Chromebooks just tipped to get this handy smartphone feature — what you need to know

Asus Chromebook being used
(Image credit: Asus)

It looks like you will no longer have to pull out your phone to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot.

In a new update coming to ChromeOS, Chromebooks equipped with LTE data may be able to serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot, just like your Android or iOS smartphone. The potential new feature was found in Chromium Gerrit as a new flag in chrome://flags and was first reported by 9to5Google.

There is no official confirmation from Google about this update, so there is always a chance that this update will be delayed or fail to make the cut. If it does make it into ChromeOS though, it will further increase the appeal of getting one of these affordable productivity machines.

Chromebook hotspots: How the competition stacks up 

A person holding a phone near a laptop, representing an article about how to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot on Android

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Turning a device into a hotspot is nothing new. It is pretty simple to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot on Android, regardless of whether you have a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra or a OnePlus 10 Pro. Have an iPhone 13? Well luckily, setting up a Wi-Fi hotspot on an iPhone is just as easy. The only catch is typically whether or not your cell phone plan allows you to use your phone as a mobile hotspot.

Your laptop computer can also be a hotspot. Windows 10 and 11 devices like the Dell XPS 13 Plus allow you to share your internet connection as long as it is first connected to the internet or LTE data. Same with MacBooks like the brand new M2 MacBook Air, though MacBooks currently do not come with LTE capabilities.

Chromebooks were one of the only devices lacking the feature, so this is a welcome update, even if it may not make the biggest waves. Keep in mind though, that this update will only apply to Chromebooks with LTE data capabilities.

Chromebook hotspots: Who currently offers LTE Chromebooks? 

Samsung Galaxy Book Go

(Image credit: Samsung)

Admittedly, there are not a lot of Chromebooks that have LTE capabilities. In fact, you’re largely limited to the $349 Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go. The good news is that most of the major cell phone network providers such as T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T offer this device, so you at least have options there. 

In addition to Samsung's Chromebook, AT&T also offers the Lenovo 300e Chromebook LTE; Verizon offers a couple of other Chromebooks, but none of them are on our list of the best Chromebooks

Regardless of whether you choose a model with LTE or not, make sure to check out the best deals on Chromebooks before buying one. 

Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.