How Often Should You Replace Your Laptop?

old apple laptop on desk

As useful as computers are, they have a finite lifespan in the sense that they won’t last forever. This is not only due to the constant wear and tear that computers go through on a regular basis but also because technology is continuously evolving, and the demands of this continuously evolving technology force you to use better computers. This is the same case for laptops, which need to be replaced when they begin to become slow. So, in that regard, how often should you replace your laptop?

The lifespan of a laptop will depend on its specs. Laptops with higher and better specs might be able to last for at least 5 years. On the other hand, entry-level and mid-level laptops have shorter lifespans of somewhere between 2 to 4 years depending on their specs and how durable they are.

As amazing as laptops may be, the downside to these machines is that they won’t last forever and will probably only be good for half a decade depending on the specs. This is why you need to keep an eye on your laptop’s condition and on how well it is still running so that you can find out if it already needs to be replaced.

How often should you replace your laptop?

Let’s take a deeper look into how often you should replace your laptop.

This depends entirely on the laptop’s durability and specs because there will be some laptops that may last longer than their cheaper counterparts. As such, laptops that are on the more expensive side of the price spectrum are expected to last longer because they are made to be durable but also and they have specs that will not end up becoming obsolete anytime soon. That’s why expensive laptops that may be north of $1,500 can last for up to 5 years.

On the other hand, the cheaper your laptop is, the more likely you are going to be forced to replace it. That’s because cheaper laptops are made of flimsier parts. Meanwhile, even if you do have a laptop that is on the middle portion of the price spectrum, its specs will end up becoming obsolete in a matter of a few years.

As such, if you have a laptop that is cheaper and weaker in terms of its specs, it will have to be replaced about every 2 to 4 years depending on its durability and specs. Entry-level laptops may need to be replaced every 2 years. Mid-level laptops may last up to 4 years.

Can you upgrade a laptop’s specs?

In the world of computers, laptops dominate the market and are far ahead in terms of sales. That’s because people prefer to use laptops more than desktops due to how laptops are very compact and portable. However, the problem with a laptop is that it has its limits compared to a desktop.

When we are talking about the limits of a laptop, one thing to note is that these are not machines that will last forever. They will eventually end up wearing down or, at the very least, become obsolete in terms of what their hardware and software can do. This is true in today’s fast-paced tech world where computer specs only continue to improve every single year. If that is the case, can you upgrade a laptop’s specs?

The sad thing is that not all of the specs of a laptop can be upgraded. There are only a few select laptop specs that you can actually swap out for new ones, and these are the ones that won’t really matter when it comes to your long-term needs especially because these swappable and upgradable specs are not the most important ones as far as the laptop’s speed is concerned.

So, in that regard, the only laptop specs that are most likely upgradable are its RAM and hard drive. That is, of course, if the motherboard is built to allow you to upgrade these parts as there are some laptops that won’t allow you to expand the RAM or the storage drive.

Meanwhile, important parts such as the processor and the video card are soldered onto the motherboard and cannot be upgraded. Even the screen, keyboard, and trackpad of your laptop cannot be upgraded but can only be replaced with new ones of the same model. This means that, aside from your RAM and storage drive, your laptop will always be the same machine from the first day you bought it.

This is the disadvantage of a laptop when compared to a desktop because desktop components can be swapped out and replaced with upgrades whenever they are possible. And that is why laptops are said to have a very limited lifespan when compared to their desktop counterparts. 

How to tell when a laptop needs to be replaced?

While time is one of the most important factors in determining how long you should be keeping your laptop, there are some tell-tale signs that should tell you that you need to replace the machine as soon as possible even if it is only just a few years old.

Laptop Unusually Slow

A sluggish machine can be a nightmare of a machine to use especially if you want to stay efficient when working on the laptop.

There are some potential causes that may lead to your laptop slowing down. This may be due to the processor being worn down through normal use of your laptop over time. It could also be due to how your laptop’s RAM could no longer handle the tasks that you do regularly.

Whatever the case may be, it is important that you identify the root cause because it may be that the part that is causing the slowness can be replaced such as the RAM. If this works you may be able to get a few years out of it. Although, if all the parts within your laptop can no longer be upgraded and your operating system is upgraded to as far it can go then it may be time to upgrade your laptop.

Operating system issues

There will be some cases where you might notice that there are issues in relation to the laptop’s operating system. Now, this isn’t a problem with the operating system but is more of an issue in relation to how your laptop could no longer handle the upgrades and improvements in the operating system that it is running.

So, when this happens, it means that the laptop’s hardware could no longer keep up with its software. That is a sign that you should replace the laptop because it has become too old to keep up with the demands of the operating system.

Battery issues

The laptop’s battery is its lifeblood because this is what allows it to be portable. Your laptop is also running on its battery regularly even if it is plugged in. So, if the laptop is already showing signs of battery issues such that a fully charged battery will only last for half an hour, you may need to get a new laptop.

However, if the option of replacing the laptop’s battery is open, then by all means try replacing the battery. You may be able to expand the lifespan of your laptop if replacing the battery ultimately solves the issue.

Constant overheating

Overheating is a problem that any aging laptop often faces because of how its cooling system is no longer working as well as it should. There are also cases where overheating happens because the laptop’s parts can no longer keep up with the demands of the regular tasks due to worn out hardware or software. This forces the parts to work harder than they should just so they can keep up with your tasks.

While a few parts can be upgraded such as the RAM and storage, your laptop will eventually die if overheating has become a constant issue for it. Allowing the hardware of your laptop to overheat can lead to those parts dying faster and ultimately your laptop dying faster as well.

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