How often should you replace a Business Laptop? 10 Key Signs to look out for

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how often should you replace a laptop

It can be tricky to ascertain exactly when you should replace your office assets. It is natural for business owners to receive as much utility as possible out of their machines, which causes them to hold onto their hardware for way too long. So, how often should you replace a Business Laptop?

To help you determine if you should replace your busines latop, we’ve put together a list of 10 signs to look out for.

Prolonging replacing your business laptops can cause a loss in employee productivity and have further security issues. Not to forget the enormously negative impact on business finances due to high maintenance costs.

This guide is designed for business owners trying to find an ideal balance between efficiency and maximum ROI.

How long do Laptop Computers last?

Compared to laptops, computers come with a vast array of customization options. Most desktop computers last three years at the very least. With proper maintenance and upgrades, most PCs survive five to eight years.

Maintenance is highly crucial for most Personal Computers (PCs), as dust can cause significant issues with the components. Business operators need to ensure that their systems are routinely upgraded and are free from excess dust and debris.

Laptops have shorter longevity than a desktop. The estimated lifespan of a laptop is around three to five years. It may last even longer than that, but its usefulness may become limited. Some components may not remain efficient enough to handle advanced applications.

The key sign of whether a laptop needs replacement is that its method of use lives up to its current computing power. Even if laptops run beyond five years, the range of tasks they can perform becomes restricted.

What is the cost of new Computers and Laptops?

The price of new computers and laptops depends on several factors, which include,

  • Brand
  • Features included
  • Size of hard drive
  • Processor type
  • Operating system

Generally, you may see the following price range when you shop for new computers and laptops for your business.

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Computers

Desktop computers start at $400 for PCs equipped with basic features. Top-of-the-line PCs cost over $3,500. Business-appropriate computers can be easily purchased between $600 to $1,000.

You also need to add the cost of accessories like a monitor, keyboard and mouse to your desktop budget. This also drives up the maintenance costs since you’ll have to upgrade these items too.

Laptops

The lowest-priced laptops start at around $300. However, these operate at low speed with pretty limited features.

A feature-packed model can cost up to $3,000. However, many laptop models between $600-to-$1,000 range support the features employees need without sacrificing functionality and speed.

The number of laptops and computers you are looking to buy also impacts the price of each item. You may get better discounts through business-only pricing or if you buy in bulk.

Also read: What are the Best Types of Business Laptops?

When should I replace my Laptop Computer?

How often should you replace your business laptop can be determined by the following factors:

Out of date security

If newer versions of operating systems don’t work with your current hardware, it may be time to switch to a new one. Without the latest security features, cybercriminals get easy access to the rest of your system.

Even if your machine is compatible to run the latest operating system, there may still be some serious security measures you need to consider. Check if the office assets are compatible with your team’s software to carry out their tasks.

Along with that, you need to check if your employees are taking the necessary safety measures, such as using strong passwords. The latest versions of Mac use biometric security, which is the ideal level of advanced security your business needs to have.

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Expensive hardware repairs

A simple way to boost a computer’s power is to upgrade RAM or switch to an SSD. However, if you ever need to upgrade the CPU or motherboard, that’s where compatibility issues crop up. There may also be a situation where all of the components need replacement.

In this case, the cost may be too uphill, and buying new hardware may look like a better deal. It is better to consult your IT team or a third-party agency to clarify your doubts on repairs and costs.

Noisy fans

As computers age, they get overheated even when not carrying out intensive computing tasks. Overheating makes the fan run non-stop or make too much noise.

That’s probably the first sign of a computer’s impending demise. The latest version of an application or operating system tends to max out the hardware capacity, which causes the device to heat more than usual.

Mobility and speed issues

As per the trend, laptops and computers are getting more compact by the day. Multiple models in the Mac and Windows range do not require employees to carry around heavy machines.

Employees would be more happy and productive when they can quickly boot their devices, fire off tasks, and move seamlessly to the next priority.

Repairs are costlier than replacements

A component repair is more cost-effective than a new machine in usual scenarios. However, constant maintenance also comes with subsequent downtime.

Business owners need to think about the lost productivity and ongoing maintenance costs. After figuring that out, they need to compare it to the cost of simply replacing an old device.

Long start-up time

Newer versions of popular software require more resources, such as CPU, graphics, memory and storage.  Consequently, Older hardware is likely to struggle to keep up with the latest applications.

As a result, applications may take a long time to boot on an old device. It is good to check the compatibility before installing software to ensure that it runs well on the machine.

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Multitasking issues

If your machine struggles to run two or more applications simultaneously, it may be time for a new one.

When the computer takes time to switch between open applications, it is clear that the machine is reaching its dead end. Another similar incident occurs when you cannot switch between multiple open tabs on a web browser.

The main issue is insufficient RAM, mainly if you use multiple memory-hogging applications simultaneously. If a machine was initially purchased for web browsing, but now it needs to run intensive applications like Photoshop, you may need a new device.

Slow start-up & shutdown

If your PCs and laptops take an extremely long amount of time to boot up or shut down, it’s a warning sign that you should get a replacement.

A slow start-up can also mean that few applications are set on automatic loading. These applications run in the background every time you start your computer.

This kind of issue is the alarm to check into what’s wrong with the machine. A simple way out could be keeping lesser applications on auto-load in the operating system’s background.

It is essential to prevent dirt and debris from getting lodged inside the keyboard for the hardware. Chemical-based cleaning agents are to be avoided while cleaning the touchpad. It is best to follow manufacturer guidelines to clean and maintain your devices.

That is not all. Other system issues need your attention too. You can use Disk Management on Windows to simplify this, which manages storage tasks and cleans up disk space. Similarly, Disk Utility on Mac rectifies system errors and divides your drives for better space management.

Lastly, be aware of the battery’s performance. Avoid letting the battery get too hot and keep moisture at bay. The operating systems of both Windows and Mac devices are equipped with battery performance tools. To further preserve the battery’s life, settings can be adjusted as per your system’s preference.

Expensive hardware repairs

Incidents at the workplace are bound to happen. Desktop screens may crack, or the keypad may suddenly stop working. Getting an external mouse for a desktop does not take much time and money out of the business.

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However, the repair costs of specific components may come close to or exceed the price of a new machine. This depends on which specific part is being replaced. If a situation comes to that, remember that you are only pushing off the inevitable. In this situation, it would be better to purchase a new device.

Absence of the latest version of the security system

Regularly updating Windows and Mac computers is a great maintenance practice. Every new version comes with security patches, bug fixes and operational improvements designed to benefit the entire ecosystem.

Inability to update security

Failing to update security is as good as leaving your business wide open to a data breach. Even if your old computer manages to upgrade to the latest security standard, it may struggle to protect the software and applications that your team uses optimally.

If your system struggles with security at present, give it a few months. You’ll be actively putting your network at risk.

Next Steps: Bought a new Laptop Computer? Do these first

Whether you’ve just purchased a new laptop to replace an older one or upgraded it as a treat for yourself, there are a few things you should do immediately after buying a new laptop.

You can’t just get a new computer and distribute it to your employees. It would help customize the new machines according to your business needs.

A few little time commitments today can assist assure the best experience in the future.

This preparation takes some time to complete correctly. However, it will improve your experience with the laptop and, ideally, extend the life of your machine as well.

Update the Operating System

Whether you purchased your laptop at a brick-and-mortar store or online, it almost certainly waited in a warehouse several months after it left the manufacturing. Therefore, one of the first things to do with a new laptop is to install any available operating system updates.

This will ensure that your laptop has the most up-to-date features and that your system is safe. This is critical to complete first. Any new features added by the update may be configured throughout the setup process.

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Install security Software

Firewalls and malware software are critical to protecting your company’s data from external hacking and internal wrongdoings. Get the latest security patches installed on a new system to protect your business effectively.

Uninstall any Bloatware

Bloatware is a term that refers to unwanted or superfluous software that is pre-installed on your operating system. These applications are frequently ineffective and a waste of disc space and system resources. While makers of Windows laptops are renowned for this, bloatware is seldom an issue on Mac, Linux, or Chrome OS computers.

Set up Anti-Theft Tools

The next item on your checklist of what to do with a new laptop is secure it against theft. If someone steals your laptop, you will lose the device and all of its data. It’s crucial to put anti-theft measures in place to increase the possibility of getting your laptop and data back.

Optimize Battery Settings

Given the mobility of laptops, improving battery life should be a priority. A few easy modifications can result in hours of additional battery life. Thus, customizing the power settings is critical when purchasing a new laptop.

Configure Cloud Storage Syncing

Existing data needs to be migrated to new devices. Along with a proper backup, cloud storage will simplify your life if you work on numerous devices.

Dropbox and Google Drive, for example, sync whatever you store inside them to the company’s servers. After that, you may access those files from any device that is also logged in.

This enables you to quickly access a file you were editing on your desktop while working on your laptop. Make sure sensitive information from older devices is completely migrated or wiped out.

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