Unsure of how long your laptop’s battery should last? Or, do you want to know if it’s time to upgrade your laptop? In this guide, we cover what the average lifespan of a laptop is as well as discuss how long your laptop’s battery should last.
How long a laptop should last depends on a number of different factors. And, there are two different branches of that question.
- What is the average lifespan of a laptop?
- What is the average lifespan of a laptop battery?
If you stumbled onto this page, then you are likely looking for the answer to one of those questions. So, we’ve broken this guide down into two sections.
In the first section, we’ll discuss how long laptops should last as well as how you can prolong their lifespan. And, in the second section, we’ll go over how long a laptop’s battery life should be, as well as how you can increase your laptop’s battery life.
How Long Do Laptops Last Before You Need to Replace Them?
There are a few different factors that will determine how long you can use a laptop for before it either becomes obsolete or becomes unusable for your needs.
- The specific hardware inside of the laptop
- The types of tasks that the laptop will be used for
- How the laptop is treated
Let’s discuss each of those three points a little more.
A Laptop’s Hardware Will Determine How Long it Will Remain Relevant
The main factor in determining a laptops average lifespan is what kind of hardware (components) the laptop has inside of it.
The better the processor, and graphics card (if you’re gaming), and the more RAM and storage a laptop has, the longer it will remain relevant for modern tasks.
So, essentially, the more you spend on a laptop, the longer you should expect it to last.
Here is a general breakdown of how long a laptop will be relevant based on the price you pay for it:
- Less than $700: 2-4 years
- $700-$1,000: 3-5 years
- $1,000 or more: 4-7 years
This, again, is a general breakdown of what you can expect (in terms of lifespan) out of a new laptop. The types of ways in which you use a laptop will play a significant role in how long your laptop lasts.
The Tasks You Need Your Laptop to Perform Will Determine How Long it Remains Relevant
The more demanding of tasks you need your laptop to perform (like gaming, video editing, graphics design, etc.) the less amount of time it will remain relevant.
On the flip side, the less demanding of tasks you need your laptop to perform (email, web browsing, watching videos, etc.) the longer it will remain a viable option.
So, really, the question of how long a laptop should last is twofold in that it depends on both A) the kind of hardware that is inside of it, and B) what you are using it for.
A mid-range laptop should probably last around 4-5 years, though, give-or-take a year or two depending on how you use it.
The other thing to factor in is how you treat your laptop for the time that you have it.
The Better Care You Take of Your Laptop, the Longer it Will Last
In 2008 I got a new laptop for about ~$800. I used the laptop mainly for web browsing, email, watching videos, and some casual gaming.
By 2012 the laptop was no longer usable.
Why? Because the charging jack was completely shot.
And, the reason why the charging jack was completely shot was that I constantly overcharged the laptop. I always forgot to unplug the charger after it had reached full battery life.
The laptop was still fine for tasks like web browsing, sending emails, and watching videos. (Although, by 2012 it really wasn’t viable for even casual gaming.)
But its lifespan was cut short because I didn’t take care of it.
I probably could have easily gotten another couple of years out of it (for basic tasks) if I would have managed the charging process better.
So, if you want to increase the lifespan of your laptop, make sure you take good care of it. Below is a list of things you can do to ensure you keep your laptop in good shape.
How to Prolong Your Laptop’s Lifespan
- Take the charging cable out when your laptop is fully charged
- Open up your laptop and clean every couple of months
- Use a laptop cooling pad to help it run at lower temperatures
- Keep food and liquids away from your laptop
- Use an antivirus software (I use Webroot)
- Upgrade your laptop where possible (more RAM, or add an SSD)
How Long Do Gaming Laptops Last?
For general tasks like sending emails, using a word processor, browsing the internet, and watching videos, even budget-friendly laptops should last 4-5 years at a minimum (as long as you take good care of it).
However, if you’re a gamer, the more demanding nature of playing video games means that you should expect a shorter lifespan for your laptop—at least, in terms of its ability to run modern games.
As time goes on, modern games advance in graphics and complexity and, as a result, need better hardware to run.
So, a mid-range gaming laptop may only last a few years before it starts having trouble running newer games.
Of course, though, the more you spend on your gaming laptop now, the longer you should expect it to be able to handle newer games.
But, from a general standpoint, you can use the following to help you determine how long a gaming laptop should last:
- Less than $700: 2-3 years
- $700-$1,500: 3-4 years
- $1,500 or more: 4-6 years
This, of course, is a very general idea of the average lifespan of a gaming laptop. Another factor that comes into play is what you expect out of your in-game experience.
If you only like to play your games on the highest graphics settings, you’re going to want to upgrade to a newer and better laptop sooner.
If you don’t mind playing games on lower graphics settings, you can probably get another couple years out of your laptop.
Looking for a laptop for gaming? Check out our list of the Best RTX 3070 Gaming Laptops.
How Long Should A Laptop Battery Last (on a Single Charge)?
For the question “how long should a laptop battery last,” there are two ways to look at.
The first is how long a laptop battery should last on a single charge.
And, second, how long a laptop battery will last before it completely dies.
Average Single Charge Duration for A Laptop
The average single charge duration for a laptop can range quite a bit depending on two things
- The quality/type of the battery inside your laptop
- How you use your laptop.
The quality of the laptop battery is obviously going to depend partly on how much you spend on your laptop. However, it’s important to note that even some of the more powerful laptops out there don’t come with batteries that match the system’s price tag.
So, it’s important to do your research when buying a new laptop and check reviews to see how long of a single charge battery life you can expect.
Overall, the average lifespan of a laptop battery on a single charge probably ranges from as low as 2-3 hours to as high as 7-8 (or more) hours.
Again, though it really just depends on what you are doing with your laptop.
If you have a high-powered gaming laptop and you are spending the majority of your time on your laptop playing games, you might be lucky to only get 2-3 hours of playing before you need to charge it.
If you’re just web browsing or sending emails or any other kind of simple tasks, you might be able to get 4-5 hours out of cheapest laptop batteries out there and as high as 10-12+ hours out of the best laptop batteries out there.
The other factor to consider is the age of your battery. Your battery is going to last a lot longer when it is brand new than when it is 1-2 years old. After extended use, a battery that used to last up to 4-5 hours on a single charge may need to be charged every 2-3 hours after a year or so.
How to Prolong the Average Single Charge Duration for Your Laptop
- Reduce your screen’s brightness
- Lower the amount of time before your screen times out
- Keep a minimum amount of programs open at the same time
- Keep browser tabs to a minimum
- Use headphones over the laptop’s speakers
- Turn off your laptop’s WiFi when you don’t need it
- Use a laptop cooler (less heat = longer battery life)
- Unplug your laptop once it’s fully charged
- Carry a backup battery with you
How Long Should A Laptop Battery Last (Until It’s No Longer Usable)
On average, a laptop battery should last anywhere from 300-500 full charges.
This number varies, of course, based on the type of battery you have.
And, it’s important to note that this number references full charges. So, if your battery gets down to ~30% life and you charge it back up, that doesn’t count as a full charge, but rather 70% of one.
So, really, there’s no date-based answer on how long a laptop battery should last. It really all comes down to usage.
The more you use your laptop, the more it will need to be charged. And, the more you charge your laptop, the shorter the lifespan your battery will last.
If you want tips on how to prolong the lifespan of your laptop’s battery, see the tips above on how to prolong a laptop’s single charge duration. Those are essentially the same things that will help you increase the lifespan of your battery.