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How Long Should A Laptop Last? Signs It’s Time For an Upgrade

22 August 2023

How Long Should A Laptop Last? Signs It’s Time For an Upgrade


Whether it’s for work, play, communication or beyond, laptops have become one of the most indispensable tools in our modern-day tech toolkit. Our laptops tend to get a lot of love, so it’s important to make sure you choose a machine that’s up to the rigours of your own personal usage levels. It can be tricky to know what to expect when delving into the world of laptops — taking into consideration how quickly technology evolves and how much we use these pint-sized machines on a daily basis, one must ask the question: how long should a good laptop last? 


In this article, we delve into the intricacies of laptop durability, exploring the key variables that impact their lifespan and revealing the common warning signs that you might be due for an upgrade. 

What is the average lifespan of a laptop?

How long is a piece of string? Okay, in all seriousness, the average lifespan of a laptop can vary significantly depending on a range of factors — we’ll dive into this a little later. Generally, laptops are designed to last for several years, with an average lifespan ranging from three to five years. However, some laptops can last longer, especially if they are well taken care of and used for less resource-intensive tasks.



Things that affect the lifespan of a laptop

Like most questions to do with tech, there are a whole bunch of variables that can affect your answer. How long your laptop lasts depends on several key factors — let’s go through them below. 

Build quality

Laptops of higher build quality tend to last longer. Premium, high-end laptops often feature better materials and craftsmanship, which can make them more durable over time.

Usage patterns

How you use your laptop plays a significant role in how long it will last you. Laptops used for resource-intensive tasks like gaming, video editing and 3D rendering might experience more wear and tear than laptops used for basic web browsing and word processing.

Cooling and heat management

Overheating can speed up the degradation of internal components of your laptop. Laptops with effective cooling systems and proper ventilation are more likely to have a longer lifespan.

Dust and debris

Keep it clean, folks! Accumulated dust and debris can hinder proper airflow, causing components of your laptop to overheat and potentially fail. Regular cleaning can help prevent these issues.

Power surges and fluctuations

Power surges and unstable electrical conditions can damage components and shorten the laptop's lifespan. Using a surge protector can mitigate these risks.

Battery health

Batteries have a limited number of charge cycles before they start losing capacity. Constantly using the laptop while it's plugged in can also strain the battery. Proper battery maintenance, like avoiding extreme temperatures and not overcharging, can extend your laptop’s lifespan.

Software updates

While software updates are important for security and functionality, newer operating systems and applications can demand more resources, potentially causing older laptops to slow down or become incompatible. Make sure the risk is worth the reward if you’re considering a software update. 

Physical damage

Accidental drops, spills and other physical damage can severely impact a laptop's lifespan. Treating your laptop with care and using protective cases can help prevent any serious issues.

Component quality

The quality of internal components, such as the processor, memory and storage, can affect how well your laptop performs over time. Higher-quality components are generally more reliable — they’re built to go the distance.

Environmental conditions

Laptops used in extreme temperatures, high humidity or dusty environments can experience more wear and tear. Using the laptop in a clean, controlled environment can help prolong its lifespan.


As technology advances, it’s only natural that your laptop might get left behind in terms of currency. With the rapid rate of innovation in tech, laptops can become outdated in terms of performance and software compatibility. While they might still physically function, their capacity for more modern computing will diminish.

Upgrades and maintenance

Some laptops allow for component upgrades, such as adding more RAM or swapping out hard drives for SSDs. Upgrading certain parts can extend your laptop's usability.

Manufacturer and model

As with all tech, it pays to shop around — finding the right balance between affordability and durability can take time! Different manufacturers and laptop models have varying levels of reliability and longevity. Researching reviews and customer experiences can give you practical, real-world info about how long a particular laptop might last.


Signs you need to upgrade your laptop

Knowing when to upgrade your laptop can be important to ensure that you're getting the best performance and functionality for your needs. Here are some key signs that indicate it might be time to consider going for something new:

Sluggish performance

If your laptop has become noticeably slower in performing everyday tasks, such as web browsing, opening apps and multitasking, it could be a sign that its hardware is struggling to keep up with modern demands.

Outdated software compatibility

If your laptop can't run the latest operating system updates or software applications due to hardware limitations, you might be missing out on new features, security updates and improved performance.

Insufficient storage

Running out of storage space on your laptop can lead to performance issues and limit your ability to store important files, photos, and videos. If you frequently find yourself deleting files to make room, it could be time to upgrade to a laptop with more storage capacity.

Diminished battery life

As laptops age, their battery capacity naturally decreases, leading to shorter battery life. If your laptop can't hold a charge for as long as it used to, it might be worth considering a replacement battery or a new laptop altogether.

Overheating and fan noise

Anyone who’s ever been around a dying laptop can no doubt identify the sounds of struggle! If your laptop overheats frequently and its fans run loudly even during basic tasks, it could be a sign of inadequate cooling or worn-out internal components.

Hardware failures

The blue screen and pinwheel of death are so named for a reason — seeing these unwanted visitors on your laptop is never a good sign. Frequent crashes and hardware malfunctions (like a malfunctioning keyboard, touchpad or display) could indicate that your laptop's components are starting to fail.

Inadequate graphics performance

If you're using your laptop for tasks like gaming, video editing or graphic design, and you notice that the graphics performance is getting sloppy, it might be time for an upgrade to a laptop with a more capable graphics card.

Lack of ports and connectivity

Modern laptops tend to all have a range of essential ports like USB-C, Thunderbolt or HDMI. If you find yourself needing to connect to various peripherals, a laptop that offers better connectivity options could save your sanity.

Frequent freezing and crashing

If your laptop frequently freezes or crashes, it could be a sign of software conflicts, insufficient RAM or other hardware issues that can only really be solved with an upgrade.

Inadequate RAM 

If your laptop struggles to keep up with multitasking and frequently slows down when you have multiple applications open, upgrading to a laptop with more RAM could significantly improve performance.


EOL (End of Life) or discontinued support

Sometimes a laptop’s manufacturer will officially discontinue support, including software updates and driver updates. For security and compatibility reasons, you should definitely consider moving on to a new laptop if this happens to you. 


Ultimately, the decision to upgrade your laptop depends on your specific needs, budget and the severity of the issues you're experiencing. Regularly assessing the performance and condition of your laptop can help you make an informed decision about when to invest in a new device.


Your premier destination for laptop upgrades

Taking the plunge and investing in a new laptop can feel overwhelming — but it doesn’t have to be. At Mwave, we have laptops for every possible use case and we are ready to help you find the right fit for your lifestyle. Whether you need a hardcore gaming laptop, something for graphic design or a device for simple tasks, our team can point you in the right direction. 


Our online laptop store is split into categories for easy navigation — you can shop by brand, CPU, storage and more, so it’s easier than ever to find a machine that suits your specifications and priorities. We also stock all the essential hardware for you to upgrade your existing laptop, including SSDs, GPUs, memory and more. If you don’t know where to start, give our friendly team a call on 1300 727 446 for the best advice. 


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