Laptops allow you to work, plan, and play from anywhere. You can type away in a coffee lounge or browse in the airport while waiting to board a plane. Sounds good, huh? These devices aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, which leads us to the reasons to avoid a new laptop today. We’ll delve into that. But first, here’s some background information.
Some Background on Laptop Computers
It’s hard to imagine a technology-free world like we have today. The first somewhat portable computer was IBM’s 5100, which weighed 55 pounds. Even though it wasn’t a laptop, per se, it did open the door to more portable laptop computers.
In 1983, Manny Fernandez started the Gavilan Computer Corporation, where he built some of the first proper laptops for executives. The 1980s also saw quite a few companies enter the computer manufacturing race.
- Epson – HX-20
- Radio Shack – TRS-80 Model 100, TRS Model 200
- IBM – 5155 Portable Personal Computer
- Compaq – SLT/286
- Hewlett-Packard – Vectra Portable CS
- Apple – Macintosh Portable
By the 1990s, notebook-style laptops came on the scene. Their sizes and weights got significantly smaller and lighter. So they more clearly resemble today’s technology.
Why Avoid a New Laptop Today?
There are plenty of good reasons to avoid a new laptop today. A desktop, tablet, or sometimes even an upgraded smartphone can perform tasks like a computer.
Not as Durable
Laptops, on average, have shorter lifespans than desktop PCs. And that’s because of their smaller structure. Also, laptops are more often abused simply because of their portability. For example, they get cracked screens inside carry cases. And sometimes coffee gets spilled on them. So laptops take way more of a beating than desktops.
Components tend to Heat Up
Laptop components are packed tightly inside the case, so they often overheat faster than desktops. And laptop batteries degrade every time you charge them. So the components in laptops typically work harder than those inside the desktop PC.
Less Potential for Upgrades
Upgrading a laptop is more of a hassle than upgrading a PC, another huge reason to avoid a new laptop today. In addition, the smaller size makes laptops a little more challenging to upgrade, so they get outdated faster than their larger counterparts. We’d love to upgrade our laptop’s hard drive, but it’s impossible due to its configuration.
Another reason to avoid a new laptop today is its limited lifespan. Because upgrading it is difficult, you are more likely to replace your laptop when it starts slowing down. And that makes the shorter lifespan more costly than simply upgrading a desktop. But, of course, that may not be an issue if you have the cash to splurge and don’t mind upgrading your laptop every other year.
Use Case: Your Needs
How you use a laptop, PC, or tablet will best determine which machine is best for your needs. For instance, heavy spreadsheet users or graphic designers may prefer a desktop with multiple screens. But warehouse employees prefer portable options that let them see inventory at a glance. So your specific needs make the best determination.
Alternatives to a New Laptop
If you want to avoid a new laptop, here are some excellent alternatives.
One thing we like best about desktop PCs is that you can continue using all your current accessories. So, for example, if you have a monitor set up that you love, keep using it with your new desktop. And the same goes for your keyboard, mouse, and other accessories.
For the power user, desktops provide many reasons to avoid a new laptop. Their lower-cost processing power is unbeatable. And they are easier to customize or repair than a laptop. But even with desktops, you have options that didn’t exist ten years ago.
- Free upgrade to Windows 11
- Sleek, compact, and customizable
- Delivers 4K performance and immersive 4K visuals
- Stunning graphics to boost your gaming experience
- Ample 8GB DDR4 memory
- Perfect for browsing and gaming
If you’re short on space but want an Intel-inside processing powerhouse, a Mini PC might be your answer to avoiding a new laptop. Minis have full PC capabilities in a compact design. So they use less power while still including local storage and the wireless ability you expect from your desktop.
Take the Mini along for PC gaming night with your buddies. It beats dragging your whole setup along like they did in the 1990s! And Mini PCs can go from your home office to your workspace. So this type of portability might be best for you if you want a desktop’s powerhouse abilities in a tiny, portable size.
All-in-One PCs (AIO PCs) are another desktop option, but they’re unlike the traditional. For example, AIO PCs are a space-saving option that quickly moves from room to room in your house. You can prop them up or lay them down. Or feel free to wall mount your AIO PC. The monitor options are endless.
Use them for streaming, gaming, listening to music, or creating. But, then, the sky is your limit. But the downside is that AIO PCs cost more than old-school desktops. And, similar to laptops, they’re a little harder to upgrade.
- A powerful, all-in-one computer
- Suitable for work, entertainment, school
- Full HD display with outstanding views
- 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD storage
- Windows 10 installed
2-in-1: The Best of Both Worlds
If you’re not positive you want to avoid a new laptop today, a 2-in-1 system might meet your needs perfectly. These beasts switch between tablet and traditional laptop positions. So you can easily share an impromptu presentation at lunch. Stand it up like a tent, and everyone can see.
Many 2-in-1s let you use a stylus and have touchscreen capabilities like tablets. And some allow you to detach the screen from the keyboard or swivel it. So if you’re stuck between choosing a laptop or a tablet, look for a 2-in-1 that combines the best of both worlds.
- Sleek 15.6-inch, 2-in-1 touchscreen
- 16GB RAM, 2TB PCIe SSD
- FHD Convertible laptop
- Thunderbolt 4, Backlit, Fingerprint, HDMI cable
- Windows 11 Home installed
Apple iPads have long led the tablet market. And that’s because their cutting-edge technologies are suitable for casual and business uses. Combine a keyboard and case with your iPad for a laptop-like experience.
iPads let you use the powerful apps you’re used to on a laptop, like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop. But you get the added benefit of using them with touch capability. And with the Slide Over or Split Screen options, you can efficiently run and see two apps at once.
Switching between Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity makes iPads (and other tablets) a no-brainer when you need to stay online. For example, you can work from a backcountry trail as long as there’s a nearby cell tower.
- 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with ProMotion, True Tone, and P3 wide color
- M2 chip with 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU
- 12MP Wide camera, 10MP Ultra Wide back camera, and LiDAR Scanner for immersive AR
- Wi-Fi 6E connectivity
- 256 GB memory storage capacity
Depending on your needs, a tablet might be a great alternative to a new laptop. It’s flexible and the most portable option. Below are a few of the reasons that make them an excellent choice.
- New tablets have more processing ability than older desktops. So combine a tablet with a keyboard, and you’ll have more computing capability than a two-year-old PC. Plus, you’ll have more app and game access too.
- Share photos or one-on-one presentations easily.
- Watch movies or read books in an accessible, portable format.
- Tablets are cheaper than laptops.
- Tablets are super portable.
Signs You Need a New Laptop
If you are still unsure about making a new purchase, here are some signs you need a new laptop or alternative.
Outdated Security & Software
At some point in a PC’s life, the current hardware becomes incompatible with newer operating system versions. And that’s a sign you need a new laptop or alternative. Or sometimes, the software you use no longer accepts newer versions and updates. So that’s another sign.
Lengthy Startup Times
When laptops take extra long to start up or shut down, you know it’s nearing end-of-life. Most laptops last 3-5 years as the components slowly become less able to run advanced applications over time.
When choosing a new solution, ask yourself if your daily-use applications have minimum processing power requirements. Or your tasks require a high graphics capability. These are essential items to know when choosing a new laptop or alternative.
Fan Running Non-Stop
Noisy fans are a significant sign that your laptop is tired and old. The nearness of components within a small laptop case means they heat up easier than desktop components. Noticing if your fan is noisy or running more than it used to could tell you if it’s time for a new purchase or whether or not you want to avoid a new laptop.
Slow Processing Times
Laptops slow down as they age. So even if they still run well, they may start having a lower task range ability. Is the way you use it now the same as you could use it when new? The current computing power often inhibits your method of use. And that’s a good sign you need to make a change.
The five main reasons to avoid a new laptop today are
- Durability – laptops have shorter lifespans than desktops because their very portability exposes them to damage.
- Components – Laptops have a tighter space for parts, making them susceptible to overheating.
- Upgrade Potential – It’s harder to upgrade laptops than desktops, so they get outdated faster.
- Limited Lifespan – Since laptops are harder to upgrade, they are often replaced rather than updated. Not an issue for those who like having the latest technology.
- Your Needs – Not everyone uses computers the same way, so make a purchase according to your uses and needs.
Now you know the reasons to avoid a new laptop so that you can make an informed buying decision. However, whether you purchase a new laptop or choose one of these excellent alternatives, you’ve got a lot to think about.
Options for laptops are tablets, iPads, 2-in-1s, AIOs, Mini PCs, and desktops.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Sklo Studio/Shutterstock.com.