Unless you were born into wealth, chances are you’ve used at least one laptop well past its best-by date. After all, a laptop is a fairly big investment that you need a fair chunk of cash to acquire. You can tell when a laptop is in need of replacement, but how long should you expect it to last in the first place?
The answer to this question is not academic. Considering the price of different laptops, your new device is an investment. It will be worth spending more money for a laptop that lasts years longer, as you are ultimately saving on buying a new device prematurely.
It is important to remember that the more expensive your laptop, the higher your associated expenses are. You may have to get scheduled insurance for your new laptop if it is particularly costly. As such, your laptop’s life expectancy should reflect what you’re spending on it.
Let’s take a look at how long various laptops last and what this means for your next purchase.
A cheap laptop refers to any laptop that costs less than $700. These laptops do not have a lot of power, and will only suit people who don’t have high expectations from their device. This kind of laptop will last you from 2 to 4 years.
This is obviously a lot shorter than most people expect their laptops to last, and the problem goes beyond having to replace it fairly quickly. A laptop with 4 years maximum will start to slow down almost immediately due to basic software like an Antivirus App. By the time you replace it, it will be frustratingly slow.
Even if you just need a device to use the internet and type up Word documents, a cheap laptop can drive you mad.
But what about laptops that, while not cheap, are not too expensive either? These mid-range laptops can cost up to $1,000 and work far more quickly and efficiently than their cheaper counterparts. However, paying a couple hundred dollars more does not increase a laptop’s life that much more.
A mid-range laptop can be expected to last you between 3 to 5 years. If you’re able to stretch its usage out to 5 years, you have definitely gotten bang for your buck. That said, you may want to consider paying a little bit more for a high-end laptop with a long life.
By high-end laptops, we’re referring to non-specialist laptops that cost in the upper range of devices. If you’re willing to pay $1,000 or more, a Macbook falls into this category and will be worth it. This is because the average Macbook (Air and Pro models) have an expected lifespan of 7 years. While they begin to slow down after a few years, they are still very useful until the 7-year milestone.
The cheapest Macbook is actually available for $999, which means you’re better off going with this option than most of the mid-range options. Even if you splash out on the cheapest Macbook Pro at $1,299, that only amounts to $185 per year of service.
The lifespan of a laptop is not set in stone, however, and will depend in part on how you use it. A laptop that lasts the average person 5 years will not last quite as long for someone who uses their laptop for gaming, graphic design, rendering software, and other activities high on processing power. This can cut a year or two off its expected lifespan.
When buying a new laptop, your instinct may be to reach for the cheaper options. However, even if you save money now, these cheap laptops will break down sooner rather than later. You will have a suboptimal experience and will have to spend money on a new device after just a couple of years.
Take a look at the various high-end laptops and do further research on each model’s expected lifespan. By taking the price in the context of how many years it will give you, you get a better idea of whether it is worth the money.