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The question “how long do laptops last?” depends on how you define “lasting”. If you mean the laptop’s chassis age, then it can be quite long. If you’re referring to its performance age, then again, it depends on several factors.
So let’s take a look at each of these.
In this article, we’ll look at:
- How long an average laptop lasts
- Factors determining a laptop’s age
- When to buy a new laptop
- How to make your laptop last longer
As a bonus, we’ve listed the longest-lasting laptops we know of (and we have reviewed hundreds of laptops) – be sure to read till the end! That said, let’s begin.
Table of Contents
- How Long Does an Average Laptop Last?
- Factors Determining a Laptop’s Life
- When to Buy a New Laptop?
- How to Extend the Life of Your Laptop? 6 Valuable Tips
- What Should I Do with My Old Laptop?
- Different Laptops Brands Have Different Lifespans
- 3 Best Long-Lasting Laptop Choices in 2023
- FAQs About the Average Life of a Laptop
How Long Does an Average Laptop Last?
An average laptop lasts between 3 to 5 years, though there’s no hard rule to calculate it exactly. It could be longer or shorter than this range, depending on how you use it.
For example, if you overclock your gaming laptop, it won’t last as long because overclocking strains the hardware.
But, if you use it to surf the web, watch movies, and play games it can handle, it will last longer.
Factors Determining a Laptop’s Life
There are 3 main factors that determine how long a laptop will live: build quality, specifications, and maintenance. Let’s look at them in-depth.
1) Build Quality
Like all products, laptop quality varies from brand to brand and even model to model. And obviously, higher-quality laptops last longer.
Taking an even closer look, build quality can be broken down into external and internal build quality.
External build means how well a laptop has been manufactured on the outside. For instance, either plastic or metal is used in manufacturing a laptop.
- Plastic laptops are strong, but can’t withstand too much impact (i.e. hitting the floor).
- Metal chassis can withstand larger impact, but the laptop body doesn’t absorb it and passes it to internal components.
The question isn’t which of these is better. Instead, it’s about the final product quality: if it’s sturdy and robust, the laptop will last long.
Internal build quality defines how durable is the hardware installed inside the device. Some manufacturers put sub-par components (i.e. RAM, SSD, motherboard, etc.) to keep the costs low. Such machinery wears out faster, making the laptop last shorter.
Fun fact: some brands have committed to high-quality production – more on this later – and if you pick the right one, you can rest assured of the quality.
Though build quality is important, the hardware used has just as big a part to play in a laptop’s longevity. Here’s how:
As software (games, tools, operating systems, etc.) updates, they consume more RAM, storage, graphics processing power, and energy. This wears out the computer over time.
Here is a rule of thumb for how long a laptop will be relevant based on the price. Yes, the price has a direct correlation with the components in the laptop:
- Less than $700: 2-4 years
- $700-$1,000: 3-5 years
- $1,000 or more: 4-7 years
This, again, is a general breakdown of what you can expect (in terms of lifespan) out of a new laptop. How you use a laptop will play a significant role in how long your laptop lasts.
As time passes by, the hardware inside the laptop may catch dust particles resulting in slower operations. With our comprehensive guide, you can cleaning your laptop’s hardware, screen, and keyboard. Further down, we give 6 valuable tips on how to extend the life of your laptop.
In short, a laptop’s life is proportional to:
- its internal and external engineering;
- the laptop’s specifications, and;
- how carefully you use it.
When to Buy a New Laptop?
Overheating when running your everyday software, quicker battery deaths, memory problems, and lagging issues are all indications that your laptop is close to the end of its lifespan. The more of these issues you have back to back or together, the closer your laptop is to the end of its life.
Ok, so when to replace a laptop? Let’s expand on this more.
Overheating & Lagging
If your laptop is constantly overheating (fans are running) and lagging, it’s a sign that there isn’t much time left from the laptop’s life. You can try upgrading it, and/or cleaning the internal components from dust to improve the performance.
Laptops have lithium-ion batteries, which have a charge cycle of around 500-1,000 times. This means that after these batteries charge and discharge 500-1,000 times, they start losing their charge-holding capacity.
Your laptop battery’s lifespan will not be long if you always have your laptop plugged in. So even if you charge your laptop after every two days, the battery will roughly last only for about 3-5 years.
Yes, it is possible to extend the life of your laptop by replacing the battery with a new one in most cases. Sometimes the replacement battery is not available as the model is discontinued or it’s simply too expensive.
A few years ago, the 1080p HD display was considered prestigious and top-of-the-line. Today the same display is deemed to be average and is pretty much the standard display for most laptops.
Even though poor display quality might not be an essential factor for most, people in creative work fields like graphic design or video editing simply can’t ignore it.
Unlike some other laptop components like the RAM or the hard disk, upgrading the display panel is not possible. This leaves consumers no choice other than to buy a new laptop to enjoy a better display quality.
Back around 2015, 4GB RAM was the standard. But today, you’ll likely experience lag on systems with memory below 8GB.
While it’s not difficult to upgrade RAM, some models are not upgradeable. So be sure to select a laptop where the RAM can be upgraded.
How to Extend the Life of Your Laptop? 6 Valuable Tips
Remember we said that a laptop’s life depends on usage? Well, take the following 6 simple steps to extend it considerably.
1) Treat it gently
Keep your laptop cushioned while traveling and avoid bumping it into things. Take special care of the hinges, as this is where most laptops break apart – don’t stretch it too far back.
2) Keep it cool
Computer hardware performs best under low temperatures. Apart from downgrading your laptop’s performance, overheating can also permanently damage it. Try to work in well-air-conditioned environments or use laptop cooling pads.
3) Use its original charger
While you can charge your laptop with another charger, doing it regularly is a slow poison for your laptop’s battery. Why? Because two different laptops have similar charging ports does not mean they have the same configuration.
An incompatible current rating severely weakens your laptop’s battery, and even worse, it can cause it to explode sometimes.
4) Charge it only up to 80%
Now, this one is a little tricky. As we mentioned earlier, laptop batteries have a charge cycle of about 500-1,000 times. Maintaining your laptop’s battery between 20% to 80% can add 500 to 800 more charge cycles to it.
Here’s a little hack: first, check your laptop’s completed charge cycles, and then use third-party tools on Windows and on Mac to limit the maximum charge threshold for your laptop’s battery – it will last longer this way.
5) Upgrade when necessary
Most users make the mistake of overusing their devices. Now, if you’re using an entry-level laptop to run high-end games and video editing software, it is bound to overload the hardware and overheat. To avoid this, make sure to upgrade your laptop’s configuration to – or buy that can – match your requirements.
6) Clean your device regularly
Sounds cliche, we know. But, what most people miss out on is cleaning the air vents.
Dust particles block the airflow, which stresses the laptop’s cooling mechanism. Performing regular cleanups can significantly improve your laptop’s performance and lifespan.
With these 6 tips, you’ll see an impressive boost in your laptop’s overall health and longevity.
What Should I Do with My Old Laptop?
Now if you decide to get a new laptop, taking care of the existing one is a good idea.
Sell it – the most common resort would be to sell it. You can even sell it for parts on eBay for example. However, if you think you can still use it to work on smaller and less power-intensive applications, you can use it until it’s no longer feasible.
Donating it – you can donate your laptop and you can get a tax deduction. Just be sure to keep track of what you’ve donated. A few places worth checking out are World Computer Exchange and the Giving Center.
Recycle it – as a last resort you can recycle it. Go to Earth911.com and type in ‘laptop’ and your zip code.
Different Laptops Brands Have Different Lifespans
Every brand has its own average laptop lifespan, as they have a varying commitment toward longevity. Let’s see this using the table below.
|Avg. Laptop Lifespan||Known for|
|Apple||Up to 7 years||Endurance and build quality|
|HP||3-6 years||Affordable pricing for high-end computers|
|Dell||3-5 years||Premium display and quality graphics|
|Acer||3-5 years||Affordable and durable|
|ASUS||3-5 years||Reliability, performance, and durability|
|Lenovo||3-4 years||Affordability, reliability, and superior performance|
|Microsoft (Surface)||3-4 years||Sleek design and superior performance|
The data above is based on hundreds of reviews and our own testings. Interestingly, some people have reported that their laptops wore out within 1.5-2 years while others claim that the same laptop is still working for them, even after 5-6 years.
This again proves the point that a laptop’s life ultimately depends on usage.
Brands Known For Longest-Lasting Laptops
When it comes to long-lasting laptops, the three laptop brands that immediately strike our minds are Apple, HP, and Dell. All of them are deserving contenders in the quest to be the best laptop brand. In terms of durability and long life, the top spot goes to Apple.
While other laptop brands focus more on cost-effective machinery, Apple is dedicated to offering some of the most durable and long-lasting laptops in the market.
Don’t miss out on our comprehensive article covering the Best Laptop Brands! Discover which brands made it to our top picks and find your perfect match today.
3 Best Long-Lasting Laptop Choices in 2023
Now that we know the top brands that make the longest-lasting laptops, let’s look at the best models they make.
Apple uses premium low-carbon aluminum chassis and sleek design for their MacBooks, making them amazingly durable. Additionally, they make their own operating system and CPUs for their MacBooks. The software support and, over time, optimizations help these laptops to stay relevant for much longer.
The MacBook Pro is packed with a powerful hardware mix that stays relevant for years. Additionally, it comes with one of the best screens on the market. Another great quality of the MacBooks is that they have an excellent resale value, so if you ever feel the need to upgrade your laptop again, you can always fetch a reasonable price for it.
Dell is another highly reputable brand that isn’t far behind Apple when making laptops with exceptionally long life and excellent build quality. Dell Inspiron 14 is our favorite example.
This beautiful laptop is packed with powerful hardware configuration. It comes with a hi-res 2.2K display and many nifty features like a fingerprint sensor and lid sensor.
If you are looking for a durable and long-lasting laptop for creative applications like video editing or graphic designing, this is a great choice.
With competitive pricing, HP is one of those well-respected brands that offer a mix of specifications and value. The HP Pavilion 15 certainly has heads turning as it offers best-in-class build quality and superior performance. It is equipped with the latest generation of hardware.
It is loaded with everything you need as a working professional, including long battery life and a touchscreen display. It also comes with a superfast charger that can refuel your battery from 0 to 50% in under 45 minutes.
FAQs About the Average Life of a Laptop
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about how long laptops last.
Do PCs last longer than Macs?
Most Windows-based PCs do not last longer than MacBooks. In fact, MacBooks outlast most computers with a heavy margin due to their premium build quality and frequent software updates.
How long can a laptop last if used regularly?
A regularly used laptop lasts around 3-5 years, usually. However, it also depends on several factors like the laptop’s build quality, technical specifications, and how you treat it.
How long will a gaming laptop last?
On average, gaming laptops can last more than 5 years. If they are handled with the utmost care, some even last as long as 10 years.
How many hours should a laptop’s battery last?
A typical laptop has a battery that lasts for up to 5 to 7 hours. However, it depends on the usage. If you are simply watching a movie, your laptop can last even longer, and if you are using it to play or develop games, the same laptop will run out of power sooner.
Is a 7-year-old computer worth fixing?
A 7-year-old computer is probably not worth fixing. Seven years is a long time for a laptop, and computers change drastically in this duration. Even if you fix it, you won’t be able to run many applications that are designed for today’s computers.
The average life of laptops varies between 3 and 5 years. A laptop with good build quality can last as long as 10 years with proper care and upgrades from time to time – in the best-case scenario.
Has your laptop lasted long? Are you confused if you should replace it or not? Feel free to reach us out in the comments below – we are happy to help!
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