Laptop Replacement: Is It Time to Buy New Laptops for Your Employees?

A total of 275 million pc units were shipped worldwide in the year 2020. Lenovo is the company leading the world, with 68,507 shipments in 2020. Part of this growth is due to the surge in remote work, remote school, and remote socializing due to COVID-19.

Laptop replacement for your employees can be costly, and it is easy to let problems slide. When an employee’s laptop breaks down it results in lengthy delays, possibly lost sales, and can seriously impact your business. Read on for the answers to all your questions about whether your laptops are showing signs that they need replacement.

Laptop Life Expectancy

If your business is using desktop Pcs, you can expect them to survive a minimum of three (3) years, with most lasting five (5) to eight (8) years. The length of time they last will depend on maintenance and upgrading of components.

Laptop computers have a life expectancy of three (3) to five (5) years but may last longer. The problem many run into is the inability to run advanced applications. One of the key factors is whether the laptop’s ability is equivalent to current computing power.

Although a laptop has a shorter lifespan, the convenience of being able to take your computer with you increases its value. When you can take your computer to appointments with clients, home to work, or use it to access documents during meetings, it makes performing your work easier. Laptops also are less costly, so it is easier to stay up-to-date on the latest technology and software.

Laptop Replacement Pricing

The price for a replacement laptop, just like with a desktop computer, varies depending on:

  • Brand
  • Operating system
  • Processor
  • Hard drive size
  • Features included

When shopping for a laptop, pricing can range from $300 to $3,000, with a wide range of models available in the mid-range price of $600 to $1,500. You want to make sure you get the right computer for your employees to complete their work quickly and efficiently.

While a $300 laptop may sound good to the budget, you will be getting a unit with few features that run at a slower speed. There is a nice range of computers out there in the mid-price range that will meet your employees’ needs without costing them speed or function.

Desktop computers have a similar price range of $400 to $3,500, depending on the software, size of the processor, etc. The major downfall of a desktop computer is its cumbersome size. You will also need to purchase additional components such as a monitor, mouse, and keyboard.

Your employee may need a laptop in addition to their desktop computer or will need to take handwritten notes during meetings, increasing their workload. When purchasing a laptop, you are providing the ability to perform their work anywhere, whether at the office or in the field.

If you have an entire fleet of computers that are not performing well, you may be able to obtain a discount for purchasing several units at one time. If your desktop or laptop is showing any of the following problems, you may be ready for a replacement.

Compatibility Issues

If trying to boost the laptop’s power by upgrading the RAM and switching to a solid-state drive you may run into compatibility issues. When this happens you may need to replace several computer components, driving up the cost of upgrading.

You may find the cost of a new laptop is less than the price of upgrading your existing computer. Before putting out big bucks for an upgrade, consult with your business IT team. Ask questions about what you are getting for your money and do a price comparison.

Noisy Fans

This is one of the most easily detected signs that your computer is close to death. If your fan is running loudly, especially when you are not performing computing tasks, it is a sign the laptop’s demise is in the near future.

This may become suddenly noticeable if you upgrade to the latest version of an operating system or application. The new program may be maxing out the laptop’s hardware, resulting in the computer running warmer than normal. In addition to the loud fans, you may notice the body of the laptop seeming unusually warm when you touch it in certain areas.

Outdated Security Production

If you find your hardware is no longer compatible with current versions of operating systems, you may be due for a new machine. Check for updates on your Windows or Mac to see if upgrades are possible on your current unit. Having the latest operating system on your laptop is important due to bug fixes, operational improvements, and upgrades to security.

Even if you are able to upgrade your software, you may find that employees are not taking steps to ensure security, including strong passwords. The newer versions of PCs and Macs have what is termed biometric security. If the manufacturer of your computer is looking at performing security upgrades you may need to purchase new laptops.

No More Weightlifting

As technology progresses the size of both desktop computers and laptop computers are getting smaller. Laptops are smaller and lighter weight, making them easier to transport. When your employees can quickly pack up their laptop and take it with them without feeling they are part of a he-man contest because of its weight, everyone will be happier.

Lengthy Application Loads

If applications are taking a long time to load on your employee’s computer, your hardware may not be able to keep up with upgraded, current software. If you see your employees’ laptops sitting open trying to load while they are away from their desk, it is a good sign loading is a problem.

Even if your laptop appears to be working without any problems, if it is around 10 years old, it probably has outdated operating systems and approaching the end of its life.

Screen Quality Is Depleting

When you are looking at the screen, does it seem to be of poor quality? Does it flicker, causing eye strain? Is the screen cracked or does it have a section that does not work at all? 

When these things happen you need a new screen. Depending on the age of your laptop it may be more financially sound to purchase an entirely new laptop.

Keyboard Issues

Sticking keys are frustrating and degrade efficient operation. Some models have keyboards that are easily replaced, others have keyboards that are built into the top deck and replacement is difficult.

If you have a laptop developing keyboard issues analyze the age of the laptop. Replacing an older laptop may be more financially sound than repairs.

Hardware Repairs Are Stacking Up

Sometimes repairs are minor and easy, such as adding a mouse if the trackpad stops working. The problem is when there are repeat problems repairs become costly. Cracked screens, broken touchpads, and sticking keys decrease productivity. Trying to take the cheap way out results in money spent for repairs while postponing the inevitable purchase of a new unit.

Problems With Multitasking

If your laptop becomes bogged down when running two or more applications at the same time, you probably need a new unit. You should be able to jump quickly between applications. A similar problem is if you are unable to quickly switch between open tabs when on your browser.

Insufficient RAM is the reason things are bogging down. At one time laptops were used for things such as email and web browsing. Now laptops perform more intense tasks such as photo editing, graphic design, and web design, which require a higher level of RAM.

Lengthy Startup and Shutdown

If you are waiting a long time for a laptop to power up or shut down, you may have too many applications loading automatically when you power up the unit. If stopping those application loads does not resolve the problem, you likely need a new laptop.

Depleted or Dead Battery

Over time the process of powering up and powering down the computer depletes the battery. This can be seen over the time you own the laptop because the time it operates without a charge depletes. Eventually, you are unable to operate the computer without it being plugged in.

Some units have the ability to purchase a laptop battery replacement. With others, the battery is built into the laptop. If the battery had depleted to the point where the computer is only operational when plugged into electricity, it is time to look at a replacement.

Nothing Happens When You Press Power

That moment of horror, you press the power button to turn on the laptop and absolutely nothing happens. If the laptop is not plugged in, connect it to an electrical outlet and try again. If it is already plugged in, check to make sure the power cord has not come loose.

If all checks to the electrical connection still do not bring the laptop to life, you need to determine whether you want to repair or replace it. If it is under warranty, repair is the obvious choice. If the laptop is a few years old, then replacement is probably the most financially sound decision.

The bonus to purchasing a new laptop is that everything will now be under warranty. It will likely be lighter weight, have the latest technology in it, and be a better functioning unit for the employee it is assigned to.

Laptops for Business

When you are considering whether or not your business needs to purchase a laptop replacement for your employees, look at the overall financial benefits of putting a new unit in their hands. A laptop that works quickly and efficiently puts your business and your employee in a positive light with clients.

The easier it is for your employee to do their job, the better their workflow productivity. The bonus is better revenue for your business.

Check out our other blogs for more tips to help move your personal and business life forward.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.