Life Hacks

Do Laptops Have Planned Obsolesce? (How To Dodge It)

This post answers the question that has burdened the minds of computer users for years; “do laptops have planned obsolesce” and “how can I dodge it by making my laptop last?” these questions have popped up on the minds of people across the world who realize that their purpose in life is not to be a digit on some companies sales figures.

For the sake of clarity, planned obsolesce is a term used to describe a feature incorporated into a product to make it fail, break or spoil at a planned time. Companies do this to boost sales, to make more money, and get richer.

Companies get richer, while consumers get poorer because they are forced to buy new products with money they do not have. But does this apply to laptops?

Do Laptops Have Planned Obsolesce? (How To Dodge It)

First of all, this is not to say that one should intend to use a laptop forever; nobody would want to use the Osborne 1 as his primary laptop today; for obvious reasons.

However, one shouldn’t have to buy a new model of Apple Laptops every two years either. Planned Obsolesce is observed on many laptop manufacturers who refuse to offer support for older versions of their products, therefore forcing customers to buy new ones whether they want to or not.

Do You Have To Buy A New Laptop?

Windows XP has become obsolete today because people have moved on. Since people have moved on, software makers are not going to build their products based on that outdated operating system which nobody uses anymore.

That is basically where the issue lies for the user. Compatibility for your daily work and leisurely use of computers.

Did you know that some people still use Windows XP? Yes, many people and offices still use Windows XP because it still works. However, those are people who do not need to use the internet as much. Why?


Security is another issue often brought up by proponents of planned obsolesce. They often state that older versions of operating systems are more vulnerable to attacks. They warn that modern antivirus software cannot work on such older systems.

Okay, that may be true. But the average user does not have nuclear codes on his laptop. Only a stupid person would put all his private financial information on any computer; even one using the most recent version of any operating system.

Furthermore, even the most complex systems can be broken, and data can be stolen. The spate of crypto currency exchanges, and e commerce websites getting hacked proves this. Security as a reason for planned obsolesce is therefore a moot point.

Besides, with proper precautions, you can (safely) use your old laptops. More on this later.

Use Your Old Laptops

This article you are reading is written on a Compaq Presario C300 which was built on a Windows Vista. It now runs on a Windows 7, and works wonderfully.

If you know how to choose a solid laptop, and how to care for your laptop, you can get 15 to 20 years out of a laptop computer. Yes, parts may fail, and need to be replaced, but overall, that will be an infinitely smaller cost compared to what would be incurred if you had bought a new one.

Caring For Your Old Laptop

Caring for your old laptop means that you respect it. A major cause of laptop damage is spilling drinks onto the keyboard. Therefore, make sure that you keep your coffee, or any other drinks as far away from your computer as possible.

Furthermore, maintain a routine of cleaning your computer. The air vents can get clogged with dust and other forms of debris, and this can lead to the computer failing completely. This Compaq Presario C300 receives regular cleaning every month. The air vents are cleaned with a specialized brush, and air is blown into them to dislodge any debris.

Once a month may be too much, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Do not move your laptop around too much. Most laptops sustain damage after a drop, or when other objects bang against them, thus dislodging internal components. Cracked screens can also result from drops or from other kinds of impact.

Replace Parts

Replacing Parts does not mean changing the cracked screens or any other faulty component of the laptop. That part has been covered. Instead, what is meant is upgrading parts that need to be improved.

RAM for example may need to be upgraded to enhance performance. With better RAM a laptop can use a higher version of an operating system, and can improve performance on the existing one. More RAM can enable the user switch between applications quickly, without the laptop freezing.

Hard Disks can also be upgraded to improve storage capacity.

Upgrade OS

When convinced beyond doubt about the benefits of doing so, it is often possible to upgrade the operating system on an old laptop computer, which is several times cheaper than purchasing a new one.

Interestingly, many people are reluctant to this; there are even many articles and threads on the internet advising against this. An example is this Compaq Presario C300 which is being used to write this article. There are many who advise people that this particular move; saying that the computer is too outdated and slow to work with Windows 7.

Yet here we are! There are many older computers that can work with newer software. Furthermore, an added advantage of doing this is that you are sure of the hardware; your older computer may be stronger than many of the new ones which are just not made to last.

Safely Using Your Laptop Computer (Security)

If your laptop is a workstation; something you depend on to perform important tasks, then it falls on you to treat it as such. Therefore, you must only use your computer for the purpose it was purchased.

Do not visit unknown websites or click on suspicious links. Do not download unnecessary files on your computer. that is like bringing in Trojan horses to destroy your computer.

Furthermore, one advanced level computer user advocates creating an air gap between your computer and the internet. That means the computer with sensitive information should not be used to access the internet. Instead, after the work has been done, it can be transferred to an internet enabled computer, and sent.

Further Reading:


To answer the question: “do laptops have planned obsolesce?” the answer is yes. The long answer is yes, but there is always some wiggle room to dodge having to buy another computer when you do not want to.

Another problem is consumerism; people are actually dissatisfied with the things they have because they are no longer fashionable. They only look for performance flaws to justify that dissatisfaction, thus masking their consumerism.

There is no need to upgrade to a newer laptop or operating system if the present one is working fine. That money can be used for other purposes.

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