Built to Last? Our Guide to Laptop Lifespans

How Long Do Laptops Last?

This is a question we get asked a lot and there are a few factors that can influence the answer.

The lifespan of a laptop is actually two different questions – the operational and useful lifespans. The former is a measure of how long a laptop will function, whereas the latter is an indication of how long your laptop can keep up with the fast moving tech world. You want it to be able to meet the specifications required by the new, updated programs you need to run, and if it struggles, then it no longer performs a useful function. For example, you could have a ten-year-old laptop that still operates well, but cannot run the latest software.

Planned obsolescence

Your laptop may become obsolete before its operational life finishes, and manufacturers use this to their advantage. What was once a premium, top of the range performance machine won’t run the resource-hungry programs of the future. With PCs, there’s the option to improve the CPU, but for the humble laptop, there’s no option but to purchase a new model thus ending its useful lifespan.

You’ve probably noticed how a vastly improved and updated laptop is brought out to coincide with a new, hugely resource-heavy program – this isn’t a coincidence, and manufacturers know that many of us will, if at all possible, ditch the older model and purchase the improved version if we need that program. And when businesses, gamers, and our peer group start using this must-have software as standard, we automatically want, and in some cases, need to keep up, it’s bye-bye old laptop.

Planned obsolescence runs alongside Moore’s Law – the observation that approximately every two years, the number of transistors on a chip doubles, and therefore so does the power of the computer, making laptops obsolete far sooner than their operational life ends.

Based on this, you could argue that the lifespan of a laptop is two years. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. If you are happy with the performance of your machine, and you don’t need to run the latest software then a good laptop can last upwards of five years, and still perform well, albeit within the boundaries of its capabilities.

Laptop Den features both the latest high spec models and older more sedate beasts, appealing to every spectrum of the market. Every model is personally tested for quality, performance, and value for money before we offer them to you.

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