Knowing when it is time to buy a new laptop is not as simple as it may seem. For those of us who do not have the resources to shell out another $1,200 every time we see a new commercial for the latest model, it can be difficult to know when it is time to upgrade. This is especially true for those who still have a fully functional laptop that still meets most or all of our needs.
However, technology will never, ever slow down, and even if you just bought a new laptop last week, there is already a newer, prettier, faster model on the way. If this is the case, you are obviously better off waiting a while longer, unless the new model has something that you absolutely cannot live without.
If you do not work or spend much time in technology industries, knowing when you need to buy a new computer can be a legitimate issue. Even though everyone now has some level of computer savvy, not everyone is knowledgeable or experienced enough to know when a new laptop is a necessity and when it is simply splurging on a new toy.
But This One Still Works Fine
It may seem old fashioned in the modern world, but many of us are still ingrained with childhood lessons of appreciating what you have and not throwing your toy away just because you want a new one. To those who did not have this type of childhood, this may seem like a novel concept that does not apply here, but splurging on unnecessary luxuries is just against the nature of some people.
So this brings us to a common, practical problem: What if my current laptop still works fine, for the most part? If you are completely satisfied with what you currently have, then there is clearly no reason to waste money on a new one. But in this scenario, the key aspect of the question above is for the most part.
This relates to how many small issues, slow-moving screens, slight inconveniences and other seemingly small problems you are willing to put up with before moving on from your current laptop. If money is not an issue, then you really don’t have to put up with any issues at all, unless you just have an attachment– sentimental or otherwise– to your computer.
But for the other 99% of the population, here are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine whether or not it is time to begin shopping.
How old is your laptop?
The average person replaces his or her computer every three to six years. This does not mean that a computer older than six years must be replaced, or that one younger than three years will always be worth keeping, but these can be helpful guidelines.
Are you, your family or any other users regularly complaining about speed problems?
While even brand new laptops will not be lightning-fast on every task, you should not be forced to wait excessive amounts of time for more than half of your computer usage.
Does your computer barely meet the minimum requirements for new software or games?
If you have to check the system requirements on even the simplest new software to ensure it will work with your computer, it could be time to move on.
Want vs. Need
Perhaps the most important thing to determine is whether you need a new laptop, or you simply want one. Even if you only want one, that does not mean you should not buy it, but you need to be honest with yourself.
If you are still uncertain, you can check out laptop reviews about how to get the best value, and these usually have helpful buying advice. Either way, it does not hurt to look, and shopping for a laptop can help you gain more technical and practical computer knowledge, in addition to ensuring you find the best computer for your individual needs.