Best Huawei Back-to-School Deals are Here!
We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.
How to set up the ASUS Chromebook CX9 for working from home

How to set up the ASUS Chromebook CX9 for working from home

The new ASUS Chromebook CX9 is the perfect machine for working from home. With an 11th generation Intel Tiger Lake processor and up to 16GB of RAM, you’ve got all the power you need in a business laptop. This is definitely the best ASUS Chromebook in quite some time. If you’re planning to do business from the comfort of your home, you’ll need a few things to get started.

First, it’s important to start with the right hardware. An external monitor, keyboard, and mouse can really improve your workflow. A desktop setup not only makes work more comfortable, it also increases productivity. You might also need a dock for connecting additional peripherals, depending on the nature of your work.

After you get the necessary hardware, it’s time to get all the software and apps you need for work on your ASUS Chromebook Cx9. Google’s Chrome OS has matured quite a bit over the past few years. There’s an app available on Chrome OS for just about every task you need to accomplish. Let’s get started on everything you need to set up the CX9 for working from home.

Setting up hardware needed to work from home

If you’re looking to work from home, it’s important to have the right tools. The spacious digital canvas provided by a large display can make a world of difference. To use that display, you’ll also need a quality keyboard, mouse, and docking station to take full advantage of everything your Chromebook CX9 offers. Here are the best options in each category.

External monitor

Monitors come in a variety of sizes, and span the price spectrum from fairly cheap to incredibly expensive. When choosing an external monitor to use with your ASUS Chromebook CX9, you should carefully consider your use-case as well as your budget. Below, we’ve rounded up the best monitors for 4K performance, creative professionals, and those looking to get the best overall bang for their buck.

    HP 24MH

    Best budget

    The HP 24mh is a 24-inch budget monitor that offers a good set of features for the asking price. It uses an IPS panel which means better colors and viewing angles and also offers great sRGB coverage. The monitor also features three inputs (HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA), a functional stand with height, pivot, and tilt adjustment, as well as built-in speakers.
    Lenovo ThinkVision M14

    Best portable

    Looking for an external monitor you can carry with you? Lenovo offers its customers the ThinkVision M14 that features a 14 inch full-HD panel and dual USB-C ports for a seamless connectivity experience.
    Dell Ultrasharp U2719DX

    Best overall

    This monitor offers great color accuracy and sharp visuals with 1,440px resolution. It also comes with a great industrial design with slim bezels and a good set of I/O connectivity.
    HP U28 4K

    Best 4K

    HP's U28 features a factory-calibrated 4K HDR IPS panel which is great for studio work and also features a host of I/O ports.
    LG 29WP60G-B

    Best ultrawide

    The LG 29 inch ultrawide monitor should be great for users looking for loads of screen real estate. It comes with a 29 inch wide IPS panel offering a full-HD (2560 x 1080) resolution, 21:9 aspect ratio, 99% coverage of sRGB color gamut, HDR10, and AMD FreeSync.
    ASUS ProArt Display 27

    Best for creative use

    The ASUS ProArt PA279CV is suited for customers looking for an external display for the purpose of photo or video editing. It features a 27 inch 4K resolution IPS panel that offers 100% sRGB coverage, factory calibrated for Delta E < 2 color accuracy and a USB-C port for seamless connectivity.

External keyboard

Using an external monitor can provide more screen real estate, and docking stations can offer additional ports for multi-tasking. With your new mouse at the ready, you’ll need a quality keyboard to complete your workstation. When choosing a keyboard for daily use, you’ll want to have both comfort and reliability. There are a range of ergonomic designs, key layouts, and advanced features to consider when shopping for a keyboard. In this list we’ll take a look at the best keyboards to use with your Chromebook, at a variety of price points.

As a preliminary note, there aren’t very many keyboards designed specifically for Chrome OS. In order to offer a variety of options, we’ve also included keyboards designed for PC and Mac in this list. Keep in mind any of these keyboards can still work with your Chromebook, using F1-12 as a replacement for function keys. In addition, remember Chrome OS can run on a variety of hardware, so these keyboards will work for your tablet or Chromebox as well.

    Logitech K580 Chrome OS Edition

    Best Chrome OS integration

    If you're looking for a keyboard built for Google, this is the one. Chrome OS function keys line the top of the keyboard, with a spacious number pad on the side. You also get a built-in Google Assistant key and easy switch capability for use with multiple devices.
    Brydge C-Type wireless keyboard

    Sleek Design for Chrome OS

    The Brydge C-Type wireless keyboard is a very stylish option with Chrome OS integration. As with the Logitech K580, you get a row of Chrome function keys at the top. The key travel on this keyboard is excellent and provides an enjoyable daily typing experience. On top of all those features, you get great battery life and a lifetime warranty.
    Brydge C-Type wireless keyboard

    Keyboard and mouse combo

    Perhaps you want a keyboard bundled with a wireless mouse? This slim wireless keyboard from Jelly Comb also comes bundled with a travel mouse. Both devices feature an ergonomic design and automatic sleep mode to preserve battery life. At just $25, this is a great bundle to consider.
    Havit backlit mechanical keyboard

    Mechanical keyboard lovers

    For those that enjoy the typing experience of a mechanical keyboard, Havit has a great option under $50. The Kalith Blue Switches offer nice key travel and a satisfying click. A unique ice blue LED color completes the look of this beautiful and sleek design.
    Logitech K380

    Compact design

    If you want your keyboard to take up less space on your desktop, consider the Logitech K380. This compact wireless keyboard also offers easy switch capability for up to three devices at once. This keyboard works with virtually any operating system, including Chrome OS.
    Jelly Comb folding keyboard

    Frequent travelers

    Folding keyboards are a thing, and they're pretty awesome. If you travel constantly for work, you may want to check out Jelly Comb's folding keyboard. In addition to wired and wireless connection modes, you also get a built-in touchpad mouse as an added bonus.

Mouse

When shopping for a new mouse to pair with your favorite Chromebook, comfort is king. In this list, we’ll prioritize the comfortable operation of each mouse over other advanced features. After considering day-to-day usage, we’ll look at battery life, price point, and of course integration with Chrome OS. Mice come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s worth viewing a large volume of options before reaching a final decision.

    Seenda 2.4G wireless mouse

    Best budget mouse

    If you need a wireless mouse on a budget, Seenda has you covered. This mouse lacks some bells and whistles, but costs under $6 and has a comfortable design. Battery life is excellent on this device. For those who only use a mouse on occasion, this is the way to go.
    Logitech M355

    Best slim and flat design

    Some mice require you to choose whether you are left or right handed, but not the Logitech M355. This mouse has a slim and flat design, perfect for ambidextrous users. In addition, the slim profile and ultra-quiet clicks make this a great mouse to use at work.
    Jelly Comb dual mode mouse

    Best bluetooth and 2.4GHz combo

    The Jelly Comb dual mode mouse features both bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless connectivity. With this, you can connect to two devices simultaneously. Jelly Comb has a number of great color options to choose from, with a price under $15.
    Logitech M570

    Best for trackball fans

    Logitech's M570 has a distinct and instantly recognizable form-factor. The giant teal trackball is easily spotted while the mouse is in use. If you do a lot of scrolling for work, and find a trackball comfortable, this is the best option by far. This is one of the most comfortable mice to use for long periods of time.
    Jelly Comb mouse and keyboard combo

    Best mouse and keyboard bundle

    Bundles are never a bad thing in terms of value. Jelly Comb packages an excellent wireless keyboard and mouse combo for under $25. Both devices feature excellent battery life, and an auto sleep mode when not in use.
    Geyes Silent Wireless Mouse

    Best noiseless mouse

    Keeping quiet while at work is sometimes important. If you're looking for a mouse that's virtually silent, Geyes has you covered. This lightweight mouse is also rechargeable and features a comfortable honeycomb design. Friends and family will surely notice the eye-catching design on your new mouse.

Docking station

If you’re looking to use your Chromebook with an external monitor, you’ll likely want to add a docking station to increase the number of available ports. With a good docking solution, you can greatly expand your Chromebook’s versatility. You can use it to connect a mouse, a mechanical keyboard, external storage devices, multiple monitors, or all of them at once.

On top of that, with some docking stations, you can even keep your Chromebook charged as long as it has a compatible USB Type-C port or Thunderbolt port. Docking stations are great for students as well as business users that dock their machine at the office.

    Tiergrade USB-C Docking Station

    Best overall

    The Tiergrade USB C Chromebook docking station is perfect for power users. It offers the widest selection of ports, including two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, two USB 3.0 Type-C ports, two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort port, an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port, 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks, a S/PDIF audio port and a USB 3.0 Type-C port with 60W power delivery. On top of that, the dock also includes a full-sized SD card reader and a microSD card reader.
    Baseus 16-in-1 Docking Station

    Best budget alternative for power users

    The Baseus 16-in-1 Chromebook docking station is a cheaper alternative to the Tiergrade dock with a slightly different port selection. It includes three USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, two USB 3.0 Type-C ports, a USB type-C port with pass-through charging support, an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port, a 3.5mm headphone/mic combo jack, a microSD card slot, and an SD card slot. For display connectivity, it features a VGA port and an HDMI port. However, it only supports screen mirroring for dual external displays.
    NOVOO 8-in-1 USB-C Dock

    Best portable

    The NOVOO 8-in-1 USB C dock is the tiniest Chromebook Docking Station on this list, earning it the most portable title. Despite its tiny size, it packs 3 USB 3.0 Type-A ports, an Ethernet port, a USB Type-C port with up to 100W passthrough charging, an HDMI port, and an SD card reader. That's a lot of ports for something as tiny as this. Makes me wonder why some fruity OEMs can't offer more than two USB Type-C ports on their laptops.
    Anker PowerExpand+ 7-in-1 USB C Hub

    Best budget portable

    If you're not willing to spend $40 on a tiny USB C hub, then the Anker PowerExpand+ should be a better option. It's slightly larger than the NOVOO USB C dock, but features the same number of ports. This includes two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a USB Type-C port for data, a USB Type-C port with pass-through charging support at up to 100W, an HDMI port, and an SD card reader. It should get the job done if you have basic needs.
    Sabrent Universal Laptop Docking Station

    Best for Chrome OS tablets

    The Sabrent Chromebook docking station is a good choice for Chromebooks with a detachable keyboard as it features a stand that you can use to prop up your Chromebook when you're not using the included keyboard. In terms of ports, it offers two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, two USB Type-A 2.4A fast charging ports, an HDMI port, a DVI port, a USB 3.0 input, 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks, and a RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port.
    Targus USB-C Universal Docking Station

    Best with built-in stand

    The Targus Chromebook docking station is a good 2-in-1 option that not only offers a decent selection of ports but also doubles up as an ergonomic stand. It includes 4 USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two DisplayPort ports, 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, a USB Type-C port with 60W pass-through charging support, a headphone / mic combo jack, and a RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port.

Apps and software needed to work from home

With your new hardware ready to go, it’s time to get the apps and software you need to get down to business. First, you’re probably going to need attend a few video meetings if you’re working remotely. Thankfully, Chromebooks have access to the Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet platforms. Google and Zoom recently teamed up to create an improved Progressive Web App (PWA), to improve the Zoom video call experience on Chrome OS. Here are all the productivity apps you need to know about for your ASUS Chromebook CX9.

Video meeting apps

Google Meet is now a default web app, installed on all Chromebooks as of Chrome OS 92. This makes it the best choice for video meetings on your CX9. Of course, you may work somewhere that prefers to use Microsoft Teams or Zoom. The good news is both of these apps are also available as web apps. You can simply access the Teams web app at teams.microsoft.com.

On the other hand, Zoom’s PWA is available on the Google Play Store. To install the app, simply visit the link below and install as you would any other Android app.

Zoom for Chrome - PWA
Zoom for Chrome - PWA
Developer: zoom.us
Price: Free

Android productivity apps

Android apps run on all modern Chromebooks, and that includes the new ASUS Chromebook Cx9. The Google Play Store is the largest app marketplace in the world, providing plenty of productivity apps to use on Chrome OS. Below are some of the more popular picks you might need for working at home. For even more Android app suggestions, check out my full guide to Android apps on Chrome OS.

Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom running on Chrome OS

Lightroom is a photo editor with a fairly intuitive interface. If you’re not quite ready for the endless options in Photoshop, Lightroom might be the app for you. Easy image editing tools like sliders and filters for pictures simplify photo editing. Retouch full-resolution photos, apply photo filters, or start photo editing wherever you are. Experiment with and compare photo edits without losing the original and pick your favorite look.

Photoshop

Photoshop Express on Chrome OS

Professional creators need the power of Photoshop on the go. Adobe’s Photoshop Express app for Android puts that power on your Chromebook. Photoshop Express delivers a full spectrum of tools and effects at your fingertips. Remove noise, instantly correct crooked images, or just use this pro tool to make sweet memes for Instagram.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office app on Chrome OS

Microsoft Office is the most popular productivity suite, offering Android apps for Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and so on. Overall, the Android version of each Office app runs quite well on Chrome OS. Basic editing features are free in all of the apps, but on devices over 10 inches in size — which accounts for most Chromebooks — you’ll need a Microsoft 365 subscription to enable all the features. Unfortunately, the Android version of OneDrive doesn’t work properly on Chromebooks. You can now download Word, Excel, and Powerpoint in a single app, making organizing your app drawer a bit easier.

Linux productivity apps

Linux apps offer even more functionality than the basic Android apps discussed above. If you’re a professional content creator or developer, you’ll definitely want to make use of Linux on your CX9. If you’re unfamiliar with running Linux apps on Chrome OS, see my full guide for details on how this works.

GIMP

  • Download using:

sudo apt-get install gimp -y

GIMP is a full-featured photo editing suite, similar to Photoshop but without the high price. If you’re a graphic designer transitioning to Chrome OS, you’ll find that GIMP is an indispensable tool. The functionality and file types are precisely aligned with what you would expect in other photo editing software. There are many advanced tools like layers, lasso and plenty of brushes to keep advanced users satisfied. If you need a photo editing app on your Chromebook, this is the only way to go.

GIMP running on a Chromebook

Libre Office

  • Download using:

sudo apt install -y libreoffice libreoffice-gtk3

Microsoft Office is the king of word processing on both PC and Mac, but your Chromebook comes with Google Docs as the default word processor. Perhaps you’d like a more robust program for editing documents and spreadsheets? If you need all of the functionality that Microsoft Office offers, Libre Office is a solid replacement. You also get a presentation app, similar to Powerpoint. Libre Office supports a large number of file formats ranging from Microsoft Word to Apple Pages and Keynote. With Libre Office, you’ll easily be able to continue business as usual on your Chromebook.

Libre Office running on a Chromebook

Visual Studio Code

  • Download by visiting the Visual Studio Code download page and downloading the Debian file.

If you’re going to use your Chromebook for coding applications, Visual Studio Code is an excellent code editor. With support for several popular coding languages, you get auto-complete functionality and Git support for version control. With a slick UI, optional extensions, and theme support, this is a robust code editor that developers need on Chrome OS. Frequent coders might also consider picking up a nice docking station for their Chromebook, to enhance productivity.

Visual Studio Code running on a Chromebook

Audacity

  • Download using:

sudo apt-get install audacity -y

For the creators out there, you might need a nice app to record or edit audio. This is an advanced audio editor and recorder that comes in handy when you want to play around with various audio files. Audacity has a lot of features that allow you to create your own unique tracks or remix other songs. There are also many plugins available for Audacity which will allow you to connect to sound equipment and other audio programs. Overall, this is the best audio editing app you can get on your Chrome OS device.

Audacity running on a Chromebook

Windows apps

While Android and Linux apps cover most of the bases for working from home, you may have a few Windows apps you need to run for work. There isn’t a native way to run Windows apps on Chrome OS, but Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS offers a solution for enterprise customers.

A Chromebook running Enterprise will show the managing organization

Parallels Desktop is a full-featured Windows container that runs on Chrome OS. This software allows you to run the full version of Windows, but there are a few important things to be aware of.

The Parallels Desktop software is currently only available at scale to business customers, making this option of little use to individual users at the present time. With Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS, IT departments can enable proprietary and full-featured Windows applications — including native Microsoft Office — on Chrome OS devices, online and offline. You’ll need a Chrome Enterprise upgrade to run Parallels (see screenshot above).

If you’re an IT manager or have an enterprise Chromebook managed by your organization, check out my full tutorial on running Parallels Desktop on a Chromebook.

That’s everything you need to get up and running on your ASUS Chromebook CX9 at home. With the correct hardware and software, this machine is truly amazing for productivity. If you’re using the CX9 for remote work, tell us about your setup in the comments.

About author

Jeff Springer
Jeff Springer

Applied mathematician with a love for Android. I am interested in inverse problems for imaging and integration with camera software for mobile phones.