I am planning on purchasing a Chromebook for a single purpose, which is to connect a large monitor/TV and have the Chromebook sit on a certain web page indefinitely.

My question is this: How long can a Chromebook be left refreshing a page or making AJAX calls before something goes wrong?

Is it a matter of hours, days, months? Does anyone have experience actually doing this?

Will it be building up some sort of cache or other saved information that will eventually consume all available memory? Is there some other aspect that would prevent it from continuing indefinitely?

I am creating the web page myself, and I plan to have the page periodically either refresh itself entirely or make AJAX calls for current information. I would like for the information to update fairly often, ideally about every 5-10 seconds; however, less frequent updates would be tolerable, up to perhaps 5 minutes between each update. The information shouldn't change every time, but it would be great if it updated shortly after changes are available (which might be about 15-20 times per day on average).

The amount of data shown on the page is relatively small- it should all fit on the page without scrolling. As time passes, some information will be removed and other information will replace it, remaining roughly the same overall.

I'm assuming that maintenance would be required occasionally, probably restarting the browser or Chromebook.

I am aware that there are other factors to consider, such as the monitor/TV having an image "burned" into it over time, the web page needing to handle possible interruptions to the internet connection, power outages, etc... This question is specifically about how well a Chromebook and its browser handle continuous refreshes/AJAX calls over a prolonged period.

  • Just wanted to add that ideally nothing should impede your website from continuously running, at least from a system/memory standpoint. One thing to do though is to make sure that all of your ajax calls have a handler for error response codes. This is because unhandled errors stop javascript execution. You risk leaving your app stranded or with undefined behavior unless you handle all the types of responses your ajax call can receive. I would also recommend using WebSockets, if you have a web server, to enable you to refresh your page from your phone/anywhere as a fail safe measure.
    – iskyfire
    Mar 10, 2020 at 22:27
  • @iskyfire Good point about the error handling, especially since I won't be near this setup very much
    – elmer007
    Mar 12, 2020 at 15:43

2 Answers 2


I have some experience with displaying Kibana and Grafana widgets on an N22. It worked better than the Raspberry Pis and HDMI sticks we tried to use in the office. Due to inefficient resource usage (the employee who handled the topic before me used a HTML frameset) we found the tiny Atom with 2GB RAM stuck about every month or so (we/I did not collect statistics at that time). Rebooting worked and it was usually back to normal, in some cases we let it rest for up to half an hour and then it was back again.

Back then I was curious what was happening there, so I let it run with https://webglsamples.org/aquarium/aquarium.html for about a month and that worked without issues, so it must have been that we were pushing the little thing harder that it could for a long time. You may not experience this with 4GB and more recent/beefier processors in your usecase.

I also tried Gallium with Firefox on the N22 but that did not improve the situation. I might be worth checking out if you find that ChromeOS is limiting you usecase for some reason.

I would recommend keeping the lid open. Most of laptops cooling mechanisms seem to be built for the assumption that users are sitting in front of the device. My Thinkpad T580, not a Chromebook, also has a fan hole beneath the the keyboard, so I assume that industrial designers by now leverage every trick to get heat out of the tiny devices.

  • Thanks for providing some input based on an experience trying this! I'm wondering about the lid now, as well as that the place(s) this might go could have a decent amount of dust. Do you remember noticing the temperature of yours being hot? Do you think closed lid but with an external fan blowing on it might work? Also, was your N22 connected to a monitor or TV to display the widgets?
    – elmer007
    Mar 12, 2020 at 15:39
  • It was connected to a 1080p video projector. Increasing airflow with a fan that might help. Chromebooks are low powered and passive cooled devices that shouldn't get hot. Certainly not like a workstation CPU or GPU and not like a smartphone that has been put under stress with VR like my Pxiel XL in Daydream which became unstable in some scenarios and painful warm to touch. The N22 only got as warm as a human having a fever. I have a C302 and C434 with aluminum chassis these get warmer than the N22 but seem to be fine. Haven't tested them with this particular load though.
    – LiveWireBT
    Mar 14, 2020 at 8:35

Chromebooks used to have a development path for kiosk apps, but chrome apps are officially discontinued and they are no longer accepted into the store (as of March 2020.) They will also be removing support for them by the end of next year.

That being said, if you are only creating a webpage, and you would like to use a chromebook to display it, Google offers ways to keep the display on, and you can prevent the machine from entering sleep when you close the lid, but it seems the only way to keep the computer from going to sleep when idle is to use a chrome extension.

There are a few different extensions, and they have different modes that can keep the system from entering sleep mode. This extension (also listed below) has a feature that would work for your setup:

In the "screen is kept on" mode (sun icon), the system will avoid sleeping and the display will additionally remain on.


support.google.com: Keep your Chromebook awake

chrome.google.com: Keep Awake (Extension)

  • Very interesting observation about preventing sleep mode when the lid is closed vs when idle, thanks for mentioning that! I had found that Chromebooks (at least many of them) could remain on when the lid is closed, but I hadn't considered that idling would be a separate concern.
    – elmer007
    Mar 12, 2020 at 15:27

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