How Long Does a Laptop Last? The Ultimate Guide
Your laptop is a powerhouse that can handle anything. It allows you to play games at top settings, and it loads videos in a flash. You’re aware that this performance won’t last forever.
There will be a time when it begins to slow down with age. The question you have is, how long can you enjoy beautiful graphics and a crisp picture before you’ve got to buy a new computer?
How long does a laptop last? You’ll be surprised when you see the answer. Keep reading to learn the average lifespan of a PC and find out how you can keep it going a little longer.
How Long Does a Laptop Last on Average?
The answer to this question is a bit complicated. There’s a lot of factors that go into the lifespan of a laptop. You can sort of judge it based on price. A 500-dollar PC isn’t going to last as long as a 1000 dollar one due to hardware differences.
Still, even a 1500-dollar computer won’t be able to keep going if you don’t take care of it. If you treat your PC right, you’ll probably be able to get a least 5 years of use out of it.
Different Types of Laptops
The type of laptop you buy makes a huge difference when it comes to longevity. A gaming computer with all the bells and whistles is most likely going to keep going longer than your basic consumer-grade computer.
Consumer-grade laptops aren’t packed with all the latest hardware, but they can tackle the basics. If you need a computer that will allow you to browse the web and get a little light work done, you’ll be in business.
These laptops don’t usually come with a huge price tag. That’s because the components are so cheap. The quality of the materials means these PCs will only last for 2 or 3 years.
If you’re looking for a computer that can do it all, look no further than gaming laptops. People whose hobbies don’t involve gaming will buy these laptops for the specs alone. They have a graphics card that makes video editing and photo manipulation a breeze.
They’re packed full of RAM and have the best processors that you can get. It’s thanks to the materials that these laptops have a longer lifespan than consumer-grade ones.
Well, it has a longer lifespan depending on how you use it. Even a top-of-the-line computer will begin to break down if you use it to play AAA game titles at max settings.
It’s also a case of what you spend is what you get. If you buy one of the cheaper gaming laptops on the market, you might get 3 years of use out of it. If you’re willing to spring for one of the more expensive models, it will last for about 5.
Business laptops are even more sturdy than gaming ones. Whereas most consumer-grade PCs come with a plastic chassis, business ones are reinforced with carbon fiber.
They’re also shock absorbent. While we don’t recommend testing this feature, it will allow your laptop to take a beating during your daily commute.
Business laptops are made for those who need to get things done. The hardware packed in these things is nothing to sneeze at. As you can imagine, they can be on the pricey side, but a good one will last for 7 years or more.
As we’ve already established, you can have a top-of-the-line business laptop, but if you don’t take care of it, it’s not going to last for the entire 7 years. How you care for your computer is only one factor that plays into the longevity of your machine.
If your CPU was made during the Stone Ages, your laptop isn’t going to last for too long. The processor won’t be able to keep up with the newer programs that you have on the computer.
A good sign that your CPU is outdated is if it takes a while to load an app. This is especially true if your laptop still has plenty of memory to play around with.
Your PC’s processor isn’t the only piece of hardware that matters. It’s hard to render photos or videos of any kind when you have an old GPU.
The standard amount of RAM that laptops should have is 4GB. If your current computer has anything less than that, you need to look into buying a laptop.
It’s also important to note that powerful hardware doesn’t equal quality. A processor that seems good may go out in a few months if you don’t buy your computer from this company or at least one that’s reputable.
If you’re only using your laptop to browse through social media and write spreadsheets, you’re not going to be putting too much of a demand on the hardware. These activities use little to no processing power.
On the flip side of this, if you edit videos on a normal basis and play the latest games, you’re going to be putting a huge strain on the machine. The computer system can’t handle that kind of demand long-term unless it’s built to do so.
How to Make Your Laptop Last Longer?
There are ways that you can make your computer last past its expected lifespan. Replacing a laptop won’t be necessary anytime soon as long as you follow these steps.
Change Your Power Settings
Most newer laptop models allow you to play around with the power settings a little. The less juice that the PC uses, the less wear and tear that it goes through.
Take some of the strain off your computer by adjusting your screen brightness. You can also set your laptop to go to sleep after a few seconds.
Not only will doing this help your laptop breathe a much-needed sigh of relief, but it will also make the battery last longer before you have to start hunting around for an outlet.
Use the Laptop for Its Intended Purpose
If you bought a 500-dollar consumer-grade laptop, don’t try to run a AAA game title on it. In fact, it might not even be able to handle small indie titles without struggling.
If you want your computer to last, you have to use it for its intended purposes, and that’s it. The more you overclock the hardware and push the computer, the more years you’re going to tick off its lifespan.
If your computer can play games, make sure that you run them in the right settings. If your computer starts to slow down or sounds like it’s going to take off into orbit, that’s a sign that you need to turn things down a notch.
Take Care of the Battery
Many laptop owners don’t know the proper way to take care of their batteries. It can be a little tricky. First of all, if your laptop is fully charged, unplug it.
Leaving it plugged in all the time will kill the battery’s lifespan. This being said, you shouldn’t let your computer’s battery drain all the way either. It’s all about balance.
Clean Your Computer
When you’re playing a game or working late, you’re most likely to bring snacks over to your laptop. Chips are almost everyone’s go-to but they come at a price. The crumbs can get stuck in your laptop keys.
It doesn’t seem like it, but debris can do some serious damage. To remove the big crumbs, turn your laptop upside-down. You can use a can of compressed air to tackle the rest.
Next, you’re going to open up your computer. When you flip it over, you should see a panel that you can remove with a screwdriver. Once you get it open, take that can of compressed air to it.
In many cases, laptops aren’t meant to be opened. If yours doesn’t have a panel that comes off, spray the canned air into your computer’s fan. Don’t forget to wipe off your screen every now and again, as well.
Close Programs That You’re Not Using
Another thing that can put a strain on your computer is background programs. Having one or two running shouldn’t hurt anything, but any more than that will bog your laptop down.
A good way to find out what you have open is to use your task manager. There’s a tab that will list off the programs that are running without your knowledge. Once you close them, you should see a noticeable difference in your computer’s performance.
Make a Few Upgrades
Just because your laptop is running slow, doesn’t mean that you have to toss it out and buy another one. You can save a little money by upgrading the hardware. It’s a snap to replace one stick of RAM for another.
Keep in mind that not are laptops are eligible for upgrades. Check to see if you can open the back of the computer before you waste your money. It’s also a good idea to do your research to find out what parts your computer is compatible with.
Use a Cooling Pad
If your laptop overheats, it will turn off on you. Losing a bit of work due to an unexpected shutdown is the least of your worries, however. If you let your computer overheat too often, it will fry your hardware.
The best way to stop that from happening is to buy a cooling pad. It’s an accessory that blows cold air into your laptop from below. It’s a simple device that you plug into the PC via one of its many USB ports.
Signs You Need a New Laptop
No matter how long you try to put off the inevitable, there will come a time when none of the upgrades in the world can save your computer. It’s important that you recognize the signs so you can replace the laptop instead of paying for expensive repairs.
Hardware Compatibility Issues
Again, upgrading your computer’s CPU and trading up your graphics card for a better one is a great way to breathe new life into your machine. The problem is that these upgrades have to be compatible with your laptop’s motherboard.
Getting a little ambitious with one upgrade will lead to you having to make another and so on and so forth. Eventually, you’ll spend more money on hardware than you would have spent simply replacing the computer.
Noisy Computer Fans
The first sign that a computer is on its last legs is a noisy computer fan. If you’re doing high-intensity work, and your computer sounds like it’s taking off into outer space, that’s one thing.
If your fans start going before you even click on anything, that’s another.
Things happen, and technology is fickle. Your trackpad may randomly decide to stop working, or you’ll get a blue screen without knowing why.
Little fixes won’t hurt your piggy bank too much. When you get into hardware issues, however, your bank account will suffer. Buying a new laptop is a lot cheaper than replacing multiple components at once.
How Much Life Can You Get Out of Your Laptop?
How long does a laptop last? It depends on what kind it is and what hardware is packed into it. An everyday laptop with 4GB of RAM and an outdated CPU isn’t going to have the same lifespan as a top-of-the-line business computer with quality hardware.
Still, even the best laptop can fall apart if you don’t take care of it. We hope that you’re able to use the tips that you’ve read here today to get the most out of your machine.
For more tips that will allow you to keep your laptop going like the well-oiled machine that it is, visit the computer section of our blog.