Average Lifespan of A Laptop
If you are thinking of buying a new laptop, here are a few things to consider. In my experience, the average lifespan of a laptop is 3 – 4 years. Given that fact, laptops fall into the category of consumables. As a consumable item, it will have to be replaced in a few years. It doesn’t make sense to overspend for a laptop.
You need to spend enough to get a laptop that will meet your requirements, but no more than that. No matter what you spend, in 3 or 4 years, it will be time to buy a new laptop. Not only will the laptop hardware be showing its age, laptop technology will have advanced. Processors and operating systems will have advanced, hard drives will be larger and cheaper, you will get better performance for your money. Each time I have purchased a laptop, I spent less and got more.
Ask yourself a few questions:
What will I use this laptop for?
Most mid priced laptops are designed to fit the needs of 90% of the people 90% of the time. Typically they come equipped with 15.6 inch screens, Windows 7, wifi, a network port, a webcam, a large hard drive (320 Gig or more) a DVD-RW optical drive (for playing DVD’s and CD’s) and 2 gig or more of memory (RAM).
Laptops in this category have processors that are up to the tasks that most users perform (word processing, spreadsheets, email, YouTube, Facebook, etc.)
These laptops can be purchased from several manufacturers for around $ 650 (December, 2010).
For a few dollars more you can get more memory, higher performance graphics, different colors, longer battery life, faster processors etc.
Is this my primary computer?
If this is your primary computer, make sure that it can do everything that you need. If your laptop is only used when you are on the road, or away from your office, you may be able to meet your needs with a slower processor or a smaller screen.
Will the laptop be my primary entertainment center? (Streaming music, watching DVD’s, streaming videos, etc.)
If you are a college student, your laptop is everything. It is your filing cabinet, your entertainment center, your study aid, your note taker, your research tool. It may be the primary way that you use to see the people back home (webcam.)
Will most of my computing be on the Internet? (Facebook, Email, Ebay, Google etc.)
If most of your computing is Internet based, you can get by quite nicely with a basic laptop. The Internet is not very demanding on computer hardware. For Internet access, the most important consideration is the speed of the Internet connection, not the speed of the laptop’s processor.
Is the weight of the laptop a consideration?
If you travel a lot with your laptop, through airports, and in taxicabs, you may opt for a smaller (11-14 inch screen,) lighter laptop. Many women prefer to put their laptop in a large handbag rather than having one more thing to keep track of.
Will the standard size screen (15.6 inch) suffice or do I need a larger screen (17 inch)?
Some people prefer a larger screen for shared viewing, easier editing of graphics, etc. Be aware that a 17 inch screen results in a larger, heavier laptop. You will also need a larger more expensive case for the laptop.
Will I need to connect this laptop to a large flatscreen TV?
If you want to connect your laptop to a large screen TV you will need a laptop with an HDMI port. This connection allows whatever is showing on the laptop screen to play on a large flatscreen TV including the sound with just one cable.
Whatever laptop you select, in 3 or four years it will be time for another one.