Is your older laptop starting to become unresponsive while you’re working, or becoming slow or unreliable? If so, it may be time to consider replacing your laptop. Here’s how to determine if you need an upgrade:
1. Slow performance
Slow laptop performance is your first red flag. Many older laptops use older hard drives with moving parts, which are much slower than today’s solid state disks. If your laptops take minutes to boot up, or running more than two programs slows it down, this is a good indication that it may be time for an upgrade.
Laptops also slow down as their hard drives fill up, or when they don’t have enough memory (RAM). When your hard drive is nearly full, or you run out of available RAM, your computer slows down because the operating system (OS) doesn't have adequate space to work.
For older laptops that still use a traditional hard disk drive, which are more likely to fail than solid state drives because of their moving parts, expect that their performance will tend to deteriorate over time.
If your laptop is too slow that it slows you down and affects your productivity, consider getting a new one.
Laptops come with an internal ventilation system to keep them cool. From time to time, you may hear its fans kick in while you’re working. That’s a sign that the computer is working double-time to keep the laptop’s temperature normal.
But over time, your laptop’s fans can collect dust and debris, or just wear out. This may make it harder for the device to cool itself down, causing overheating issues. The excessive heat may damage other components and the laptop itself, or cause stability problems that make your system have more seemingly random errors or crashes.
If your laptop is experiencing overheating issues, it is worth checking to see if you can clean out the cooling fans or replace the fans that are no longer adequately cooling your laptop. As a rule of thumb, if your laptop is more than 3 years old and is experiencing overheating issues, it’s likely time to plan to replace your laptop before it completely fails.
3. Hardware issues
Hardware issues can also indicate that you need to replace your laptop. For instance, your display may be cracked, have dead pixels, or does not produce the right colors. A faulty touchpad or keyboard can also prevent you from working properly.
Some people may use an external display or keyboard to resolve these issues, but these make your laptop less portable, and they can be expensive to fix depending on the issue.. If your laptop’s hardware is beyond repair, you need to get a new computer.
4. Outdated software
Older versions of operating systems like Windows and macOS eventually stop receiving security updates, exposing users to increased risk of malware and other cyberthreats. In fact, the spread of the WannaCry ransomware was partly aided by the millions of people who stuck with Windows XP. And with more than 100 million PCs still running Windows 7 despite losing support last year, these devices become more and more vulnerable to cyberattacks as time goes on without security patches being produced for these systems.
The same principle applies to your applications. While software developers deploy updates, they will eventually stop supporting older software versions. And if you’re running an older version of a program that is no longer receiving regular security patches, you become at risk of cybercriminals exploiting its vulnerabilities to attack your system.
If your laptop is running an out-of-date operating system and or older applications, it may be more cost effective to invest in a new laptop rather than trying to upgrade your current system.
5. Battery problems
Every time you charge your battery, the maximum capacity that it can hold diminishes. If the battery had lasted for many hours when you first used it, it would not be able to last that long after a few years. You may find yourself needing to constantly plug the device in just to be able to use it.
Replacing the battery may solve the problem, but this can be difficult as some laptop batteries cannot be easily accessed. And given the usual repair costs, you may be better off just buying a new laptop than being stuck with a device that can’t be used unless it’s connected to an outlet.
When you decide to upgrade your device, don’t just buy a new laptop based on price alone. Fidelis’ can help you find the right computers for your business so you maximize your returns on your IT investments. To learn more about the best ways to embrace IT, download our FREE eBook today or drop us a line.