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Old Laptops Are More Trouble Than They're Worth

We all love shiny new computers, which is never more true than when it comes to laptops. Unlike with desktop machines, a laptop is a complete package that typically evolves as a whole.

With a laptop, you're not going to upgrade the display or keyboard, and you can forget about upgrading the internals. All those reasons aside, there's now research that suggests that keeping a laptop beyond three years is usually more trouble than its worth.

Companies still working with tightened belts may be pressured to stave off the replacement cycle, but that could end up costing more, according to tech analyst Jack Gold.

Computerworld reports that Gold has come up with a cost model that estimates the cost of maintaining a laptop for two years beyond the initial three is $960 – which may end up costing more than just purchasing a new one at the end of year three.

As the laptop ages, it is more prone to failures of worn items such as the hard drive, keyboard and battery. The relatively slower old machine may also not be as productive as a newer model, also costing the company some money.

So there you have it – yet another reason to have shiny new things more often!

  • nun
    or just buy a desktop
    Reply
  • w4ffles
    Computerworld reports that Gold has come up with a cost model that estimates the cost of maintaining a laptop for two years beyond the initial three is $960 – which may end up costing more than just purchasing a new one at the end of year three.
    Only if you hire Geek Squad to fix it for you.
    Reply
  • Caffeinecarl
    Sounds like another reason we need a better system for recycling electronics.

    I've noticed this whole concept with cell phones, too. No matter how well you take care of them, after a few years not only has the technology completely leapfrogged the old models, your 2-3 year old phone is really getting kinda loose and squeaky. The more mobile it is, the more you have to factor in wear and tear! It's not like a desktop machine where you can really extend the life of the machine by changing its duties or making a simple upgrade.
    Reply
  • El_Capitan
    That's why you have to love the technology industry. I have a conspiracy theory. These hardware companies probably have figured out how to make 10GHz 16 Core Laptops that last 20 hours on battery, etc. However, why jump that far ahead when you can release increments every year and charge a premium? It happened with the auto industry.
    Reply
  • Pei-chen
    With a Thinkpad, 5 year is the norm.
    Reply
  • JasonAkkerman
    El_CapitanThat's why you have to love the technology industry. I have a conspiracy theory. These hardware companies probably have figured out how to make 10GHz 16 Core Laptops that last 20 hours on battery, etc. However, why jump that far ahead when you can release increments every year and charge a premium? It happened with the auto industry.
    That would only hold true if only one laptop developer had figured out all that stuff. If more then one does there will be technology and price wars until all the tech is out on the shelves. Which leads up to the "competition is good" understanding. That is of course assuming there is no collaboration and price fixing between developers, which of course is illegal.

    Reply
  • jhansonxi
    "Plus, the outdated notebooks will cost an organization $9,600 annually per person in lost end-user productivity, Gold said, since a machine that's two generations behind current models takes longer to boot up and runs sluggishly."

    That's not a hardware problem. At best it is a perception problem and at worst it means your Windows mess is full of malware again and just needs a restore.

    I agree with the warranty and hard drive failure claims but the rest depends on how well the user takes care of it.

    I'd be interested in how they think this compares to Apple or any non-Windows OS.
    Reply
  • B-Unit
    nunor just buy a desktopYea, because dragging a desktop around for mobile troubleshooting is easy.
    Reply
  • wildwell
    Sounds like planned obsolescence at work.
    Reply
  • ph3412b07
    Any company that shells out that much to maintain a laptop simply has a poor business model. $960 by itself is way more than enough to pay for IT service, parts, upgrades, troubleshooting,...etc. In 2-3 years you're talking about a performance difference of corei7 vs core2duo. Thats not $960, unless companies are getting the extreme edition to stuff in laptops.
    Reply