How Long Should a Laptop Last?

How Long Should a Laptop Last?

Whether you’re a professional who needs it for work or an engineering student looking for something for that resource chewing software, finding the right laptop is only half the equation. Once you buy that laptop, you must consider how long should a laptop last.

The simple answer that gets thrown around is about three years. 

Not surprisingly, the real answer is a more complex one that you might expect. Keep reading and we’ll highlight some of the factors that affect your laptop lifespan.


The physical hardware that makes up your laptop will have some influence on how long you can expect it to last. More expensive laptops with high-end hardware will typically give your laptop a longer lifespan, adding as much as a year or two.

They handle new software better, at least for a while. Higher end hardware often enjoys better durability, meaning it withstands more demanding use better and for a longer period of time. 

The hardware that goes into moderately priced laptops can meet the demands of current software and online use, but it doesn’t hold up as well as demands change.

Type of Use

The type of use you expect from your laptop can also lengthen or shorten it’s lifespan. Certain kinds of work, like video production, audio production, and 3-D rendering put a lot of demand on computer hardware. Laptops used for this kind of work will start showing their age must faster.

Basic tasks like word processing, basic web browsing, and streaming video require much less processing power and resources. Even mid-range or low-end laptops can often perform these basic tasks when they’re four or five years old. 

Planned Obsolescence

One factor that all technology buyers must remain aware of is something called built-in obsolescence. Built-in or planned obsolescence occurs when a product manufacturer anticipates how long an average customer will use a product. They then build a product that will last about that long before it starts developing problems.

In the tech sector, advancements still happen at an astonishing rate. Hardware swiftly loses the ability to run software applications that rely on new chip architectures or require more baseline resources. That means laptop manufacturers have little incentive to build machines that will operate more than three years or so years.

Repairs and Upgrades

While laptops don’t all lend themselves to repair the way desktop computers do, some computer shops will repair them. You can often upgrade RAM and sometimes even processors, which can extend the laptop’s useful life.

Parting Thoughts on How Long Should a Laptop Last

The simple answer about how long should a laptop last is three years. In practice, your laptop’s lifespan depends on everything from what kind of hardware it starts with to what you use it for and whether you get it repaired or upgraded.

Computers R Us specializes in computer, mobile phone, and tablet repairs. For more information about our services or to get a free quote, contact Computers R Us today.

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