Top 10 reasons to upgrade your laptop

The Top 10 reasons to upgrade your laptop
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Is your laptop beginning to show its age? Perhaps it's taking a long time to start up – or maybe video playback is jittery. If so, then it's probably time to get a new one.

Don't worry – that doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune on a new laptop, as there are some brilliant bargain notebooks out there that can replacing your old laptop for not much money at all.

If you're still not convinced, then read on for 10 great reasons to upgrade your laptop.

1. Your laptop is old and outdated

Moore's Law states that the computing power of integrated circuits doubles every two years, so if your laptop is even just four years old, it could be 200% less powerful than this year's hardware. 

The rate in which laptop technology is advancing hasn't slowed down, and the laptops of 2019 are faster and more capable than ever before. One of the most compelling reasons to upgrade your laptop is to make use of the latest hardware advancements.

Also – you may have found your laptop getting slower over the years. You're not imagining things. As you use your laptop you've likely installed ever more programs and downloaded increasing number of files. The more full a hard drive gets, the slower the laptop performs.

Sure, you could do a spot of spring cleaning – but buying a new laptop is so much easier – and more rewarding!

2. Better battery life

Over time, the cells in laptop batteries degrade, which means the older your laptop is, the worse its battery life may be. You might find that your once-trusty laptop is now struggling to hold its charge for more than a few hours.

By upgrading your laptop, you get a brand new battery – and you'll be blown away by what a difference that makes to the time you can spend between charges.

Also, not only are modern laptops more powerful, but they are more power efficient as well. That means they can last much longer than older laptops. Expect new laptops to last between five and nine hours of standard usage. However, there are an increasing number of laptops that can manage over 20 hours on a single charge.

3. Faster storage

Many modern laptops now come with Solid State Drives (SSDs). These are much faster than traditional hard drives due to the fact they they do not have moving parts.

This results in faster program loads, speedier boot times, and lower power usage (and therefore longer battery life).

When SSDs first started appearing in laptops they were very expensive and didn't offer much storage space compared to normal hard drives. These days they are more affordable and offer comparable capacities, allowing you to have the best of both worlds.

Some laptops will even have a smaller SSD for running Windows and programs on, alongside a larger hard drive for holding all of your documents.

4. Thin and light designs

Modern laptops are thinner, lighter and more stylish than ever before. While premium 'Ultrabook' laptops combine powerful hardware with gorgeously-svelte designs, even more affordable laptops have seen drastic reductions in size and weight over the years.

This makes them easier and more comfortable to carry around with you compared to your old laptop. If you're sick of lugging around your big and bulky laptop, this is an ideal excuse to upgrade to a new laptop.

5. New operating systems

Depending on the age of your laptop, Microsoft may have released several new versions of its Windows operating system, with each new release bringing more features and better performance.

Windows 10 is the latest and greatest Windows operating system, and pretty much every new laptop will come with it installed. Microsoft has done a good job of creating a modern operating system that comes with some excellent features while also running better than ever before on mobile technology.

It's worth noting that if you're using an old laptop that runs an outdated version of Windows, not only are you missing out on any new features, but you may not get important security updates. Microsoft has ended for Windows XP, and will stop supporting Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. If your laptop runs either of those operating systems, you should seriously consider upgrading to a new machine.

On the Mac side of things, Apple is releasing macOS 10.15 Catalina later on in 2019, which brings a huge number of new features – making this an ideal time to upgrade your old MacBook.

6. New software and games

Your five-year-old gaming laptop is probably going to struggle playing modern graphically-intensive games these days. The very latest games look better than ever before, but that means they require more powerful hardware to run as well.

So, if you're looking enviously at the latest games knowing that you can't run them, then you should seriously consider upgrading to a new laptop.

Even if you're not into games, you may find that your old laptop is struggling with the latest versions of some software – particularly CPU and graphic-intensive applications like Adobe Premier or Photoshop – so now would be a good time to upgrade your laptop.

7. Improved reliability

Let's face it, your old laptop isn't what it used to be. You may have trouble getting any work done between forced reboots and waiting for your programs to open. A brand new laptop will cut down on time wasted and boost your productivity.

Laptops can be tricky and expensive things to repair, so if your old laptop isn't behaving itself, it's a good reason to upgrade to a new machine.

8. The timing is right

Consumer electronics – and especially computers – follow a predictable timing schedule. As new processors are developed, the old ones become outmoded and cheaper, and the computers that use them drop in price. This can be a great time to score a bargain on a new laptop.

Apple's Mac products are the most punctual, with their new laptops generally being released in the summer and fall, and one the Windows laptop side of things, you can expect annual updates from big manufacturers like Dell, HP and Lenovo.

Time your purchase right, and you could get yourself an amazing new laptop for a brilliant price.

9. The deals are better than ever

Speaking of price, it's never been easier to bag yourself a brilliant bargain when shopping for a new laptop. Many retailers offer sales throughout the year – especially in the summer and towards the holiday season – which means you could find yourself saving a hefty amount of cash if you shop around.

There are two major sales events in the year that you should mark on your calendar: Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day. During these events you should see some brilliant deals on the latest laptops – making them the perfect time to upgrade your laptop.

10. Your needs have changed

Starting a new job or a first semester at college are both good reasons to make a laptop upgrade.

Think about what you want from your new laptop before you buy. If you're taking it to college, you'll want something that's thin and light for carrying around campus, with long battery life and preferably a low price tag.

For work, you'll want something that's powerful – and if it's going to be mainly used on a desk, then you don't need to worry too much about weight. There are some brilliant mobile workstations out there that offer the power of a desktop PC in a portable laptop body. 

Matt is Senior Computing Editor at our sister site, TechRadar, and has a long history of writing about technology. His main interest lies in PCs and laptops, and he has written for Top Ten Reviews on these subjects.