How to Make Laptops Last Longer

Laptop computers are great. They are convenient, can go almost anywhere, are small, and many of us use them as our main computing device. Not surprisingly, I’m writing this on a laptop right now. Unfortunately, they get physically abused, are often stolen, and generally don’t last as long as we’d like. And even though prices have come way down, they are still expensive. Here are a few tips to get more mileage out of your laptop.

Always carry your laptop with some type of padding. This can be a specially padded laptop bag, carefully nested in a briefcase, or even wrapped in a shirt in a backpack. Too many are thrown carelessly in bags that are then dragged around without any care. Laptops do get damaged so treat them gently.

Laptops are also often stolen. Do not leave yours alone in a public place even for a few seconds. A friend of mine had one nabbed that was sitting in front of him while he has on the phone in an airport. He turned around, and it was simply gone! Be careful! Also in hotel rooms never leave one visible or any accessories like a power supply visible as they are dead giveaways that there is a laptop somewhere in the room. Of course never check them when flying either.

When your laptop starts to slow down and the battery life is getting short, consider upgrading the memory to the maximum and replacing the battery. Upgrading the memory will make it much faster and that extra memory that may have cost $500 or even over $1000 when it was new, may only cost $50 or so now. Batteries are expensive to replace but you may be able to get third party batteries for much less.

I’m a power laptop user, but my laptops last for several years. I keep my laptop until the battery life is seriously diminished, and then I replace the battery and max out the memory at the same time. If upgrading memory is beyond you then you can have a local computer shop or office supply shop do it for you very economically. When the second battery starts having a short runtime, I usually retire the laptop to secondary or backup status and buy a new one. For example, my last laptop from over 5 years ago is still alive and well and I use it nearly every week for tasks like email.