It's hard to know whether a laptop is worth fixing or is it time for a new one. But we can lend a hand so you can make a smart, sustainable decision. Here's how to decide whether to repair or replace your laptop.
The average laptop lasts 4–8 years. Why the disparity? There are a lot of factors to consider—from how often you use your machine to how you maintain it. But if your laptop is five years old or more, paying for a major laptop repair probably isn't worth it since you'll likely have to buy a new one soon.
If your laptop is 3 or 4 years old, figure out how bad the problem is before spending money to fix it. If all you need is a new battery or new Solid State Drive, you might want to consider a repair. A new computer might be the better option if the damage is more extensive.
If a laptop costs three-quarters as much as a new one—or more—, consider getting a new one, especially if your machine is over four years old. If your computer is only 1 to 4 years old, it's probably worth fixing.
Have you been taking good care of your machine? Can it run the latest operating system? If it can't, you're leaving yourself vulnerable to viruses and other security risks—so a new laptop may be your best option.
Keep in mind—if you haven't run a software update in a while, and your laptop's main issue is speed, check to see if installing an update solves your problem. Several other ways exist to improve laptop speed and memory without buying a new device. For instance, you could upgrade your laptop's hard drive to a Solid-State Drive (SSD) or boost its memory for an affordable price.
Before you buy a new laptop, see what models are coming out soon. You may also want to consider upcoming sales and price drops—back-to-school season and Black Friday are the best times of year for laptop deals.
Are you happy with your machine? You can keep it even if it's several years old. If all you need is a simple word processor and a way to get online, you can keep using your laptop well past the 4–5-year mark. If you want to take advantage of new features, more applications, and more storage space, consider getting a new one. If you buy a new machine, make sure to wipe your old device of any personal information and then recycle it.