Should I Repair my Laptop? Or Replace it?
The developed world has become dependent on computers. Paying bills, working and communicating over social media have all moved to the computer, and these devices have enshrined themselves within modern society. As technology has improved and become smaller, laptops have become the most commonly-used type of computer. When one breaks, panic often ensues. The owner is faced with a question: Repair it? Or buy another one?
The answer depends largely on the nature of the problem. While some problems can be fixed fairly cheaply, others will cost more than the laptop itself.
How much is the laptop worth?
Before calculating if a repair is more expensive than buying another laptop, the owner must determine the worth of the laptop. Laptops drop in price quickly, and even a laptop that is only one year old may have dropped in price significantly. A laptop that costs several thousand dollars may be worth repairing in cases where a $200 laptop would not.
Problems that can be fixed cheaply
Small peripheral devices are generally cheap to repair. Network cards, for example, can be replaced easily. RAM sometimes goes bad, but its cost is so low that a replacement is usually the best option. In fact, if a laptop’s RAM goes bad, it might be a good time to upgrade if the laptop supports more RAM. Hard drives, which break fairly frequently, are generally worth replacing. Some technicians are able to recover the hard drive’s data to transfer to the new hard drive. The CPU is likely worth replacing, and possibly upgrading, as well. Broken or heavily-degraded batteries are an easy replacement, and many users can simply order a new one online.
Problems that are often more expensive than a new laptop
Screens are one of the most vulnerable areas of a laptop. Unfortunately, the cost of a screen breaking often exceeds the cost of a new laptop. Some repair locations may have an appropriate screen in stock that they can installed fairly cheaply, but most broken screens are prohibitively expensive. Keyboard problems may be fixable by replacing a key or a key’s mechanism, but more often they require a complete, and expensive, replacement that likely exceeds the cost of a new laptop. Power supply failures are generally more expensive than a new laptop, and a broken motherboard is almost always too expensive to consider repairing.
Easing the transition
There are steps laptop owners can take to help mitigate the transfer from one laptop to another. As a preventative step, all laptop owners should periodically back up their important data. In some cases of hard drive failure, data recovery is impossible. When purchasing a new laptop, however, it may be possible to simply move the hard drive from the old laptop to the new one. A broken laptop likely has functioning parts that can be sold to help reduce the cost of a new laptop. Computer repair locations that also sell laptops may be willing to sell the new laptop at a reduced cost if the owner is willing to trade in their old laptop.