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How reliable is a $300 laptop?

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By Matt Smith

This is an article going into detail about how long a budget laptop is likely to last, what to expect from your laptop in terms of reliability. We dive into different brands, their price points, and how reliable certain brands are. We’ll also share some tips on how to make your laptop last longer.

How long will a $300 laptop last?

Laptops can be expensive. And sometimes, if you’re really unlucky, they don’t last long. But how long will a laptop that costs $300 or less last on average?

Laptops are a good investment for anyone who wants to learn how to use them at home or on the go. The cost of a laptop varies – you can find them for as low as $300 and go upwards of $3,500. With the prices varying so wildly, it’s important to figure out how long your laptop will last before buying, so you can avoid a costly mistake.

Some of the cheaper laptops may not last as long as more expensive ones but don’t worry, your device will still be usable and you’ll get your money’s worth out of it.

How Long Will The Average Laptop Computer Last?

Laptops are a good investment for anyone who wants to learn how to use them at home or on the go. The cost of a laptop varies – you can find them for as low as $300 and go upwards of $3,500. With the prices varying so wildly, it’s important to figure out how long your laptop will last before buying, so you can avoid any costly mistakes.

The lifespan of your laptop will depend on the brand you buy, but it’s important to know how to keep a laptop in good condition so that it lasts the longest possible time (we’ll get to that soon). The lifespan of your device also depends on the brand you buy – some brands will last longer than others.

A study by SquareTrade reported that 1 in 3 laptops fail in 3 years, with Asus being amongst the most reliable

So let’s get into the varying price of laptop brands as well as what to expect from them in terms of performance and reliability…

1. Apple

One of the most reputable corporations in America, Apple has been a leader in innovation for many years.

Apple laptops are both a good investment and have a relatively good lifespan. They start at $1,000 and can go upwards of $2,500. With the price range being so wide, it’s important to make a buying decision based on it being right for your needs.

Apple notebooks have been hailed as being reliable because they are designed in a way where there is less chance for them to not function correctly with an issue arising from its design process. Apple’s warranty program also makes their product easy to fix if any issues arise from its use. Apple provides a two-year warranty on their laptops.

As their price point is way outside the $300 range, they will not be considered as part of this article. Saying that if the budget is there for a laptop of this calibre, they’re well worth the investment.

2. HP

The most important thing to consider when buying a laptop is the lifespan. HP laptops are built well and they will be able to last for a few years if not longer (mine lasted 5-6 years so I definitely got my money’s worth out of it!).

HP laptops are available at many different prices so it is easy for most people to purchase them. The price of a HP laptop in comparison with the lifespan of it makes it worthwhile in the long run.

The lifespan of the laptop will depend on the brand you buy but HP is a good option for anyone who is looking for a cheap laptop that will last. HP products usually come with one year warranty.

If you’re looking for something that will last up to 6 years or more, HP should be your go-to laptop because they have been designed with longevity in mind which is why they stand out from other competitors like Microsoft and Lenovo.

Quarter 3 of 2019, HP laptops were the most admired in the industry with a customer satisfaction rating of 98%.

3. Dell

Dell laptops are great entry-level options if you’re looking for something that will last long and be durable enough to withstand any kind of usage, from gaming to schoolwork, with ease of use being the top priority in your decision-making process. You can find these laptops starting around $500 with prices usually going up to around $900, depending on your configuration.

This is because laptops with better components will cost more, while some of them are actually customized but only the major components are upgraded, leaving other parts intact.
To make sure that your laptop feels like new even after 2 years, you might want to consider a laptop in the $700 range that includes a 13-inch screen and offers more than 7 hours of battery life (unless of course you know you’ll be using it near a power outlet).

Dell warranty on purchases made from eligible sellers can vary.

Dell was selected as a top sales performer in 2019 for operating at a high-performance level and maximizing customer satisfaction.

4. Lenovo

The cost of Lenovo laptops is 28% cheaper than HP’s laptops but the lifespan on Lenovo laptops is shorter. Whether this is a better option for the long run depends on how long you need your laptop to last and which features seem important to you. Overall, I would recommend HP over Lenovo if you’re looking for a reliable laptop that can last up to 6 years or more.

The longevity of Lenovo laptops comes at a price. Some features that are included in the price range where the laptops come in are better components, up to 7 hours of battery life, and also lightweight & portable.

If you’re looking for performance first (meaning speed), I would recommend going with HP over Lenovo since they are less expensive and offer more features that can be beneficial for your needs generally.

Owned and operated Lenovo-related repair facility that achieved a 99.9999% reliability metric on all repairs by being highly detailed and thorough with all work.

5. Microsoft

The cost of the Microsoft laptop is about the same as HP’s. The Microsoft laptop will also have a lifespan of a few years. This is because it has been designed with high performance in mind, and the company is aiming to make their newest laptops last longer than ever, but it might not last as long as HP’s laptops.

Microsoft laptops are available at multiple price points. Depending on the features you want, there will be a suitable option for you.

They have been designed with high performance in mind, the company is aiming to make their newest laptops last through years of use.

2020 Computer Reliability Report Chart
Credit: 2020 RESCUECOM Computer Reliability Report Microsoft soars to first place in the 2020 RESCUECOM Computer Reliability Report; Lenovo and Apple round out the top three. Microsoft has placed first in RESCUECOM’s computer reliability report, followed by Lenovo in second place and Apple in third.

6. Acer

The average lifespan on an Acer laptop is 5 years. Depending on which features you want to be included in the purchase, there are different price points that this lasts at. The cost will vary depending on what features you need to be included and what you’re willing to pay for.

The high performance and reliability of Acer laptops make it a great buy for people who are looking for something that will last them well over 6 years. They have been designed with longevity in mind so they should last a long time if not longer than 6 years based on how well they’ve been designed.

Quarter 3 of 2019, Acer laptops were the most admired in the industry with a customer satisfaction rating of 96%.

7. Asus

Asus laptops are not the cheapest but they are a more expensive option. The pricing for them is dependent on what you’re looking for. If all you need is a laptop that can be used just for school and your day-to-day life, then the Asus R510CA would be perfect. On the other hand, if you want something that might last up to 6 years or more, then go with a more expensive model or opt for a HP machine instead.

The lifespan of an Asus laptop will depend on what features it has and whether or not you buy it from an authorized retailer (I would recommend this). It also depends on how well it is taken care of so make sure to keep your laptop safe and in good shape if you’re going with Asus.

The Asus company has increased life years by 33% and reduced manufacturing cost by 16%.

8. Samsung

Samsung laptops are one of the world’s most popular laptop brands, with sales last year estimated at $25 billion. With a range of laptops from affordable to high-end, Samsung’s technology is constantly evolving and improving.

Samsung has been around for over thirty years and is one of the most world’s largest technology company. They produce a range of products including but not limited to computer systems, cameras, televisions, medical equipment and more.

Samsung laptops are amongst the best on the market, with good performance, good price, and reliability. Samsung has been investing in innovation and is one of the few companies that has been successful in making affordable laptops.

One great aspect about Samsung laptops is that they have some of the best battery life in their class with good performance, good price and reliability.

In Summary

You’re probably going to have a lot of questions before you buy anything, but truthfully, no one can say for certain. Different people use their computers in different ways, and everyone has different needs. Some people want to be able to play demanding games and others need theirs for work-related purposes.

The average life span of a laptop computer is 3 years, though it can last up to 8 years. If you’re worried about buying a new laptop every couple of years, The Lenovo Chromebook comfortably costs around $200 might be a good choice for you if you are looking for a laptop with a good battery life at a budget price.

Most budget laptops are not designed for heavy use and will need to be replaced more often than desktops. But with advances in technology, processors etc, I believe the average laptop with regular but light use, should last between 2-4 years, if not more (if taken care of correctly).

Factors That Impact Laptop Lifespan

The lifespan of a $300 laptop is usually shorter than that of a more expensive model, due to the lower quality of the battery and components. The cheaper price does not necessarily indicate lower quality, however. The product might be better quality in other ways, such as being higher durability or having a longer life expectancy.

Here are some tips on how to make your laptop last longer.

This is a list of the most common ways to go about prolonging the life of your machine and keeping it in tip-top shape.

  1. Using an external mouse instead of the trackpad on your laptop can save you from wear on the trackpad and any problems that might arise when using the track pad.
  2. Keep it out of direct sunlight and do not put it near sinks or other wet areas which might cause spills or leaks onto it
  3. Use only a soft cloth and water (no soap) when cleaning your screen – this will prevent any scratches from happening
  4. Try to use your laptop only on a hard flat surface; never put it on soft materials such as couches or cushions
  5. Keep it away from other electronics which might cause interference or malfunction – this includes microwaves, power packs, electronic devices that may be affected by strong magnetic fields, and static electricity
  6. Try not to drop the machine when it is on – do not sit down with an open laptop since any accidental bumps could end up with broken screens and/or hardware damage
  7. Store the laptop in the box or in a protective pouch when you’re not using it. This will help prevent dust build up
  8. Dust – Make sure you keep your laptop as free from dust and grime as much as possible; this will not only prolong the life of the machine but it is also important for functionality purposes
  9. Whenever possible, use the laptop’s power cord instead of it’s battery to limit damage – this will also prevent leakage and corrosion to the battery
  10. Whenever possible, use a cooling stand for your laptop; this will help prevent overheating.

A laptop will have a shortened life with the use of a battery that is not fully charged, using it in high temperatures, overheating it, and exposing it to water.


I have outlined the main points to consider with a budget laptop computer, I’ve talked about the different brands, price points, warranties, and reliability issues with some of them. I hope that this article on laptop lifespan has been helpful in your decision on buying a laptop, whether you have changed your mind and feel a more expensive laptop would be a more worthy investment – or if a $300 device is still on your radar.

If you have further questions or suggestions about laptops around your target budget please do let me know!