Parallels, a Windows virtual machine app for Chrome OS, is now available on more Chromebooks with the inclusion of AMD Ryzen processor support. VM users are also getting further access to USB and other peripherals as well.

The following 12 devices are now able to run Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS (previously Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise), growing the official compatibility list to 21:

  • HP Pro c645 (AMD)
  • Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga (AMD)
  • Acer Chromebook Spin 514 (AMD)
  • Acer Chromebook 714 (Intel)
  • Acer Chromebook 715 (Intel)
  • Acer Chromebox CX14 (Intel)
  • Dell Latitude 5300 2-in-1 (Intel)
  • Dell Latitude 5400 (Intel)
  • Dell Latitude 7410 (Intel)
  • Asus Chromebook Flip CM5 (Intel)
  • Asus Fanless Chromebox (Intel)
  • Asus Chromebook 4 (Intel)

Parallels remains available only to the Chrome Enterprise versions of these models despite the name change and requires a valid Windows image. Other models may also work with the app, so long as they meet updated spec recommendations:

Minimum (to run one or two simple Windows applications)

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 or i7/AMD Ryzen 5 or 7
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD

The app's makers say users should have fan cooling on their device plus double both the RAM and storage for more intensive operations.

Opening a Microsoft Word file with Parallels

Peripheral access is also expanded with this update as Parallels can now use your Chromebook's USB devices, microphones, and camera(s). Among many other uses, this allows people to interact with flash drive files in Windows or to utilize richer features in video chat apps such as remote control or end-to-end encryption or whiteboarding in places like Cisco Webex, GoToMeeting, and Zoom.

The program was developed with help from Google to allow a virtual machine to forego a server connection and run entirely within Chrome OS. Customers pay $70 per user per year after a one-month free trial. You can learn more from Parallels.

Unless you're keen on dual-booting misadventures, this program may be our best hope of a reliable Windows VM app for Chromebooks.