You might be shocked to learn that the most reliable Chromebooks have honest expiration dates. Once that date is reached, it’s trash. The Chromebook will no longer receive patches or updates.
Tap or click for a list of 17 Chromebook brands and model numbers to avoid buying.
If you google, “Do I need a new laptop?” or “Should I upgrade or replace my laptop?” the answer is probably yes. Tap or click here for my picks for the best Windows and Mac Chromebooks and laptops for every budget.
Let’s look at the clear signs that buying a new laptop is in your immediate future.
Sign 1: Your Laptop is a Slow Blow
I’m not just talking about web pages that take a little longer to load. I’m talking about when your laptop takes 10 minutes to turn on. Maybe you are running two programs at once and everything is slowing down.
A laptop that is slowing down is mostly a sign of old age. Of course, it could also mean that you have malware or hackers on your device. Here’s how to tell if your computer has been compromised.
Laptops slow down when their memory fills up and when multiple applications are running at the same time. Sometimes you can speed up a computer by upgrading the CPU and RAM. You could save a lot of money by upgrading your hardware.
My rule of thumb: When the cost of upgrading or repairing an old laptop is 30% of the price of a new one, buy a new one.
RELATED: Want Your Computer to Run Smoothly for a Long Time? Tap or click here for 7 essential maintenance tips to keep your laptop running smoothly.
Sign 2: It’s hot
Laptops have built-in fans to stay cool. You may have heard the fan whirring after your machine has been running for a long time. He tries to knock the grilled device a few degrees into your lap.
Over time, these fans can get filled with dust and debris, or they just plain wear out. When this happens, your laptop still heats up, but it can’t cool down anymore.
Ultimately, this type of overheating means you need to replace your laptop. If your computer gets hot enough, it will stop working. Constant overheating can even lead to rupture or even melting.
Tap or click for 10 reasons why your computer is overheating and how to fix them.
Sign 3: It’s a risk to use
Count your blessings if your laptop is over 4-5 years old. One caveat: Often, using an old machine poses a considerable cybersecurity risk.
Software updates are essential for your digital health. Operating system updates come with new features that make life easier, but also fix bugs exploited by hackers.
For example, you are in danger if you are still using Windows 7. Microsoft no longer updates this operating system. Windows 10 or 11 receive frequent updates, which means they have better cybersecurity protections.
Go through your settings to see what operating system you are using. Check for the latest update and see if your device can run it. If not, take this for what it is: one of the most obvious signs that you need a new laptop.
Sign 4: Your screen or keyboard is down
Laptops are durable and built to take a beating. But even if you’re careful, accidents happen. Your screen may be missing a few pixels. It may also start flashing for no apparent reason.
Your laptop keyboard may be missing letters and numbers. Or maybe some keys don’t work at all. The trackpad may also lose sensitivity over time.
Rather than replacing a laptop screen, you can save money and plug in an external monitor. You can also do the same with a keyboard.
Unless your laptop is less than 3 years old, repairing a screen or keyboard is usually not the best decision. Sell it and use that money to buy a new laptop.
Do you have a parent or grandparent who needs a little help with their computer? Tap or click here for five tips for setting up a PC for seniors.
Sign 5: Your battery is not holding a charge
Laptop batteries, like phone batteries, drain as you use them. Over time, your laptop may need to be charged more often.
It can escalate to the point where you have to plug it in all the time to work. For many people, especially those whose only computer is a laptop, keeping it powered up isn’t that difficult. Laptops, however, should be portable.
Not sure how your battery is doing? Tap or click here to check your laptop’s battery status.
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Discover all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For his daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit his website at Komando.com.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.