How Long Should a Laptop Last? The Complete Guide


When you buy a new laptop, you expect it to last you for a few years. Unfortunately, many people have discovered that sometimes laptop lifespan is much shorter. If you’re one of those people, you might be wondering, “How long should a laptop last”? Well, we’ll explain more about it in this guide.

Read on to learn about the lifespan of a laptop.

How Long Should a Laptop Last?

When we talk about laptop lifespan, there are actually two types of lifespans. There is operational life expectancy and the other is valuable life expectancy. The functional lifespan, or life expectancy, indicates how long the laptop will operate effectively.

The functional life-span considers the length of time the laptop will have the ability to run upgraded programs on the marketplace and fulfill their system requirements. Technically, you might have a laptop computer that operates extremely well for over 10 years.

However, it might not be useful for running updated applications. The majority of programs place high demands on your CPU, RAM, and on your graphics card in order to work properly. But an older laptop computer doesn’t have the ability to maintain it.

On the other hand, if you don’t a quick performing laptop, then you should be able to use an old laptop computer past the five-year threshold.

What Is Planned Obsolescence?

Because of planned obsolescence, there’s no definite answer to the question of, “How long should a laptop last”. Your laptop computer could give out sooner than expected, and the culprit is planned obsolescence. It’s a promoted and planned scheme by manufacturers in the computer industry and many other markets.

Planned obsolescence relies on the fact that the laptop you purchased a couple of years back, won’t have the capability to run the software applications of the future. Software program designers, specifically those who deal with games, have a tendency to create software that eats up your computer’s resources.

You will always need a better CPU or a better graphics card to run the current software program version of what you bought just a couple of years prior. You might be able to update applications like the RAM and hard disk on a desktop computer. However, you can not do it on a laptop.

Essentially, you’ll need a new laptop. If you use your laptop to run large applications, then its lifespan might be very short. Therefore, you may find yourself getting a new one after two years or so.

Since planned obsolescence is a thing, it’s a good idea to shop for cheap options for laptops. If it’s going to give out in a couple of years, you might as well get a good deal on it, right?

How Long Should a Laptop Last: Battery Life

The primary contributors to the portability of a laptop are how the laptop is designed and that the power source that’s attached to it. Obviously, the power comes from the battery. Although your laptop could have a long lifespan, your battery will definitely have a shorter life.

As your battery ages, its capacity to hold charge minimizes. Usually, a laptop computer battery lasts between 18 to 24 months, depending on what you use it for. As it nears closer to the end of its lifespan, it won’t hold its charge for long. That’s how you’ll know when it’s time for a new one.

How to Prolong Your Laptop’s Lifespan

Although there are many factors that contribute to how long your laptop will last, there are a few things you can do to extend its life. Here are a few suggestions:

Use it for the Correct Purposes

The best way to care for your laptop is to only use it for what it’s made for. Overclocking is good to some extent, but if you have to do it regularly, then you should think about upgrading your CPU. When it boils down to it, overclocking shouldn’t be done routinely on your laptop.

Change Power Settings

What’s incredible about newer laptop versions is that you can adjust the power settings. Therefore, you can maximize your laptop computer while also minimizing the amount of power it has to use.

There are battery saver options that decrease your screen’s brightness, place your laptop to rest, and much more. Utilizing these features will drastically improve your computer’s functionality long-term.

Close the Programs That You Aren’t Using

This is a really basic method for extending your laptop computer’s life. It’s also quite fundamental. If you’re not using a program, shut it down.

Obviously, you should keep it up if you’re using it frequently while working, but if not, it’s best to close it down. When there are too many windows and programs running, it puts your laptop on overload, which inevitably shortens its life.

Use Your Battery Correctly

Also, don’t forget to use your battery correctly. You shouldn’t overcharge or drain it. The majority of lithium-ion batteries don’t need to be charged completely, so it’s best to understand your laptop’s battery limits.

It’s also a good idea to track your battery’s health and wellness every now and then. That way, you can gauge how well you’re doing with extending its lifespan.

Factors That Contribute to Laptop Lifespan

When trying to determine “how long should a laptop last” there are a few key factors to consider, such as:

The Hardware

The hardware determines out how long your laptop will function properly. To put it simply, if your CPU was made a year earlier, don’t expect it to last very long or at least update the programs that operate on your laptop. If you have a slow laptop that always hangs whenever you click on something, even if you have adequate storage, then that’s a sign that your processor is out-of-date.

However, your CPU is not the only feature that has to be upgraded every few years. Other processors and components like the GPU and the RAM also play a role in the life of your laptop computer. The better your GPU and CPU are, the longer it will last. Also, the higher the RAM storage, the better it can handle jobs.

The quality of your equipment must also be taken into account. Even if your CPU is powerful, that doesn’t mean that it’s made with good quality. But thankfully, trustworthy manufacturers create superior quality equipment, so laptops are better suited for the long-term.

The Use

Exactly how do you use your laptop? Where do you use it? For obvious reasons, a laptop that’s overused won’t last as long as it should because of extensive utilization. The fewer activities you do on your laptop computer, the more you protect it.

For instance, if you only surf the net and check social networks, then you won’t overload your computer too much.
On the other hand, if you using it for games, multimedia manufacturing, or development, you can expect a shorter lifespan. These types of activities require more CPUs, as well as routine overclocking.

Don’t worry if your laptop is designed for games or for multimedia use. If it is, then your equipment can most likely endure more than the average PC. When shopping for a laptop, just make sure you buy one that suits your needs.

The Care

How you care for your laptop definitely affects how long it will last. One of the most standard reasons for a laptop failing is a damaged battery. A battery loses its strength when it’s overcharged. As time goes on, your battery’s capacity to hold power lessens, which results in more charges.
It also helps a lot if you clean your laptop computer. You don’t have to do extensive cleaning, but make sure to wipe it off, dust the keyboard and screen, etc.

While laptops won’t break because of a little dirt, it’s still essential that you keep it clean to make sure that it doesn’t get moisture or dust on the interior. If it does, it’ll slow down your computer and caused problems with the hardware. Also, keep food and drinks away from your laptop.

The last thing you want is to damage it by spilling food or liquids on it.

Buying a Laptop: Get Your Money’s Worth

It would be nice if you could purchase a laptop and it lasts forever—but that’s not reality. However, if you follow the laptop lifespan tips above, you can prolong your computer’s life.

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