Should I Fix My Laptop or Buy a New One?
With rapid improvements in computer technology, many people start thinking about getting a replacement after about two to three years of use. But laptops can get pricey — which means choosing between repairing the one you’ve got or selecting a new laptop altogether. Learn about common laptop problems that might trigger a replacement and how Rent-A-Center can help.
When to Fix vs. Replace Your Laptop
When deciding whether to repair or replace your laptop, there are often many factors to consider (i.e., age, price, personal preference). However, the overall condition of your computer and the potential price of repair can help make this decision crystal clear. In short, if the cost of repair is over half the cost of a new laptop, consider getting a replacement.
You’ll also want to have your laptop issues diagnosed by a computer technician before deciding to repair vs. replace. A professional can help you understand the severity of your computer problems and give you a quote on any potential repairs. We’ve outlined considerations for different laptop problems below to help you make a decision.
Hard Drive Failure
Hard drive failure usually requires a simple replacement of the component, but the cost of a new one may vary depending on the type you’re looking for. For example, solid-state drives (SSDs), most often found in gaming laptops and desktops, have superior storage and memory capabilities. Because of this, they may come with a heftier price tag than the more common hard-disk drives (HDDs).
In short, you should expect to pay at least $100 for replacement and installation. And if a bad hard drive is only one of several problems with your laptop, repairs may surpass the cost of a new device. In which case, you might want to consider replacing your computer altogether.
Broken screens are perhaps the most common consequence of a dropped laptop. Sometimes a broken screen is just a single (but annoying) crack — other times, it’s a web of shattered glass that makes it impossible to use your device. However bad it may be, can you repair a cracked screen on a laptop?
The good news is that you can! In most cases, laptop screens are replaceable and won’t justify buying a new device. But sometimes, professional screen repair can cost upwards of $300. So if the replacement price outweighs the cost of purchasing a laptop, it may be time to shop for a new one.
Equally as frustrating as a broken screen is a keyboard that won’t type. Those emails aren’t going to write themselves! Thankfully, if there’s no structural damage, keyboards are relatively simple to fix.
The biggest enemy of a faulty keyboard is built-up dirt and grime, which can usually be resolved with a thorough keyboard cleaning. However, the problem could also be due to a hardware or software issue. Get your keyboard checked by a professional to determine if there’s a bigger problem.
If the laptop keys are worn from years of abuse, it may be time for a complete keyboard replacement. Whereas external desktop keyboards can be replaced for as little as $10, repairing or replacing a laptop’s built-in keyboard could cost upwards of $200 with the cost of labor.
We’ve all experienced the mad rush to plug in your laptop before the battery dies. As your computer gets older, the capacity of its lithium-ion battery gradually decreases. Sometimes the battery degrades so much that you can’t even turn your laptop on without having it plugged in.
The good news is that battery replacements are common and usually only cost between $20-$50. Before you buy a new battery, though, make sure it’s the reason for your charging issues and not something else, like a faulty charger. Most PC batteries are easy to get to, so replacing them can be a simple task.
Should You Fix Your Laptop or Buy a New One?
Many laptop issues can be resolved by replacing individual components. Unfortunately, repair expenses can sometimes exceed the cost of a new, better-functioning option.
A good rule of thumb to follow is — if the cost of repairs is more than 50% of the cost of a new laptop, consider getting a new device. And sometimes, it’s just time for an upgrade. A brand new, speedy laptop makes life easier and sure beats dealing with a beat-up old machine.