How Long Should a Laptop Last?

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We all love technology. All day, every day, we’re attached to some device—whether it be a phone, laptop, or tablet. Technology makes the world go round.

Until it breaks, slows down or gets outdated and replaced by a newer model it may become very frustrating.
In today’s day and age, one of the quickest things that can ruin our day is when our computer stops working. Your laptop that was snappy, state of the art, and the fastest thing on the market just a few years ago suddenly seems old, clunky, and slow—if it even works at all.

When this happens, you inevitably find yourself thinking, “I paid so much money for this laptop, shouldn’t it have lasted longer?”

While laptop quality varies based on manufacturer and price, it’s good to know the average age that a laptop should last to so you know whether or not you are getting the full value from your device. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the factors that play into how long a laptop lasts and some averages to keep in mind so you know you are getting your full value.

Factors that go Into a Laptop’s Lifespan

There are a few different ways to think about how long a laptop should last. First is how durable it should be mechanically. Second is how long before certain components and technologies become obsolete.

Mechanics and Materials

When it comes to mechanical durability, you really get what you pay for. Cheaper laptops will usually have lower quality components that break faster than others. Think about the laptop hinge, the screen, the keyboard, and the battery. These are all things that tend to break first.

A cheap laptop may have plastic hinges that come loose or break after excessive use. Keyboards may have keys that pop off or have gaps that allow crumbs and debris to get in the cracks and cause damage. A low quality battery may lose its ability to hold a charge. As you shop around for a laptop, it’s smart to take a look at some reviews online and see if there’s a trend in one specific part breaking consistently for many users.

Components and Tech Advances

Components becoming obsolete is the second big factor. Technology changes fast. A decade ago, laptops that had DVD drives were all the rage. Just a few years before that, you were lucky if your laptop had an internal WiFi card as opposed to having to plug one in.

Nowadays, a removable disc drive is the laptop equivalent to having a head full of gray hair. And when is the last time anyone has even seen a laptop with a port for an external WiFi card?

Other components to consider beyond things like removable drives and cards is CPU, memory, and RAM. Newer, faster CPU chips seem to come out every few years and the hardware of today just isn’t equipped to run the software of tomorrow.

As new advances in technology are being made, it becomes harder and harder to “future-proof” the devices you buy—thus shortening the “usefulness lifespan” of your laptop.

How Long Should Your Laptop Last?

At the end of the day, the biggest factor to how long your laptop should last depends on price. The more money you pay, the higher quality materials your laptop will have so that it lasts longer mechanically. Higher end laptops will also have the latest and greatest, cutting edge components as opposed to cheaper systems that may already be using outdated technology.

As a good rule of thumb, you can expect any laptop under $700 to last about 2-4 years. Between $700 and $1,000, your laptop should last up to 5 years. Anything above that $1,000 threshold, and your device should have the highest quality materials and components—helping it to last up to 7 years.

Taking good care of your laptop can, of course, help it to last as long as possible. Since the screen, keyboard, and battery tend to be the first things to fail, go the extra mile in protecting them. Keep your laptop away from spills, extreme weather, bumps, and shocks. Treat your devices right, and you can be sure they will serve you faithfully for as long as they can. And when the day comes that they’ve done all they could and it’s time for the inevitable upgrade, give us a call and we’ll take it off your hands for you.

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