The general rule of thumb with most tech equipment, laptops included, is you get what you pay for. That said, you can reasonably expect decent to good specs and performance from laptops within the $600 price point, even though they’re regarded as budget laptops. How long you can expect to keep enjoying your laptop is another thing entirely.
To estimate the lifespan of any laptop, you need to consider a few things. Obviously, the way a laptop is treated will contribute to its longevity or otherwise, so that’s the first point to take note of. If you take special care to protect your laptop from spills, drops, power surges and other accidents, you’ll be rewarded with an extended lifespan.
An arguably more important factor, however, is the laptop’s hardware and components, and this is where the laptop’s price plays an important role. A laptop with quality components such as processors, storage graphics cards, and RAM can handle tasks much better and faster than one with middling components. As a result, its hardware will wear out less quickly, and you can expect it to not only last longer, but also remain relevant for longer. Remember, you get what you pay for.
Another thing that plays a role in how long a laptop lasts is the usage and workload. Laptops that perform significantly tasking duties such as video editing, gaming, and graphic design regularly can only be expected to last a few years. On the other hand, laptops that are used only for regular tasks such as surfing the internet, watching videos, creating Word documents, and emailing will last long, perhaps even longer than expected, if they are well maintained.
In a nutshell, the three major factors that determine the lifespan of a laptop are
- The laptop’s components and hardware
- Its usage and workload
Of the three, the most significant is the laptop’s components and hardware. So, if you’re buying a $600 laptop, you can reasonably expect the laptop to last between 2-4 years. The good news is, you can probably increase its lifespan by a year or two if you maintain it well.
How Long Do Consumer Laptops Last (Priced at $600)?
Consumer-grade laptops are those laptops that work best for simple home tasks such as web browsing, creating documents, sending emails, and other light tasks. They may be owned by a family or an individual.
Because these laptops are meant to perform such light tasks, they’re usually constructed with second-tier or third-tier components, although the more expensive consumer laptops feature more high-end components.
You can generally expect a $600 consumer laptop to put in between 2-4 years of solid work and they usually come with a one-year warranty. Depending on how you use it, however, that number may be more or less – depending on usage, wear & tear, etc.
How Long Do Business Laptops Last (Priced at $600)?
Business laptops are designed to be better, both in terms of performance and durability, than consumer laptops. They are made with better components, and they deliver consistently better specs and performance as a result. They can also withstand rough usage better than consumer laptops.
The flip side of being able to handle tougher tasks than consumer laptops within the same price range is that business laptops’ components wear out a lot quicker than those of consumer laptops. Business laptops usually come with a three-year warranty, which is as long as you can expect a $600 business laptop to last.
How Long Do Gaming Laptops Last (Priced at $600 or less)?
Games take a heavy toll on your laptop’s hardware. So, if you’re buying a laptop for purely gaming purposes, you should expect a shorter lifespan for the laptop. Gaming laptops within the $600 price range will typically last only a few years before they need to be replaced. Nevertheless, if you don’t mind playing with lower-quality graphics and reduced frames per second (FPS), you generally can increase the lifespan of your gaming laptop by a few years.
What Factors Contribute To The Failure Of Low-Cost Laptops?
Generally, most laptop manufacturers downgrade the quality of the laptop’s hardware to make up for their reduced prices. As a result, low-budget laptops may find it that much harder to survive accidents, pressure, drops, and spills that a laptop made with more solid components will.
Beyond this, certain parts of a laptop have shorter lifespans than others, so it doesn’t matter how diligently you take care of your laptop, faults are bound to appear after a while.
While some low-budget laptops offer decent battery life, it’s only a matter of time before the performance of those batteries drops off a cliff. The same thing applies to their RAM and motherboards, particularly if the laptop is made to perform heavy tasks.
Also, hardware such as keyboards, storage devices, and screens in low-budget laptops may be of noticeably lower quality than higher-priced models. As such, they usually fall apart much quicker, especially if they are used consistently.
6 Signs That Your Laptop Needs To Be Replaced
It’s tempting to try to squeeze out every last ounce of performance in a laptop before considering replacing it, but the angst and frustration of putting up with a laptop that’s well and truly over the hill is just not worth it. Not to mention the fact that a malfunctioning laptop will greatly reduce your productivity.
If you notice these six signs, it might be time to consider getting a new laptop:
1. Slow Processing
If it takes your laptop ages to load applications and process simple tasks, it’s time to start lining up a replacement. Old laptops generally have a harder time processing tasks, making them frustratingly slow. A laptop that’s nearing the end of its lifespan will also find it difficult to run two or more open applications, struggling even to switch between open tabs when surfing the internet.
2. Slow Startup and Shutdown
Another sign of an ailing laptop is long booting and shutdown times. When you notice that it takes your laptop a lot longer to close all open applications before it shuts down, or it loads up a lot longer than excusable, your laptop may need a replacement.
3. Noisy Fans
When you notice that creaking, whiny fan noise has become the constant soundtrack of your laptop, even when it’s not performing any particularly draining task, that’s a sign that you laptop will need replacing before long.
4. Failing Battery
This is the most frustrating signal, yet it’s also the most reliable and easily noticed indicator that your laptop is not what it once was. If your laptop’s battery drains much faster than it used to, it’s a sign that it is old and cannot perform the way it used to.
5. Crashes Regularly
Computer crashes can be caused by a lot of things. Most times, however, when your laptop begins to crash repeatedly, that’s a definite sign that its hardware is finding it increasingly difficult to cope with applications. Sadly, this problem will not fix itself. The solution is to get a replacement.
6. Cannot Install Latest Operating Systems
If your laptop can not operate or install the newest operating systems, it’s an indication that the laptop is on its way to being obsolete and you’ll need a replacement soon.
We hope you found our article on the longevity of a $600 laptop useful, we explored reasons to get one if your current laptop is on it’s way out, along with 6 tell-tale signs to look out for. The estimated lifespan of laptops for various uses (business, consumer, gaming) and what to expect from each. If you have any feedback for us please get in touch with your comments. Thanks for reading!