Simple ways to extend the life of your laptop
Computers were once sizable investments. But much like the cost of high-definition televisions and entertainment systems has dropped considerably over the last decade, so, too, has the cost of desktop and laptop computers.
According to the Statistics Portal, which gathers statistics from more than 22,500 sources, by 2022, sales figures for laptops are expected to outnumber desktop computer sales by a margin of nearly two to one. Many working professionals prefer laptops, now widely referred to as notebooks, to desktop computers because of their flexibility. Laptops can be taken on the go, but also used at home or in an office, where they can be plugged into relatively inexpensive monitors to provide the same user experience as desktops.
Laptop prices vary, but the tech resource CNET.com notes that various reliable budget laptops can be purchased for less than $1,000, with some, such as some models of the Samsung Chromebook Pro, available for around $500. But just because a laptop might not break the bank, that does not mean users won’t want to get several years out of them. The following are some simple ways laptop users can extend the life of their machines.
• Add more RAM. Low amounts of RAM on a laptop can adversely affect its performance. According to Laptopmag.com, adding more RAM can help a laptop overcome sluggishness and maintain its performance when users have several internet tabs open. RAM is the physical memory on a computer, and when there’s not enough physical memory, which is often the case with older laptops, performance will suffer. Upgrading from four GB of RAM to eight GB can cost as little as $30 and provide a lot of bang for the buck.
• Replace an old battery. An old battery likely won’t affect performance, but it can affect hardware that can shorten the laptop’s lifespan. Batteries that don’t charge well or discharge too quickly, which can happen with aging batteries, can threaten the hardware on a laptop. That’s because, to operate effectively, hardware must draw a specific amount of amps from the battery. However, when the battery is old or operating inefficiently or ineffectively, the hardware will overheat because the fans do not have enough power to cool them down. Over time, such overheating causes damage to the hardware, shortening the life expectancy of the laptop as a result. A new battery won’t break the bank, making this another inexpensive way to extend the life of a laptop.
• Switch to a solid-state drive. A solid-state drive, or SSD, is now included in many new laptops. But users relying on older laptops may still be using hard-disk drives, or HDDs. HDDs contain a lot of moving parts that can wear out over time, affecting the performance of the laptop. SSDs contain no such moving parts, allowing them to deliver much better performance, including fast boot speeds and improved app speed.
Laptop users whose have noticed a dip in the performance of their machines can try several simple strategies to revitalize their laptops.