I’ve owned three laptops over the last nearly twelve years. Each of them, I’ve gotten some kind of warranty with. And I’m glad I did. If you don’t want to read this blog post, here is the shortened version:
Get a 2-3 year warranty for your laptop.
In 2001, I got my first laptop– a Dell Latitude C600 (15” screen). Over my years using this as my main PC, the screen, hard drive, and battery all broke at some point. With a warranty, Dell was able to replace the parts as needed. I retired this laptop around 2005.
In 2006, I got a Lenovo Thinkpad T60 (15”). This was a solid machine, or I should say is– since I still use it today as a secondary laptop running Ubuntu Linux. The only thing that ever went wrong with this was the battery, which all models were replaced with or without warranty.
In 2010, I got my first Mac, the Macbook Pro (15”, mid-2010). Almost two years ago, in 2011, when I upgraded OS X Snow Leopard to Lion, the hard drive failed. I brought it into the Apple store and they replaced it. Recently, I went into the Apple store to look at Macbook Airs. Speaking with one of their reps about how my current MBP’s battery charge just doesn’t hold anymore, the rep told me if my MBP was still within the 3-year AppleCare warranty, that I should bring it in and have it looked at. I checked, at my AppleCare doesn’t expire until April 30, 2013– just five days! So I brought it in, they checked it– and normally a battery is rated for 1000 cycles. I was at around 326. So I was covered. I got my battery replaced for free. I probably saved around $129. They put in a brand new battery too, so it’s like my MBP got a new lease on life! It can probably last me another 2-3 years!
From these past experiences, there are a few things that generally can go wrong with laptops:
- Hard drives
- LCD screens
I tend to use my equipment a lot. I bring them with me on road trips, to offices, around the world and back. They go through a lot of wear and tear. I’m careful with my stuff, I don’t just drop it or pour food/water on it. It just gets a lot of use.
I highly recommend getting some kind of warranty in the range of 2-3 years for laptops. That’s about the age of how long you should keep a laptop before looking into getting something new. If you really take care of you laptop, maybe you can squeeze 4-5 years out of it. My Lenovo Thinkpad is going on 7 years!
What makes it worth it is not having to go through the headache of spending time and money to order parts to replace what’s broken, if it’s even something you can fix yourself. Warranties probably run a few hundred dollars– about the cost of parts and labor if something were to break. To me, that’s worth it.
Here’s a picture of both laptops, still in use today.