We all know the awesome feeling associated with getting a brand-new laptop. Updated hardware and software combine to make for an exciting and engaging user experience. After a few months, this enthusiasm gives way, and your nearly new laptop becomes just another piece of tech.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as laptops are supposed to serve as a tool for our digital lives. But what happens when your computer eventually loses a step? Whether it be laggy software or aging hardware, deciding whether you should repair or replace a laptop can be difficult. After all, with so many different options out there, how can one be sure they are making the right decision?
For most people, this choice comes down to cost. Since a basic laptop starts around $500, it will often be far more affordable to repair the device. However, there are a number of factors that you should consider before making up your mind.
What Problems Affect Your Laptop?
Before you decide to take action on an aging laptop, it is important to figure out just what problem is affecting it. Sometimes, a little time and common sense may be all you need to fix the issue. For troubleshooting help, consider this helpful guide (or any of the many computer help guides available on the Internet).
If you aren’t able to figure out the problem yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may have a family member or friend that knows their way around computers. If not, consider getting the opinion of an IT professional at your workplace. Otherwise, you will likely have to take your laptop to a computer repair shop to get an estimate.
Getting a quote for repair services could cost you as much as $50 to $100, depending on where you live and what device you own. If possible, look for repair shops that will waive their initial consultation fee if you allow them to repair your machine. Deals like this may be marketing gimmicks, but they can help you get a great deal on laptop repair services.
If You’re Dealing with Malware, Be Careful
One of the most common causes of sluggish laptop performance is malware. These pesky computer viruses can really slow down a PC and can sometimes even make a device unusable.
If you’re dealing with malware or spyware, be careful. It may be tempting to move all of your files to a new device but doing so can spread computer viruses as well. Nothing is more frustrating than investing in a new laptop, only to have it quickly ruined by the same malware that affected your old device.
When transferring data, make sure you don’t move malicious files by mistake. Better yet, instead of investing in a new laptop, consider spending a few dollars on anti-malware software. These tools can help you rid your device of troublesome files and restore your laptop to its former glory.
Factors To Consider Before Making Your Decision
Once you have a price estimate for repairs and have ruled out the possibility of malware, it’s time to finally decide whether it’s worth repairing your ailing laptop. While the decision-making process is different for everyone, considering these factors can be helpful:
How much would a new laptop cost?
Many experts believe that your money will be better spent on a new computer if the repair bill is more than one-third the price of a new laptop. Instead of getting lost in the numbers, think of it in terms of benefits. Would a new laptop offer you at least two features or benefits that your current device does not? If the answer is yes, you may want to consider investing in a new laptop.
How old is your laptop?
According to Consumer Reports, if a laptop is relatively new, it is still worth repairing. In other words, if your device is three-to-five years old, it’s likely outdated and needs replacing. Generally, any device under two years old is repairable.
Does it still have a warranty?
Some electronics manufacturers offer a free extended warranty, which can come in handy for situations like this. Even if the warranty is already expired, it’s worth checking with the manufacturer for potential discounts on repairs. Don’t spend any money out of your own pocket for repairs until you are absolutely sure your device’s warranty is expired.
How significant is the problem?
Not all laptop repairs are created equal. If the main circuit board on your device has failed, then it probably isn’t worth repairing. On the other hand, smaller problems like a failed hard drive are far more affordable to address. Regardless, having to deal with any repair is a hassle, and there’s no fixing that.
If You Chose To Repair
You’ve decided to repair your computer, but be careful when handing it over to a repair shop. Unfortunately, not all laptop repair services are created equal. Important factors to consider are whether or not they include a warranty with their services, how long the repairs will take, and what sort of reviews the company has gotten online.
Typically, most reputable repair shops will offer at least a 90-day warranty on their repairs and be able to fix your device in about a week. You may be able to negotiate for other perks as well, so don’t be afraid to ask. More importantly, don’t be afraid to shop around, as this is by far the most effective way to affordably repair your laptop.
If You Chose To Replace
Lastly, if you do opt to replace your outdated device, don’t just leave it up to someone else to dispose of it. Always make sure to remove the hard drive for laptops before letting them go, as this component holds all of your personal data. If this information were to fall into the wrong hands, it could lead to identity theft or worse.
Once the hard drive is safely in your hands, consider disposing of the device at a local electronics recycling center. This is an important last step to help limit the amount of toxic e-waste that is created by old technology.