Plugged In: When is the Best Time to Buy a Laptop?
The average laptop will usually last between three and five years, depending on how it is used.
To consider when is the best time to buy a laptop, it is important to take into account the state of your current laptop, along with what kind of laptop you are looking for.
In many cases, waiting until yearly sales can help you to save a great deal.
Let’s take a look at why you may be looking for a new laptop, and when is the best time to shop.
Signs That You Need a New Laptop
As your laptop ages, certain things will inevitably stop working or become out of date. Whether you are experiencing a slower start-up or the charge isn’t holding, there are a few things to look for that will help to decide if it is time for a new unit.
For some laptops, after years of use, they will no longer be eligible for upgrades. Although they will likely still receive security fixes, you may find that older computers can no longer upgrade their internal systems.
For a time, this won’t be an issue. But if left too long, you will probably see the effects of the older system, such as slower response times.
Similarly, if you choose to upgrade internal parts, like the RAM, it is possible that the newer parts will not be compatible with the older parts. In this case, it is often cheaper to buy a new laptop than replace all the necessary parts.
One of the first signs that your computer is aging is the sound of the fan, even when nothing is running. Simply by using the latest applications and operating systems, your computer hardware will need to work harder and therefore the unit will run hotter.
There are a few things you can do to help reduce the fan noise, such as closing down background applications. However, these are quick fixes that won’t last forever.
For an older computer running newer applications, you will likely see some lagging as the program’s startup, and in some cases, when in use. Also, working on multiple tabs at once will probably greatly reduce productivity.
If you notice that your laptop is taking a long time to boot up and is not holding its charge, there is the possibility of replacing the charger. First, check it out thoroughly and inspect for any damage, along with testing the battery before opting to replace it.
Changing out buttons on your keypad, or replacing the touchpad with an external mouse are easy and inexpensive fixes to small problems. However, in some cases, the repairs will out-cost that of a new laptop.
For example, a cracked screen may be workable for a time, but you run the risk of the whole thing shattering. However, finding someone to replace that screen can be difficult, especially with older models.
For internal issues, as mentioned before, finding compatible parts is not always easy and could lead you to purchase more parts than you really need. In addition, paying a repairman to take your laptop apart and change out the internal working could potentially be more costly than a new unit.
When Is the Best Time to Buy a Laptop?
Buying a laptop can be a big decision and a big expense. With that in mind, doing research into different units and waiting for sale opportunities might be the better option. If your laptop is still functional and you can wait, delaying your purchase could potentially save you hundreds of dollars.
Once you know what specifications and model of laptop you would like (ie, Apple vs Windows) you can further look into sales and yearly reports to find the best-priced options.
New Product Launch
Many companies will hold annual launch events at which they announce new and exciting products. By keeping an eye on when these events take place, you can potentially time your purchase as the price is reduced.
For example, Apple holds its annual Key Note event in the Fall. It is not uncommon to see older models discounted with the introduction of a new line.
Though it may not be immediate, the vast majority of companies will reduce the price of certain older models around the time of the newer releases.
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals
In recent years, Black Friday deals have been available online and have included many electronics, including laptops. Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday are excellent opportunities to save on a new laptop. In recent years, Cyber Monday has even surpassed Black Friday in terms of its scale and popularity.
Many deals are released in advance, giving you the chance to research options and stores to find the best deal. Traditionally, Apple does not offer many discounts. But for Windows machines, there are a number of heavily discounted options.
Back to School Sales
Toward the end of Summer, there are several back-to-school sales, including clothing, shoes, and electronics. These sales include both Apple and Windows products. Both will often include offers, such as free headphones or discounted printers.
These deals are usually available toward the end of July and the first few weeks of August and require proof that you are a student.
Consider Certified Refurbished Products
Many companies will offer refurbished products. These have been checked over and tested by professionals and should have some kind of certificate to prove it is in working order.
Such deals are available year-round. If you feel your laptop could be needing to be replaced in the near future, it is worth keeping an eye on refurbished products, as they can change weekly.
Buying a Laptop
Knowing when is the best time to buy a laptop can help you to save money. Prolonging the life of your current laptop by just a few months may give you the opportunity to find a great deal.
Consider what your needs are and what you will need out of your new laptop in order to find the right one for you.
If you think it is time for a new laptop, check out our Buyer’s Guide for information on the best laptops for your individual needs.
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