Whats the lifespan of a laptop?

  ukrv 09:40 04 Aug 2007


Ive a question for you guys - please help by posting so I can get a good representative sample of "the norm".

Here goes:-

If you spent 1,000 GBP on a new laptop, how long would YOU expect it to last before it required a repair (let's say over 50 quid) ?

Ignore things like upgrading components.

So, should the laptop last 1yr, 2yr, 3yr or maybe 5yr or 10yr - what would YOU expect for your 1,000 GBP ??


  Forum Editor 09:47 04 Aug 2007

how long a particular machine will last, and of course a great deal depends on conditions of use.

I have used laptops for many years, and in general have found that the machine is still going strong, long after its specification has necessitated a move up to a more powerful model. I have an IBM ThinkPad in my cupboard that is certainly over eight years old, and still works perfectly - if a little slowly.

My rule of thumb is that if a laptop makes it through its first year of life without trouble it will generally be good for several more years, but as I said earlier, a great deal depends on how often and for how long you use it.

  ITworksforme 10:32 04 Aug 2007

If an intelligent user maintains the PC in peak condition - avoids spyware etc - nice environment - not too hot or too cold - never bumps it - has something on the power supply to 'clean it' - makes sure the area is dust free etc etc etc... then maybe it lasts for years

If the user is a complete klutz, banging the thing into walls etc, carries it on and off planes at varying altitudes, lends it to friends, downloads porn/ware(z)/viruses, borrows friend's chargers when theirs is not to hand, regularly shuts the lid and begins moving without a proper shut down etc etc etc... then it could last much less

Given the low, low price (and extended manufacturer warranty) of components these days - you could simply put £10 a month in a 'salvage and repair' jar to cover labour costs if something goes wrong outside the first year

Treat it with repect - put some money by for labour - and your laptop is likely to last several years...

...and - when it 'breaks' - it will probably only be a single component - which is easy to replace

IMPORTANT: Back up important stuff regularly :~)

  ukrv 10:46 04 Aug 2007


OK - thanks for the views chaps, but let's make it a bit easier;

The laptop will be ON for 4hrs a day, will be turned off correctly and carried in a laptop bag, perhaps a couple of times a week (it is after all being sold as a laptop not a desk PC).

It will be used by Mr Average who will ensure MS updates are done and AV software is up-to-date. Other than that he will have no specialist PC knowledge so won't be trying to do anything "fancy" with it.

So, what timeframe could he expect for his 1,000 GBP ?

Thanks :D

  Taff™ 10:55 04 Aug 2007

I had a Compaq in daily use for 4 years after which time the battery life was down to 30 minutes. The replacement was about £90. Then the screen inverter failed and I had it repaired which cost £120. Within a month the screen had gone and I faced another £120 bill so I now use it as a spare with an external monitor.

I then bought a Toshiba Satellite Pro and two days before the 12 month warranty ran out it suddenly died. Toshiba support was excellent and they collected and returned the laptop within four working days with a new motherboard. It`s still going strong 6 months later.

Several customers of mine have laptops and in general terms I would say that they come up for replacement due to failing parts after three or four years. Generally screen or inverter problems. Repair prices are typically those quoted above. I`ve never come across a laptop repair that costs less than £50 labour plus parts and they`re expensive too!

I would expect any laptop to last a minimum of three years and anything more would be a bonus. If the laptop is being used as a portable, i.e. battery power for much of the time, you`ll need to budget a replacement after two or three years. Always check before you buy what the claimed battery life is. If it`s less than 2.5 hours I`d avoid it.

To be honest I don`t think it matters if you pay £500 or £1000. As FE says it depends on your useage patterns. The real question you need to ask is do you actually need a £1000 high spec laptop which you may have to right off after 3 years or would a cheaper one suit your needs and budget better?

  spuds 11:29 04 Aug 2007

Consumer law seems to suggest that certain things should last well over the 'usual' 12 month period. Perhaps (if pushed), a laptop would come within this category!.

  Belatucadrus 12:38 04 Aug 2007

My first laptop lasted about five years, but when it failed home repair wasn't an option and the specs and prices of new ones had changed so much, getting it fixed simply wasn't cost effective. Which I think is the problem, a desktop I can keep working almost indefinitely, a dead laptop is effectively junk unless you can flog the bits on e-bay.

  Head hurts 13:48 04 Aug 2007

my laptop is now i believe over 8yrs old has a 30gb hard drive and when new was just short of £1000 just shows how much they have come down in price. other than reinstallation of xp it has and still is working perfectly although obviously slower than newer models. it was used until june this year as my main pc and not as a laptop.

  bremner 15:23 04 Aug 2007

The answer to your question is - who knows.

Let me give you an example.

Six months ago we bought 20 identical MacBook Pro laptops.

One was DOA, one had its power switch fail after a week, one had a graphics problem after a month, both were fixed under warranty.

The other seventeen have been faultless.

  ukrv 15:28 04 Aug 2007

Hi Guys

Sorry, the question was how long would you EXPECT the laptop to last after paying a grand for it.

Whilst it's good to get experiences, what Im trying to get at is the EXPECTATION of lifespan.


  Taff™ 16:54 04 Aug 2007

I think you can work this out for yourself from the posts. No one is going to give you a definitive answer although check my post above "I would expect any laptop to last a minimum of three years ......."

Let people post their experiences and make your own mind up!

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