Remember those Maytag commercials where the guy sat there doing nothing because their washing machines worked forever? Computers aren’t like that. Computers break. This can be frustrating, especially considering that computers are changing very quickly. What was true a decade ago is not always true today in the computer world. You simply can’t get too attached to your new computer, because soon it will be outdated.
So how long do computers last and stay relevant these days? With constant upgrades and advances in technology, including programming, computers become outdated very quickly. Desktop computers tend to be worth repairing for about five to six years. After that you should use it until it either dies or becomes so problematic that it’s not worth using anymore.
Laptops need to be replaced even quicker than desktops. Laptops reach the end of their expected life after about three to four years. This is due to many factors, though the biggest is that laptops are damaged over time from routine constant moving, and thus wear down quicker than desktops.
There are a lot of factors that go into this timeline. Technology is changing constantly and something created ten years ago just is not going to be able to keep up. Take the internet. There are still computers with Windows XP on them, which means they are at least six years old (Microsoft has not sold XP since 2008). Windows XP supports Internet Explorer 8 (Internet Explorer 11 is the current release) but many modern browsers run on code that is too new and not supported by the browser. So those six year old computers can’t even get to every website without an alternate browser. Here’s Beibei’s blog about the “Five Reasons You Should Retire Your Windows XP ASAP.”
Newer software and programs are also designed to run on newer machines. So you can get an update to Quickbooks and suddenly the program won’t work as well because the older computer doesn’t have the processing power to handle it.
With these constant changes, computers don’t even need to last for more than five years. So the manufacturer isn’t inclined to build a part which lasts longer than that. Now add in the variables of dust, smoke, cramped locations, pets, and countless other things. Those components shelf-life decreases even further and parts start to break after three to five years.
Mobile technologies are changing every year, and as mobile gets more popular, computing for portable devices like laptops and tablets will mimic them more and more. This means we can expect portable computers to start being outdated and replaced quicker than they are currently. While desktops are holding on to the five to six year replacement mark, if you prefer mobile devices, make sure your wallet is prepared to replace them every other year at best.
So when you plan to buy that computer upgrade, keep in mind that the computer isn’t like one from the 90s. They aren’t designed to last forever anymore. Maytag style computers are a thing of the past. The good news is that Rent-A-Nerd, Inc. offers quality Lenovo computers for any budget. Browse our Products & Equipment page, or give us a call at 504-454-6373 to discuss your computer needs.