How Do You Know When It’s Time for a New Desktop/Laptop?

Apple just released a couple of new laptops and features, but there isn’t really much to get excited about in their announcement. It really doesn’t do much to inspire you to want to run out and order a new MacBook Pro.

But why do you decide to buy a new desktop computer or laptop? What makes you say that’s it. It’s time to bite the bullet and just buy it. Why do you go hit the store or place an order online? Is your existing machine just beyond repair? Has it just become too difficult to work with? Or do you just want to get your hands on the hot new model that was just released?

Take the quiz below and let us know why you decide to buy a new desktop or laptop. If your reason isn’t mentioned, chime in in the comments below and let us know why you replace your desktop computers or laptops. And if you have a good story on the last time you had to replace a computer, let us know that, too!

How do you know when it’s time for a new desktop/laptop?

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.


  1. My last two laptops died while in use. One blanked out and needed a motherboard replacement which would cost half of the price of a new laptop, and the other was an ultrabook that had its battery swollen and cracked the plastic body of the laptop and severed the connection to the screen. Another old laptop also had battery problems.

    Mr big bro has an Asus laptop that still has WinXP and is more than 12 years old. And it’s still working somehow! He can still use it to watch youtube and use facebook. The battery’s dead so he needs to plug it in; and there are cracks all over the plastic casing but it’s still chugging along. I’m impressed.

  2. Right now I’m using an Asus model X550C Laptop that I’m using like a Desktop. And for me it would have to be the motherboard taking a dump for me to want to get a new laptop. Today is not like back in the day when a PC or a laptop used to cost in the thousands of dollars. Today you can get a laptop for between 200 and 300 U S Dollars. So nowadays it doesn’t pay to pay for a new motherboard and processor and other peripherals when for a little more you can have a brand new machine with a full manufacturers warranty on it

    1. If you are happy with a dispos-a-laptop for $200-$300, great. But don’t forget that dispos-a-laptop will become unusable every couple of years requiring you to spend another $200-$300. Had you spent $500-$600 originally on a better laptop, you may not need to replace it for 5-6 years, saving money in the long run.

  3. I have some old laptops that have been around since 2010. They have been running Linux and have been performing worry-free since then. I don’t believe in replacing tech just because something new comes along, I only do it when it breaks beyond repair. Other than that….speed is not the issue, I only watch a few YouTube videos while checking emails or learning how to code… I don’t need an overclocked processor, or mounds of RAM. And since these machines are still functioning as of they were bought yesterday? then its all good. I’ve never understood some people’s need to constantly update their tech just because the newer version has hit the scene….its almost as if the manufacturers have figured out a sure fire way to milk money from the masses by simply adding a “Plus”……”XL”…..or increasing the numerical value by one….(i4…….i5……Note 2……Note 3…..etc) and when you make the real comparison?…the only thing that might have changed/increased might be the amount of RAM….the size or shape……the operating system version….or adding a new color. Other than that its usually the same machine or device! Granted, there are times when your laptop / desktop just can’t keep up with the changes made to say….Web browsers…or streaming media….or even just playing an HD video….but thats’ few and far between as most manufacturers today provide you with a device that SHOULD lat at least 5 years or more! I guess it all boils down to either convenience or know how: Those that have the know how?…find it less convenient to run out and spend on a new machine. They’d rather upgrade the components themselves and get another 5 years out of their gear. (Cellphones do not apply to this…you cannot upgrade the ram or certain other components in a cell phone!) Then there are those who find it more convenient to just go out and get the newer one…since they have no idea on how to upgrade things…..heck they might not even understand how to disassemble their chassis!….thank goodness I fail into the former category!…LOL!

    1. LOL! You and I are what the marketers’ nightmares are made from. We believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I will not replace my desktop/laptop until it either cannot be fixed or no existing Linux distro will run on it.

      1. EXACTLY!…….as for the marketers?…..maybe its time to find a new profession?…LoL! I’ve already helped to “turn” my brother, my sisters, my mother, and various cousins, uncles and aunts to Linux. That’s the end of them being “used & abused” by either Microsoft or Apple, both of them are horrendous when it comes to their products, I mean to go fro man i5 to an i6 is an uptick of $200.00??!!……and when you really, REALLY look closely at the phones?….there’s not much that separates them!…..LoL! Yeah, pretty soon we’ll be on “Most Wanted” lists for not upgrading to the latest and greatest!….LOL!

  4. @dragonmouth Sorry I don’t know your real name. But what you just said really actually boils down to convenience and not cost. You pay $500 for a machine and get 5 years out of it and $200 and get 2 years out of the machine. So other then convenience what’s the difference in cost? Anyway for me I know that most laptops even though they have built in cooling fans don’t cool the laptops sufficiently. And more times then not I’ve seen more laptops fail within 2 years (Yes the lower priced ones) because they’ve overheated so much. So myself and all the people I know who have laptops I encourage them to buy for around $20 a chill mat with either 2 small fans or 1 big fan that plugs in to a USB slot and have them keep there laptops sitting on those. I’ve done that with all my laptops and my laptops run constantly daily for almost 12 hours a day and as long as it sits on a chill mat it never gets hot even once, and my laptops generally run way past 2 years. So to me that’s the key. Keep them cool and they’ll last and won’t crap out on you

    1. Saul, I was thinking about getting one of those but didn’t know exactly what to look for. Also I was always under the impression that as long as you kept your laptop sitting on a hard surface, then (at least while the fan was running) it would pull in the air needed to keep it cool. I have seen laptops almost melt when people do “stoopid” things like leave it running while its resting on a blanket, pillow or any soft, cloth covered surface. Not realizing that they’re essentially “choking” the laptop as it’s fans pull in lint, dust, and fabric that will cause the fan to fail and the system to overheat.

      1. @Eddie G. They sell them at Walmart in the U S in the electronics department. The one I like best like I said costs around $20 and it has 2 little fans on either end of it and it plugs into a USB slot. And you just have your laptop sit on top of it. Again the name of it is called a chill mat. To me anyone with a laptop it is the best $20 you will ever spend. To me no laptop owner should be without one. Heat is a laptops worse enemy and this definitely saves them

          1. You’re welcome you won’t regret it. You’ll also notice that as your laptop is cooler it will respond and be a whole lot faster as well. At least that’s what I’ve noticed with mine

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