Pitfalls of owning a laptop

First of all I would like to say that laptops are great to have. They’re portable and you can take them anywhere you need to, you can fold them up and put them away when you don’t need them, if the power goes out you can still use your laptop unless the battery died, and a whole lot of other pro’s for having a laptop.

With the pro’s always come the con’s.  With owning a laptop comes the hazards of owning one like spilling your drink on it, dropping it or having it stolen.  Those who own laptops seem to think that if they break it it’s a quick, inexpensive and easy fix but it’s not.  Let’s take a broken screen for example, laptop screens are different sizes (14, 15.6 or 17 inches), different finishes (matte, glossy or touch screen), the connections can be different (whether it’s on the left hand side or the right hand side), also you have to worry about the resolution that matches your system.  In order to find out this information the technician has to not only look up the laptop’s model number but disassemble the laptop to get the model number for the screen then order said screen.

Think you can drop your laptop and it will be ok? Think again, yes it may survive the initial drop but chances are down the road the hard drive will fail on you.  Hard drives do not like the sudden jolt of being dropped and will develop errors on the drive itself.  How about spilling liquids on your laptop, because they’re so portable you see them all the time in the coffee shops.  If you spill your drink on your laptop you will be lucky if all you lose is the use of your keyboard. In most cases the liquid seeps down into the motherboard and fries it and if that happens then you’re looking for a new laptop.

Getting parts for laptops isn’t like the desktop versions where they’re readily available.  Often finding a part for a laptop requires finding it on EBay or some other parts supplier.  Manufacturers will not supply laptop parts to the little shops and in fact even the authorized repair shops have a process in order to get the parts needed. Laptop parts can be impossible at times and very expensive.

As for disassembling the laptop, I’m seeing more and more think laptops that have to be completely taken apart just to upgrade the memory or replace the hard drive. My time to take a laptop apart costs you money. You try taking a laptop apart with numerous tiny screws, clips and delicate ribbon cables and see how long it takes you to take it apart and reassemble it.

So if you have a laptop great but please take care of it and protect it like it’s your precious. If you do run into problems you can always bring it into Scott’s Computer Emporium for repairs or second opinions.

 

Hope you enjoyed my post and if you have any suggestions for future posts please let me know, thanks.

New Computer VS Upgrading

This is something I get asked all the time, should you upgrade your current computer or buy a new one? This is an age old question that doesn’t have a simple yes or no answer. The choice is really up to you but here are a few things that I point out to my customers.

First: what is it that’s wrong with your current computer? If its something what I consider major like a motherboard which will probably require a new processor (CPU chip), then it might be cheaper to buy a new computer. But if its a new hard drive, video card, memory, or other easily replaced components then by all means upgrade. You can often find deals on these components.

Second: Is your current computer meeting your needs? Consider this, if all you do is surf the Internet or send/receive email, then why do you need a new computer when your current one is doing that for you now. You might say to me that your computer is too slow. If that is the case then I look at why its running slow and there are a number of reasons. I look at the internal parts like the fans (are they full of dust and debris?), I look at the memory to determine if you could use more, a PC tune up might help as well. Sometimes doing the simple little things can help to speed up a computer and make it run more efficiently.

Thirdly: What is the age of your current computer? I tell my customers who are thinking about buying a new computer that if their current computer is more then 4 years old then it may be time to look at the new computers. But once again age is only a small factor in the decision. It really brings you back to points one and two.

Let me just say this in closing; new computers are faster but not necessarily better. I strongly believe that with the proper maintenance a computer can and will last for years. Like homes or cars your computers need to be checked over, cleaned out, and tuned up once or twice a year. Your computer will be faster, less prone to crashes, and be better behaved when you have it tuned up. I am a big fan of recycling and refurbishing older computers because it keeps them out of the landfill. If you are determined to purchase a new computer then make sure you buy something that will meet your needs now and in the future.