It is the type of question you ask yourself every time your computer starts to get a little slow or act a little weird: how often should you replace a laptop?
Laptops don’t tend to become obsolete as quickly as they used to, but you still need to keep track of its age so that you can know when to start saving.
We’ve done some research to see the average lifespan of a laptop and help you determine whether you should upgrade a computer or just get a new laptop altogether.
How Often Should You Get A New Laptop?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a golden rule on age for a laptop or when it should be replaced.
It will depend mainly on the following:
● What you use your laptop for;
● How you’ve taken care of your laptop;
● How it is acting
For a laptop that doesn’t have any problems, it can last upwards of seven or eight years. However, if you want to have the latest apps and programs, then you may need to upgrade every three or so years.
Sometimes, it will be possible to upgrade an existing laptop instead of buying a new laptop altogether.
Signs You Need A New Laptop
There are some pretty standard, tell-tale signs that you need a new laptop or that you need to update it. While everyone will experience different signs, there are a few that are pretty universal. They include:
Your System Seems To Be Running Slowly
If you notice that your laptop is running slow, lagging, and freezing, it could be that you need a new laptop. It may also take longer to boot up and power down, while specific programs and apps could take longer to load.
Over time, you may have to force restart your computer more often than not. Beware that this could just be a sign that you need to update your computer too.
Your Computer Randomly Shuts Down On You
Another problem that you will see as your computer ages is that it will start to randomly shut down when you are in the middle of tasks. This can often be attributed to overheating because your computer is working too much.
This could be caused by the system being too old to handle what you are doing or it could just be that the fan on your computer has given out, and it isn’t helping to expel any of the hot air. No matter what, it is a warning that something serious is going on.
It Is Too Bulky
Laptops are getting easier and more comfortable to carry around, and older laptop stick out like well, a brick. If your laptop isn’t easy to carry around or throw into a bag, you might want to start looking for something that will be more convenient.
While not everyone moves around with their technology, it is good to prioritize that if you decide to upgrade.
You Get The Blue Screen Of Death
The Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) is a big deal and it can mean that something serious is going on with your computer. Most people think it is okay if their computers show this screen and then reboot just fine, but this stop error means that there is something going on with the operating system.
If you can’t troubleshoot on your own, take it to a repair shop. They will tell you if they can fix it or if you should just replace your laptop.
You Are Starting A New Job Or Phase Of Your Life
Sometimes when you should replace your laptop doesn’t depend on the laptop at all, it will depend on you. Many people suggest getting a newer, better laptop when you are making a big change in your life. This could be when you are moving from high school to college or from college to the job market.
Your old laptop has probably been through a lot and it is better to start fresh with something that doesn’t have all of your old files on it.
The same can be said if you are switching careers. Using a laptop that has your old files could be a security and liability hazard.
You Can’t Load New Software
Another common issue is that when computers start to age, they become incompatible with newer software and technology. Once you start to recognize this, it is time to buy a new laptop, especially if it impacts your performance at work or school. You will have some warning time here, so you can start to save.
Your Laptop Doesn’t Have Good Security
One thing that needs to improve on laptops continually is the security. This is because there is a rise in cybercrimes and your computer absolutely needs to have the ability to run and accept any and all software updates. If your system cannot update, your data will not be secure.
This means you will be open to hackers, viruses, and malware.
Should You Upgrade Your Existing Laptop Of Just Buy A New One?
There isn’t a rule about whether or not you should upgrade your computer or replace it. Often, upgrading is reserved for when you want to upgrade a specific aspect of your laptop, not when it starts to get slow.
Most laptops aren’t all that easy or convenient to upgrade. Desktop computers have ports and features that are easier to get to, so you may hear about them getting upgraded.
For laptops, most upgrades will cost as much or even more than a suitable replacement. The only difference here is when you look at gaming laptops, which tend to be more expensive.
If you do decide to upgrade your laptop, there are a few main areas where you should look:
● Hard Drive
● Optical Drive
● Video Cards
If you are able to look at your computer and figure out what is causing it to work slowly or malfunction, then you will have a pathway towards improvement. Even so, depending on the age of your laptop, you may have trouble sourcing the new parts.
You may want to upgrade the memory before you try anything else, as this is the easiest and most cost-effective upgrade. The more memory your computer has, the more data it can process. Memory upgrades vary in cost but can make all the difference in the performance of your laptop.
Hard drive upgrades, on the other hand, aren’t as cheap, but are still effective. For a regular user, hard drive space roughly doubles roughly every two years, and the amount of data that gets stored is double as well.
This is largely because we use our phones to store digital audio, video, and pictures, and that gets transferred to our computers. If you want a bigger laptop, instead of replacing it, purchase a new internal or external hard drive.
It is hard to find a new laptop with an optical drive, so if you want one, you may have to upgrade your existing laptop. You can also simply buy a DVD burner. They are easy to install and have the extra speed and functionality to impact your laptop.
For gamers, upgrading the video card will be important if you find that your laptop cannot keep up with the graphic demands of advanced gamers or complex programs. Graphics cards aren’t expensive, but they can help to make your laptop much more effective, especially when gaming.
The most impactful change is also the most expensive and difficult: upgrading the processor. This is a really difficult thing to do because updating the CPU may lead to even more updates throughout the laptop, including to the motherboard and memory. Often, it is better to just replace your laptop.
How To Lengthen The Life Of Your Laptop
If you want to lengthen the life of your laptop so that you don’t have to replace it as frequently, there are a few different things you can do. Of course, buying a higher quality laptop should help, but there are other steps you can take as well.
Keep your laptop clean.
Dust and clean out your laptop regularly so that the fans and cooling systems don’t overwork. When these start to slow down and burn out, it is soon time to say goodbye to your computer.
Keep it cool.
There are reasons computer labs are always so cold: machines that are kept cool will last longer.
Keep your data on the cloud.
If you are going to store a lot of data, keeping things on the cloud can help to free up space for different processes and games.
Replace the battery.
A lot can be traced down to the battery. If your battery isn’t operating at full power, it can feel like a lot is going wrong with your computer.
Buy a good laptop to start.
Once again, buying a better quality laptop will beget a better lifespan. It really can be that simple.
In the end, the average laptop lifetime will depend on how well you take care of your computer, what you do with it, and what your expectations are.
If you are looking for a new laptop, it is important to do some research and figure out which models tend to last the longest.