When Should You Buy a New Laptop?

This article was contributed by John Marais who works with EmorMedia ltd as a content expert for other clients in the field of InsureTech.

A laptop is an expensive purchase. You can spend well over a thousand dollars on the laptop you want, which is money most people do not have lying around. This is why many of us are wary of giving up on our old laptops. As long as they are doing the basics, we go on using them.

But at what point should you just give in and buy a laptop? An old laptop can really hinder your day-to-day activity, especially if you rely on it for work.

Furthermore, you may be spending unnecessary money on a laptop that is no longer worth it. You may be thinking of buying extra memory or an external hard drive. Also, when you get insurance coverage for your laptop, most insurers will only pay you the actual cash value at the time of your claim. If you are still paying for insurance on a laptop that is seven years old, you are wasting your money.

So, should you get a laptop even though your current computer just about does the job? Here is when you should take the plunge.

Your laptop slows you down

An old laptop can become very sluggish, and not just in loading. Even when creating text documents, an old laptop can prevent you from getting things done as quickly as you'd like to. If you are using software that requires a high level of processing, such as video or music creation, a slow laptop can cost you hours every week.

The moment you find yourself making accommodations for your laptop's slowness – such as opening software a few minutes early and finding other stuff to do when it is taking time to process – you should seriously consider replacing it.

A good laptop today is going to be much faster than your old laptop was when you bought it. In comparison to your laptop's current slowness, you will notice how significant a difference it makes.

You don't use its full potential

Many people use their laptops primarily for work purposes, but enjoy using other aspects as well. That may include gaming, video and music creation, learning new skills, and more. At some point, however, you may have stopped using the software available because it is slow or just no longer works on your laptop.

You may justify hanging onto your laptop on the fact that you don't really need these other capabilities. But you are limiting yourself in the process. It is understandable if you do not have the money that you will sacrifice these things. However, see if you can find a laptop that comes with a payment plan. Instead of paying a thousand dollars or more at once, you may be able to pay less than a hundred dollars every month for the next two years.

You need to constantly delete content

Some old laptops came with very little space on them. They also seem to get cluttered as the years roll by, with no real recourse to clear up that clutter. It just becomes part of your hard drive – wasted storage that you cannot identify and delete. At some point, you may find yourself deleting content in order to use certain software or store other content.

This can be a tiresome process, while also compromising content that you actually want to keep. It may mean having to download content from the cloud whenever you need it, which can take time and waste data if you are not connected to WiFi. Buying a laptop just for the storage space is a bit of a stretch, but it can be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Rather than spending money on an external hard drive that you need to keep with you, consider getting a new laptop altogether.

Calculate its worth

Finally, it is important to point out that most laptops are well worth the money you spend. Let's say you buy the 15-inch Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 for $1,050. You can expect six to eight good years out of it. Even if we go conservative and assume it will last for just six years, that works out at just $175 a year.

It is an investment that may seem expensive at the time but is actually very reasonable. Compare that to buying a $1,000 smartphone that you replace every two years.

If you are considering getting a new laptop and you have the funds available, it is probably worth it. There is no need to wait until your current laptop stops working entirely before upgrading.

About the author

John Marais is a content expert who specializes in InsureTech and works with  EmorMedia ltd. and other clients. His work focuses on simplifying complex subjects for experts and laymen alike. With a decade of experience in the industry, he also works on a consultancy basis for insurance startups.