parallels Desktop only remains available for Enterprise and Education customers.

Nowadays, Chromebooks can do so much more than just run various extensions and Chrome-only apps. And even with being able to install Linux apps on Chrome OS, there are times when you need a Windows version of any given application.

Google and Parallels announced a partnership back in 2020, with the goal of turning Chromebooks into powerful and portable virtual machines. The program is still limited to Enterprise customers but Parallels recently announced (via 9to5Google) expanded support for more Chromebook models. 

Until now, Parallels Desktop was limited to only running on Chrome OS devices powered by Intel's Intel Core i5 or Core i7 with at least 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Moving forward, the powerful VM software adds support for 11th Gen Intel Core i3 chipsets, along with the new AMD Ryzen 3 5000 series. 

“Businesses and educational institutions can now run full-featured Windows applications, both online and offline, on Chromebooks with Intel Core i3 11th generation and newer plus AMD Ryzen 3 5000 series and up processors—simplifying their IT management and enabling seamless productivity for their employees, staff, and students to perform their best from anywhere.”

In addition to adding support for more lower-powered Chromebooks, Parallels also announced a new partnership with HP. Select Enterprise Chrome OS devices, including the recently-introduced Elite Chromebook c640 G3, will be bundled with a one-year free license for Parallels Desktop.

Here's the full list of Chrome OS devices from HP that are included:

  • HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook Enterprise
  • HP Elite c640 G3 Chromebook Enterprise
  • HP Elite c645 G2 Chromebook Enterprise
  • HP Pro c640 G2 Chromebook Enterprise
  • HP Chromebox G3 Enterprise

We're still keeping our fingers crossed for a consumer-grade version of Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS, and not one just limited to the best business Chromebooks. It's already available on other platforms, including macOS, with a unique Parallels RAS version that makes it easy to work remotely from practically any device. Until then, interested parties who don't purchase one of the HP Enterprise options listed above, are looking at $69.99 per year for enterprise, or $39.99 per year for those in education.

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks, tablets, and wearables

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.