Upkeep makes laptops costly after three years

Laptops are more trouble than they're worth beyond the usual three-year lifecycle because of their need for repairs, says tech analyst

These days, companies are tempted to hang on to their notebook computers for a couple of years beyond the usual three-year lifecycle in order to avoid the capital expense of replacing them. But tech analyst Jack Gold has developed a cost model that casts doubt on that make-do strategy.

In essence, Gold said that in Years 4 and 5, the laptops are more trouble than they're worth. Gold, founder of J.Gold Associates in Northboro, Mass., said that because of the need for repairs, keeping notebooks the extra two years actually costs an additional $960 per machine -- a sum that may exceed a cost of a typical replacement notebook.

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"After the third year, hard drive failures go up dramatically," as do problems with keyboards, screens, and batteries, Gold said in an interview. Plus, the outdated notebooks will cost an organization $9,600 annually per person in lost end-user productivity, Gold said, since a machine that's two generations behind current models takes longer to boot up and runs sluggishly.

Gold's model also indicates that the cost of repairing a failed notebook that's under warranty is $970, whereas the cost of repairing a failed notebook that isn't under warranty is $1,425.

This story, "Upkeep makes laptops costly after three years" was originally published by Computerworld.

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