Let’s face it, as much as we all like getting our hands on a new shiny laptop, it can be expensive having to pay out for a new one and as luck would, or rather wouldn’t have it, laptops have a tendency to break down just when you need them most or when you’re not in a position to immediately replace them.
So, to make sure you’re not getting short-changed by your laptop provider, let’s take a look at how long your average laptop should last, why it will eventually need replacing and if there’s anything you can do to make your laptop and bag last longer.
What’s the average lifespan of a laptop?
If your experience is unfortunately anything like mine, you’re probably going to average it out at around two years. However, in general, you should expect your new laptop to last around three to five years. It all depends on the individual type, model and usage. Like any electronic device, your laptop’s hardware will eventually become obsolete, so even with plenty of good care it simply will not last for ever.
How can I make my laptop last longer?
While you probably won’t be able to simply add on years to your new laptop’s lifespan, there are, however, plenty of good practices that you can apply to make sure that you not only get the longest lifespan possible out of your laptop, but also that it remains efficient and easy to use.
Here are some recommendations for extending your laptop’s lifespan:
- Sign up for the manufacturer’s warranty. This can get you a new laptop should yours die prematurely due to faulty parts or workmanship. Often you can get an extended guarantee by registering the product directly with the manufacturer. You can also look into purchasing an extended guarantee, however, as your laptop won’t last forever, you need to weigh up how much you’ll be spending and carefully check over the terms and conditions of replacement to see if it’s really worth it.
- This one is kind of obvious, make sure your laptop is well protected. This doesn’t just apply to knocks and falls, using in on soft surfaces could also lead to overheating. Be careful during hot and humid months to protect your laptop from moisture and the heat. You will also want to make sure the fan is clear and in good working order, simply removing dust from your vents regularly can help to extend your laptop’s lifespan. Basically keep it clean and safe from falls, liquids, heat and dust, not forgetting to use an appropriate carry bag.
- Keep your system clean and up to date, simply set your laptop to update at time when it’s convenient for you. Also make sure that you have adequate protection from viruses and other forms of malware.
- Connect your laptop to your mains via a surge-protector when you’re charging it up. It might be that once in a blue moon eventuality, but as the saying goes, better to be safe than sorry.
- Protect your internal components from unnecessary stress caused by frequently turning your laptop on and off. If you will be using your laptop again in an hour or so and then again throughout the evening, leave it on in hibernation mode. Only turn it off when you’re not going to be using it for a considerable period of time.
Can laptops be upgraded to last longer?
You can upgrade certain components of your laptop to improve performance and in some cases, extend your laptop’s lifespan. However, it’s important not to make the mistake of throwing a lot of money at an average laptop that sooner or later is going to need replacing. So if your hard drive fails and you replace and upgrade it, then that will keep your laptop going for longer. Just remember if your laptop is nearing its probable end of life then you may be better off investing in a new one. This is often the best answer financially as well as being a considerable time saver, especially if you are not doing the upgrades yourself.
How long should my laptop battery last?
Laptop batteries inevitably wear out with time and lose their charge capacity. An average laptop battery should be useable for between two to four years depending upon its type and how much usage it has undergone. If your laptop battery is failing to hold sufficient charge for your needs, you can easily order a replacement. Replacement batteries are relatively simple to install and can greatly enhance your laptop’s portability.
Can I replace my laptop’s built-in battery?
Laptops with built-in batteries are increasingly common, especially in slimline designs. These batteries are not designed to be replaced with the unfortunate possibility that your battery could fade before your laptop’s hardware does.
How can I extend my laptop’s battery life?
In order to keep your battery going strong, until at least the rest of your laptop starts to fail, here’s some tips on extending your laptop’s battery lifespan.
- Avoid heat. Don’t expose your laptop to hot environments where and when possible, for example, don’t leave it in your car on a hot day or in direct sunlight. It is also important to reduce internal heat by ensuring that your laptop is used on a suitable surface. If you use yours in bed, for example, make sure you use a laptop stand to allow air to circulate for cooling and be sure to regularly clean any air vents.
- Use your battery. If you tend to run your laptop almost always off mains power, take it off every so often. Unlike old-style batteries, today’s batteries cannot overcharge, so you can keep your laptop plugged in without worrying about ruining battery performance, however, you should still occasionally run it on the battery once in a while.
- When you’re using your laptop via its battery, whenever possible, you should avoid running the battery down to below 20%. This will help to keep your battery’s charge capacity at an elevated level. If you frequently run it right down then you will reduce its charge capacity more quickly.
- If you’re not going to be using your laptop for a while, it’s important to store it with a battery level between 50-70% at an ambient room temperature. This will ensure that your battery retains its charge capacity for longer.
Laptops, like any technological piece of equipment, are not designed to last forever. Even if all of their internal parts remain in good working order, their hardware will eventually become obsolete with time and new advances. However, you should be able to get at least three or more good years of service from a standard laptop, possibly more from certain models. Take good care of yours and you may even be able to extend your laptop’s lifespan by another year or so. In any case, taking good care of your laptop will make it more efficient, faster and easier to use, no matter how long it lasts.