Computers are essential to everyday life, but slow start-up times, noisy fans and faulty batteries might have you counting the number of candles on your laptop’s birthday cake. Even if you love it, how long should you keep it?
“The average laptop in Canada is about four years old, but a well-maintained laptop usually has a lifespan of three to five years because processors are much faster than they used to be,” said Emile Perez, sales expert at Intel Canada. “No matter how well you take care of your device, time will inevitably take a toll.”
Here are four signs it’s time for a new laptop.
- You can’t multitask. As your laptop ages, its processor – the “brain” of the laptop – can be weighed down by the demands of new updates. As a result, older devices may not have enough processing power to watch videos, play games or surf social media at the same time, making for a frustrating user experience.
- The battery won’t charge. Over time, a laptop’s battery will charge less efficiently and may stop charging at all. Some laptops can have their battery replaced, but many offer no way to swap the battery, making an upgrade necessary.
- The fan is noisy. If your laptop fan runs constantly or makes loud noises, that’s a sign the hardware can no longer keep up with the software you’re running. If you can’t upgrade right away, make sure your laptop is free of dust and has adequate ventilation to help reduce heat build-up.
- It doesn’t support the latest operating system. Even if your laptop still functions, it’s risky to use if it can’t keep up with the latest security updates. Going without updates puts your computer, your data and even your identity at risk with hackers.
If you’re on the market for a new laptop and not sure where to start, look for a model that has a quality assurance badge like the Intel Evo sticker.