How Long Do Laptops Last? & Learn How To Make It Last Longer

Purchasing a new laptop can be a very big investment depending on which type of laptop you are looking for and the size of your budget.

Each laptop is designed to last for a certain period of time. Some laptops are built to last a lot longer than the others, while some may last a while, but will slowly start to struggle as more demanding software hits the market.

a portable Macbook Pro sat on a garden table

So how long do different types of laptops last? While the longevity of a laptop varies among different models, generally, an everyday use laptop should last 3-4 years on average. Business-grade laptops can last for up to 5 to 7 years, while gaming laptops can last for up to 7-8 years if handled properly. 

However, other factors may come into play which will affect the maximum lifespan of a gaming laptop.

In this article, we will discuss these factors and determine how long laptops last.

How Long Do Laptops Last On Average?

As discussed above, laptops should last for up to 4-5 years on average. But there is also the possibility that a laptop may last for around 10 years if properly looked after. In this article, we will discuss how the lifespan of your laptop can be affected by how you use it as well as many other factors.

Everyday Use Laptops

In terms of usability, some models of laptops can’t even last for up to 4 years and may struggle to keep up with the demands of the latest applications. Affordable entry-level laptops are the ones that usually fall victim to this factor.

These laptops usually contain the lowest mobile processor product line, such as the Intel Celeron and AMD APUs, and can last for up to 4 or 5 years, if you are lucky enough and know what you are doing.

Despite their performance and a shorter lifespan, these entry-level laptops are good for everyday use and are capable of simple tasks such as Internet browsing, video streaming, and some student and office work.

The average lifespan for entry-level laptops is 3 to 4 years.

Here are 7 awesome everyday laptops for under $500.

Business Grade Laptops

If you want more performance out of your laptop, you may want to consider buying a business-grade laptop.

While this laptop costs more than an everyday use laptop, it also offers a significant increase in terms of performance. A longer lifespan is also a bonus.

Business-grade laptops also tend to be more sturdy as they are tended to be used on the road more so are suspect to more knocks.

These laptops are very much capable of everyday tasks and can do more challenging tasks such as video and graphics editing. They are also capable of light gaming since the majority of these laptops already have a dedicated graphics card installed within the unit.

a business grade laptop sat on a mans knee working on it

This product-line ranges from mid-range to more expensive models that can be used for business due to their ability to complete more professional tasks.

Unlike gaming laptops, business-grade laptops don’t normally have a powerful dedicated graphics card installed but they at times have a CPU that is just as capable as those found in gaming laptops.

The average lifespan for a business-grade laptop is 5 to 7 years.

Gaming Laptops

Now here we are with the best among the three different choices – the gaming laptop. These high-end laptops fall within a very vast pricing range, this is because a gaming laptop can cost from under $1000 to as much as $9000 in a few crazy cases.

Gaming laptops are built with a high-performance dedicated graphics card to cater to the demands of games.

Acer Predator gaming laptop

Aside from the GPU, gaming laptops are also designed to withstand heavy usage, aided by its more efficient cooling system.

It can maintain much lower temperatures while delivering some excellent performance. With this, it is expected that gaming laptops should last longer as less strain is put on all of the laptop’s individual hardware.

The average lifespan for a high-end gaming laptop is as much as 7-8 years depending on its usage.

Here you can read reviews on 11 high end 17 inch gaming laptops.

Two Types of Lifespan: Operational Lifespan and Useful Lifespan

So we have already talked about all of the different laptop’s lifespans, the laptop’s lifespan is the life expectancy of a laptop.

Some laptops can last up to 5 years, some up to 7 years, some may even last for up to 10 years. But these laptop lifespans that we have discussed are the average operational lifespans of a laptop. So what is an operational lifespan?

Operational Lifespan

An operational lifespan refers to the life expectancy of a laptop in terms of its operational capabilities. This means that your laptop can still operate and run programs properly within this period.

But just because a laptop can run for up to 5, 7, or even 10 years, it doesn’t mean that all of them are still useful in those final years.

a very old Celeron laptop that is still operational but has passed it useful lifespan

You may be able to turn on your laptop and run basic applications, but it may struggle to keep up with the latest applications.

Always keep in mind that from time to time, whenever there’s an update or release of new applications, it is expected that the requirements for that particular application would also increase.

Useful Lifespan

If the operational lifespan refers to how long your laptop will still be operational, a useful lifespan on the other hand refers to how long your laptop can be able to keep up and run those advanced and modern programs.

Since those higher-end laptops are built with a fast processor, larger memory, and better graphics, they have a higher life expectancy in terms of usability compared to those low-end laptops.

Planned Obsolescence

Aside from the operation lifespan and useful lifespan, a laptop’s life expectancy may also become shorter for another reason. This is due to planned obsolescence.

Planned obsolescence refers to your laptop becoming obsolete after a certain period of time, which means that the lifespan of your laptop will be limited as to what has been designed by the manufacturers.

This happens when a manufacturer stops providing updates on their previous products. This is common in every industry and not just in the laptop industry.

This can be an example of a business strategy, as consumers will be forced to buy a new model whenever their products become obsolete.

What Dictates a Laptop’s Lifespan?

When buying a laptop, we want to choose the ones that we can futureproof so that we can keep it for as long as possible.

We don’t want those laptops that will only last for 2 or 3 years and would keep struggling with the latest programs, making them useless incredibly quickly.

So what exactly dictates the laptop’s lifespan? How can we know that a particular laptop is going to last longer? What are these factors? Is it the price? Partly. But the most significant factor that dictates the laptop’s lifespan is the hardware itself.

“But doesn’t the most expensive laptop have better hardware?” Well, most of the time they do.

However, there are cases where older laptop models have just as powerful hardware, but at a lower price. Making investing in a newer and more expensive model quite redundant.

But, this does mean that the older laptop also has older hardware, thus, will have a shorter life span.

In this section, we will discuss the factors that dictate a laptop’s lifespan.

CPU

The CPU or the processor is one of the most significant factors in a laptop’s lifespan. Since not all of us can afford an i7 or i9, you should choose the best CPU available for your budget.  This will ensure a long-lasting laptop.

a AMD Ryzen 5 3600 CPU

Unlike the screen and motherboard that can break easily due to hard bumps, the CPU is considered as one of the most durable parts inside the laptop. You can utilize this feature by choosing a CPU that will keep up with the advanced programs in the future.

System Memory

Your system memory or RAM also plays a huge factor when it comes to a laptop’s lifespan. In the previous section, we have covered how the latest applications also require higher system requirements. This in many cases is the applications demanding more RAM.

From time to time as updates occur, applications will require more RAM as it will start to take up more resources.

An example is that back in the early 2010s, a computer with only 2GB of RAM would have sufficed for your daily activities, and having 4GB at that time was even better.

Today, 4GB of RAM is barely the minimum for almost every application, think about how this will progress even further as the years go on.

GPU

Aside from the CPU and the system memory, another factor that comes into play is the GPU.

Almost every year, both AMD and Nvidia release a new product line of GPUs, in which each new product line, there is an increase in performance compared to the previous versions.

For this reason, software developers will also upgrade their applications by applying more advanced graphics to adapt to newer technologies.

But how about those laptops with older GPUs? Just because the application is new, doesn’t mean your old hardware cannot handle it.

They might still be able to run these applications but expect that the performance of your laptop will degrade over time, especially with applications that rely heavily on the graphics processing power.

With this in mind, it is very important to consider the GPU when buying a new laptop. If you are a gamer, I would recommend setting the GPU as your top priority.

Storage

Another thing to consider for a laptop’s lifespan is the storage since this is where you are going to store everything, including your operating system and most used applications.

Keep in mind that every application is also getting larger in terms of size whenever they upgrade to a newer version.

In choosing a laptop’s storage, you might want to consider the speed and size. The traditional storage methods such as an HDD with a huge amount of space is a good option for storing files such as images, video files, documents, and other related files.

But it is also highly recommended to purchase a laptop with a faster drive, like a solid-state drive, as this is where you are going to install your operating system and your most-used applications.

a Sandisk SSD

These applications may include but are not limited to, operating systems, heavy games, office tools, and photo and video editing software.

There are reports that some users have noticed a significant increase in performance after installing an SSD into their old laptops.

What You Are Using the Laptop for Matters

The lifespan of a laptop will also depend on the types of usage. If you are going to use your laptop mostly for emails, Internet browsing, video streaming, and some light office tools, you can expect that the useful lifespan of your laptop will last for up to 5 years, and maybe even more if you know how to take good care of it.

On the other hand, if you are going to use your laptop for heavy applications such as content creation software and playing AAA titles, the useful lifespan of your laptop may not last that long as these applications upgrade very fast and using an old laptop may cause some performance issues.

What Type of Things Would Cause a Laptop to Die or Breakdown?

The most painful moment of owning a laptop is when it stops functioning. Before buying a laptop, you should know that it will not last forever. It’s only a matter of years before it will die.

While some laptops are easily repairable, there are more complicated cases that will require you to replace some parts, or even worse, the laptop is damaged beyond repair.

In this section, we will discuss the most common reasons why a laptop dies or breakdown.

Wear and Tear

Wear and tear is the most common reason that any object you own may break. This also applies to laptops, as your laptop will naturally start to break down with age or prolonged use.

People who are on a tight budget will try to buy second-hand laptops that are slowing with age and will replace some of its parts to speed it up. But it is highly recommended to invest in newer laptops since wear and tear is a natural process and an already heavily used laptop will have an even shorter life span.

Misuse

Another factor why laptops may die or breakdown is misuse. There are certain types of laptops that are designed for certain types of purposes.

For example, a low-end laptop is designed for everyday use such as Internet browsing, video streaming, and office work. While some of these low-end laptops can run simple games, they really aren’t built for this purpose.

Playing games on a low-end laptop will put your hardware on its knees which will result in overheating. It is a known fact that overheating may cause some minor issues that may decrease the lifespan of your laptop.

Mishandling

One of the laptop’s benefits is its portability. Since it is small enough to place it inside your bag, we can carry it almost everywhere we go. But carrying your laptop, especially in public places can also cause trouble.

We could bang our bags into a hard surface and sometimes may even sit on the bag. One of the most common ways that it could break is by dropping it. Dropping your laptop is a really easy thing to do and doing so may compromise your hardware.

Signs That Your Laptop May Need Replacing

We have mentioned that your laptop will not last forever. Eventually, you have to replace it whether you like it or not. But how do we know if a laptop is still good or not?

The main indication that a laptop is already in need of replacement is if it won’t turn on or work anymore.

Sounds so simple, right? However, that is just one of the most common indications. But remember a laptop might still work if it doesn’t turn on anymore, it may just need to be looked at by a technician.

Below are a number of different signs that may indicate that your laptop needs replacing.

Your Laptop is Starting to Slow Down

The thing that we hate the most when working on a computer is when things get slow. After all, the main purpose of the computer is to automate tasks so you can work faster and more efficiently. But working on a slow laptop can make you unproductive and is just a headache.

a angry face over slow laptop speeds

For some users, the remedy for a slow laptop is to do a fresh install of the operating system or uninstalling all of the unnecessary applications.

This way, all the files will be deleted and your laptop will be like new.

But that is just a short-term solution, how about the long-term solution? Some may suggest that you might need to upgrade and replace some of the parts inside. While this is a good solution, you might still end up spending a lot of money, so you might better buying a new laptop instead.

No Support From the Manufacturer

No support from the manufacturer means they stopped providing updates for that particular laptop. This usually happens when a product has reached “end of life” support due to the age of the product.

Frequent System Crashes

Frequent crashes can happen due to several reasons, sometimes it’s because of faulty hardware or corrupt system files. The most common system crash indication is the BSOD or blue screen of death.

the dreaded BSOD on a Toshiba laptop

While BSOD provides an “error code” or “stop error,” this can be hard to determine, especially for inexperienced users.

Weak Battery

Some people may see a weak battery as another sign that your laptop may need replacing. But this can be fixed easily by buying a new battery.

If you happen to buy a new laptop with a weak battery, you might want to consider purchasing a newer and more powerful one. Since a weak battery will not do you any good unless you don’t plan on being away from a power source for too long.

Incompatibilities

Incompatibility means your laptop has lost its ability to run some of the newer applications because of its age.

Some people would just install a newer version of an operating system to try and fix this issue. However, not all types of laptop motherboards have full support for the latest operating systems. It might still work but some of the system files may be missing.

Tips on How to Make a Laptop Last Longer

To make your laptop last longer, taking care of it is pretty simple. You don’t need to have a deep technical knowledge of how to handle your laptop properly.

So here are some tips that will be easy to put into practice.

  1. Always avoid overheating your laptop as much as possible. This is a very important step since too much heat can decrease your laptop’s performance and lifespan.
  2.  When using your laptop, always place it on top of a hard surface, such as a table to give it room to breathe. Putting your laptop on the bed while using it is highly discouraged since it will restrict airflow and heat may get trapped inside your laptop.
  3. It is a habit to have a drink now and then when working on our laptop. Especially when we feel tired, we need a cup of coffee to get ourselves energized. But having drinks near our laptop is a bad idea since it is possible that you may spill it and cause damage to your laptop.
  4. If drinks are a bad idea, food is also a no go. Those small crumbs that fall while you are taking a bite of your food can lead to a clogged keyboard. These crumbs can also attract ants. There are some cases where ants have become lodged inside of a keyboard.
  5. Keep your working environment dust-free. You don’t want dust to build up in your laptop’s fan as this could cause overheating.
  6. Make sure your hands are clean and dry when you use your laptop. Also, keep an eye on children who use your laptop as they may have unclean hands that could make your laptop dirty.
  7. Never wipe your laptop with wet cloths as the moisture can potentially harm your laptop. Always use approved chemicals when cleaning your laptop. If you don’t have access to these chemicals, just use a dry soft cloth. Paintbrushes with soft bristles will also work when trying to remove crumbs or dust.
  8. Always use the laptop bag that comes with the laptop as other bags may be too big and secure the device properly. If your laptop did not come with a bag, make sure you check the dimensions when you buy your own.
  9. The right way of handling a laptop is by holding it by the base. I’ve seen people carrying their laptops by holding the screen, which might cause damage.
  10. When not in use, always keep your laptop in a safe place. Avoid placing it on your bed and sofa, especially when you have kids at home.

a cup of coffee sat on a desk next to a laptop

What are the Most Reliable Laptop Brands?

Choosing a laptop brand is just as hard as choosing which laptop model to pick. So we have gathered some data on the Internet to give you an idea of which brands are the most reliable.

The data that we gathered is from RESCUECOM 2019 Holiday Computer Reliability Report.

BrandU.S. Computer Market ShareRESCUECOM Computer Share1Reliability Score2Reliability Grade3
Microsoft3.8%1.18%323A+
Lenovo18.7%7.35%254A
Samsung2.2%1.08%204B+
Apple10.9%8.38%130B
Asus 4.9%4.51%108C+
Dell23.4%27.84%84C-
HP29.8%37.25%80D+
Acer2.9%4.66%62D

Source: https://www.rescuecom.com/news-press-releases/microsoft-surface-is-now-king-of-computer-reliability-and-apple-recovers-in-the-new-rescuecom-2019-holiday-computer-reliability-report.aspx

a Microsoft Surface Book sat on a desk

Can I Upgrade Parts of my Laptop to Make it Last Longer?

Definitely. You can upgrade some of your laptop’s parts to make it last longer. Although in some laptop models, you are very limited to which parts you can upgrade. Some laptops have embedded chips within the motherboard so you cannot upgrade them.

The safest and probably the most common upgrade you can do for your laptop is storage and RAM, as these two are removable and upgradeable most of the time.

Some stores also offer on-the-spot upgrades, meaning you can upgrade some of its parts the moment you buy them at an additional cost.

You can also upgrade the parts on your own, but you must be careful because it is a strict policy of almost every laptop manufacturer that you shouldn’t open your laptop otherwise it will void the warranty.

Most warranty stickers are placed on the screws of your laptop and removing these screws will damage the warranty stickers, and therefore void the warranty.

How Long Will a Laptop Screen Last?

The laptop screen’s lifespan is usually measured in hours. On average, a laptop screen can last up to 100,000 hours. But since the screen is one of the most fragile components of your laptop, this tends to get broken before other components.

100,000 hours doesn’t really sound that much to me but if you used the laptop screen non-stop, that equates to a whopping 4166.66 days. To explain even further, that is over 11 years of non-stop usage.

a cracked laptop screen

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can a laptop last 20 years?

Your laptop will most likely die or fail before it reaches 20 years. But if you are lucky and you manage to keep your laptop functioning for 20 years, it will have most likely passed its useful lifespan.

Can a laptop last 10 years?

Some users have reported that their laptops lasted for 10 years. But this would require you to be extra careful in handling your laptop. Also, the useful lifespan of a laptop cannot last up to 10 years unless your laptop was among the most powerful on the market when you first bought it.

Are laptops becoming obsolete?

Some people say that smartphones and tablets will replace laptop computers very soon. But I don’t believe that. The functionality of a laptop or desktop computer is still unmatched, especially right now where we live in a technology-driven society and laptops are becoming even more useful and compact.

Is it okay to use a laptop every day?

Absolutely. But keep in mind that too much usage of a laptop may cause you some health issues such as eye strain and headaches.

Is a 7-year-old laptop worth fixing?

If your laptop was among the best laptops available when you first bought it, it might be worth fixing it. But if your laptop was just a mid-range laptop when you initially bought it, fixing it might not be worth it and you might be best buying a new one instead.

Should I repair my laptop or is it best to buy a new one?

It depends on the age and damage of the laptop. If your laptop is relatively new and is only suffering from minor damage, it will be worth repairing it to save money. But if your laptop is old or is suffering from major damage, you should consider buying a new one.

How many hours can a laptop run continuously?

A laptop will run for as long as it can. There are no limits when it comes to the total runtime of a laptop so long as you charge it when the battery gets low and a low temperature is always maintained.

Do more expensive laptops last longer?

Expensive laptops tend to last longer since they have better hardware. A powerful laptop should be able to keep up with the most advanced programs in the years to come.

What can I do with a dead laptop?

There are several options on what you can do with a dead laptop. One is to try to salvage its working parts, which is most likely the hard drive and the RAM. Some skilled technicians can also salvage more parts such as the screen, keyboard, and some parts of the motherboard. Another option is to sell it as scrap to computer technicians.

Can I throw a laptop away in a bin?

You can throw almost anything in a bin, this includes the laptop. But before you throw a laptop away, make sure it’s beyond repairable. Some less fortunate people might still need it since you can always give it away instead of throwing it away.

Can I make an old laptop perform like new?

You can install an SSD and additional RAM to help speed up your laptop and maybe make it perform as if it was new. You can also do a fresh install of the operating system to wipe out all of the clutter and speed it up that way.

How long do laptop batteries last?

The short answer is between 2 to 4 years on average but this depends on many factors. You can visit our page on the subject here, www.gizmofusion.com/laptop-battery-lifespan. This page also has some great tips on how to prolong its lifespan.

If you are wanting to buy a new laptop we’ve got you covered. Here are reviews of many everyday laptops with a wide range of budgets, you can find them here.

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