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How long should a laptop last?

If you want to know how long a laptop should last, we can hopefully help answer a question that isn't nearly a straightforward as you might think.

how long should a laptop last

How long should a laptop last? This is a question that has quite a varied answer and understandably has changed over time. When laptops became a more popular item over the stationary PC, the cost was such that people wanted to make sure they were getting the most for their money. Granted, laptops come in all sorts of price ranges now and there’s even a whole subsection that doubles as tablets!

What’s still hard to determine even to this day, is how far this money is supposed to go, as surely the best laptops last longer, right? One year is poor but is seven years wishful thinking? Either way, we at Gear Nuke want to try and help answer the question of how long a laptop should last, just in case you have a laptop that’s on the way out well-before its time.

how long should a laptop last - an image of a microsoft surface laptop on a plain white desk

How long can I expect my laptop to last?

A standard laptop should last anywhere between three to five years. This is a fairly universally agreed upon time frame but does skirt over multiple factors that go into the durability of a laptop and what is considered ‘standard’. There is also a ‘you get what you pay for’ aspect to all of this and budget laptops aren’t typically expected to last as long.

If we look at gaming laptops, these are often filled with premium hardware and come in at a much higher price. Does that automatically mean they should last longer? No. The truth is that a gaming laptop is more susceptible to burnout due to the type of activity they will be subject to on a daily basis. If the laptop doesn’t have a suitable cooling system, or the cooling system isn’t well maintained, a gaming laptop can easily fall below the three to five year timespan.

On the other end of the scale, let’s take a Chromebook. It’s expected to still see daily use but for far less challenging tasks. Mostly online browsing and maybe some Netflix or music playback. This kind of usage will really stretch the life of a product and you’re more likely to see it push the five year mark or beyond. Of course, maintaining the product is still a factor in this as you’ll need to stay on top of updates and protect the device from harmful content.

how long should a laptop last - a group of Asus republic of gamers laptops

Can a laptop last 10 years?

Absolutely, a laptop is more than capable of still being usable after 10 years. Just don’t expect the same kind of performance that you experienced when it was fresh out of the box. There is no shame in trying to get a product to last well-beyond an expected life cycle and once again, the way the product is used and maintained over the years will play a massive factor. For Windows machines, it’s not believed that updates are released to ever slow down old hardware, but at some point your laptop may simply become too old to run a version of the operating system. 

For MacBooks, due to their built in software and stricter restrictions, often these products naturally last a little longer than Windows devices. You might already expect this, however, as the Apple product range doesn’t tend to offer many budget options so value for money and longevity is key.