The Best Way to Tell whether Your Laptop Needs an Upgrade

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Photo: dasytnik (Shutterstock) – Your present requirements, money, and user experience all play a role in making the selection. Laptops have come a long way in the last several decades. The Osborne 1, which was introduced in 1981, was the first laptop computer. For $1,800 (or roughly $5,567.29 in today’s money), you got a 5-inch screen, a 25-pound weight, and a 5-inch screen. It was an immediate success, but sales began to dwindle when other products came into the market. Just two years later, Osborne computers were vanished off the face of the Earth.

In the early 1970s, it looked as though computer technology was advancing at an exponential rate. Since 2005, laptops have outsold desktop computers every year with faster CPUs, more RAM, and better screens. These days, unless you have very specific computing requirements, most laptops available for purchase will suffice.

However, when is it time to get a new laptop? An independent evaluation of an older laptop is generally worthwhile if it is more than three years old. Here’s how to tell whether your ancient road warrior needs to be replaced or if it still has a few more years in it.

When does a person get too elderly to use a laptop computer?

Laptops come in a wide variety of characteristics and features, making the process of purchasing a new computer difficult. With a price tag of under $300, Dell will offer you an Inspiron, which is good for surfing the web and shopping at Amazon, but a nightmare if you’re intending to render your first animated picture. You can buy a MacBook Pro for $6,500 from Apple, but it will be a waste of money if the most you do on it is play Wordle every morning.

To begin with, you should ask yourself whether your present laptop is still meeting your demands before making the choice to buy a new one. If your laptop starts up when you want it to and delivers what you need, you can probably keep it until it shows indications of aging (see below). The opposite is true if you’ve run out of hard disk space and are always disappointed with your laptop’s performance.

To begin, evaluate the laptop you currently have. If you’re not sure how your present laptop is benefiting you, have a look at its classification. When you purchased your laptop, was it the finest of the best or a budget buy? A high-end laptop has a longer shelf life since its specifications age less quickly—if you purchased a laptop with 16 GB of RAM a few years ago, that’s still fairly decent in the market today. If your present standards are still competitive, you may be able to squeeze a few more years of use out of your vehicle. You can get a feel of this by checking eBay and other resellers—if your current laptop is still fetching decent pricing on the aftermarket, it’s probably still completely useable.

Signs of aging on a computer

Laptops may last a long time if you don’t put too much strain on them. A choice is being made for you, but there are some telltale signals. The following are indications that you should replace your laptop before you’re forced to:

  • Laptops that take a long time to start up are a sign that you should consider getting a new laptop instead of sticking with the one you currently have.
  • Every time you open Office, you’ll have to fetch a cup of coffee since your laptop is so slow that you’ll need it every time.
  • There will always be glitches in any computer; this is to be expected. It’s time to get a new laptop when these issues occur on a weekly or daily basis.
  • Having a hard time keeping up: After a few years of using the same laptop, you may want to change your wifi card and/or processor if you can’t use newer networks or if your specifications can’t run newer programs without an OS upgrade.
  • Signs of impending doom: You’ll typically get an alarm on your laptop when it’s about to die. You can tell your laptop is overworked if its fan is always running and making a high-pitched noise (especially if they continue to do so after maintenance). Not to be overlooked are more visible indications, such as a shaky touchscreen or keyboard or an unreliable trackpad.

The ability to upgrade

It’s possible to extend the life of your laptop with a few well-placed improvements, depending on your degree of technical expertise. You may be able to fix the issue you’re encountering with your present computer by adding more RAM, a new battery, or a bigger hard drive.

Laptops can be updated in certain cases, but not in all. Take a peek underneath—there should be detachable panels with screws that don’t need some type of futuristic bit, so you know whether it’s possible to make improvements. In addition to just Googling your laptop model, Crucial provides a “advisor” service that will inform you whether or not your system may be upgraded. Do some research before making a purchase, though.

As a bonus, if you can upgrade your operating system, you may be able to keep using your old laptop for a long time.

The choice to replace your laptop boils down to your requirements and your budget until it starts spewing black smoke every time you turn it on. There are so many options available that it frequently boils down to how irritated you are with your laptop on a daily basis rather than whether or not it is still under warranty.