How Long Should Your Business PC and Laptop Last?

Keeping computers up-to-date, secure, and reliable is of the utmost importance in the workplace. But knowing when it’s time to replace your company’s laptops can be challenging. With the cost of buying a new business laptop costing up to $3,000, it’s natural for businesses to want to get as much life out of their computer investments as possible. However, if you wait too long, you end up with higher service costs, lost productivity, data loss, and possibly more IT security problems.

Knowing how long a business laptop can last can help you balance efficiency and get the optimum ROI.

The Average Laptop has a 3-Year Lifespan

Business-grade laptops are built to be workhorses and often have better parts than consumer laptops, such as metal or carbon-fiber-reinforced casings, instead of plastic and shock-resistant features to add to durability. But despite these superior features, most business laptops only last for a maximum of 3 years, and top brands may last for about 5 years. Most laptop manufacturers such as Dell, HP, Acer, and Toshiba provide a 3-year warranty for business laptops.

Many factors influence your laptop’s durability, but the most significant is user habits. The average lifespan of a laptop directly depends on how you use and treat your laptop. When you take good care of it, it will last longer. Food crumbs, liquid spills, blocked fans causing the laptop to overheat, and excessive battery charging can significantly reduce your laptop’s lifespan. Unlike desktops, which have larger CPUs, laptops are compact and have minimal ventilation. And since they’re usually carried around, they’re often more susceptible to wear and tear.

Unfortunately, no matter how good you are with your device, some parts have a shorter lifespan than others. RAM, motherboards, and batteries are prone to failing more often than other parts. The release of newer models can also make your laptop obsolete – older models are typically phased out and won’t receive software updates anymore.

How Long Do Desktops Last?

Desktop computers tend to last a long time, especially if they’re well-maintained. They can remain operational for more than five years, depending on the components that you can upgrade. There are several reasons why desktops last longer than laptops:

  • Stationary: By design, desktops are stationary. Of course, you can move them or even transport them from one location to another, but that does not happen too often, and when people move their desktop computer, they tend to be extra careful with it.
  • Better ventilation – Desktop computers tend to have more powerful fans, and they also tend to have space around them to “breathe.” The fans within a desktop computer suck out all of the heat, allowing the hot air to escape inside the chassis. 
  • Easy computer replacement parts – If a component fails on a desktop, it’s usually a part that’s easily swappable and cheap. Laptops entail opening up the whole thing to replace a failed laptop part. Plus, many laptop parts, such as the video or processor, are integrated or sold together with the motherboard, rendering its price high enough to buy a new laptop.

While desktop computers have exceptionally sturdy hardware, the accumulation of software, files, and updates would eventually take a toll on them. Resource-intensive applications running simultaneously can pressure your desktop’s CPU, causing it to heat up. While the cooling unit can mitigate the heating, it’ll gradually collect dust, and, over time, the vents will clog up and limit air circulation. Before you know it, your computer no longer runs as fast and as seamlessly as it used to when it was still new.

When Should You Replace Your Laptop?

If your employees are happy and productive, aren’t hindered by their IT in any way, and you’re satisfied with how things are running across the enterprise, there’s really no pressing need to make any changes. However, if processes are becoming challenging and time-consuming and are therefore costing you money, you may want to replace your company laptops:

  • Noisy computer fans: Often, the first issue to signal an aging computer’s impending demise is the fan running loudly even when it’s not doing intensive computing tasks.
  • Applications take a long time to load: In old age, everything begins to slow down. Resource-heavy programs like video editing and business intelligence apps place higher demands on processors, memory, and video-rendering capabilities, which means older computers are simply not up to spec. For example, you shouldn’t expect your 5-year-old laptop to run the latest Microsoft Dynamics CRM efficiently.
  • You can’t install the latest operating system: Every time a new operating system is released, it comes with minimum compatibility requirements that older laptops don’t meet. So, if your laptop cannot support the latest operating system, it’s probably time for an upgrade.
  • Regular crashes: In some cases, updating the drivers or investing in a robust antivirus can solve the problem, but most of the time, crashing is a sign of failing hardware, overheating, and incompatible drivers.
  • It’s cheaper to replace than to repair: Some repairs may come close to or exceed the cost of a new computer, depending on the specific components being replaced. Also, downtime from continual repairs means lost productivity, continual support costs, and lost revenue.

How to Extend Your Laptop’s Lifespan

Here are some things that you should do to prolong the life of your laptop:

  1. Keep the laptop away from food or any liquids.
  2. Take care of the battery – after finishing charging your laptop, remember to unplug the charging cable.
  3. Clean your laptop regularly to remove all dust or grime by following proper cleaning procedures.
  4. Keep the laptop running at low temperatures. This is because overheating components can lead to many issues, shortening the laptop’s life. You can use a laptop cooling pad to regulate how hot it runs.
  5. Optimize storage to reduce the work your hard drive has to do. For instance, you can add more RAM or use a better storage drive like an SSD.
  6. Keep your operating system up-to-date and ensure your laptop is safe from malware and viruses.

Bottom Line

No one likes to think about the end of their laptop’s life cycle, but it’s a vital part of the process if you want to maximize productivity and keep your bottom line healthy. Schilling IT can help your NW Indiana business with all your laptop and desktop needs. We can support your mobile workers and those in your business running laptops and help you develop a replacement schedule to ensure your work environment is as productive and secure as possible. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us help you make the most of your computer investment.

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