A Sturdy And Portable Chassis
An important part of my job is event coverage. I’ve stashed the XPS 15 in my backpack and hauled it through airports and crowded, football-field-sized expo halls more times than I can count. On top of all that travel, I fly from New York to Detroit once or twice a month to visit my fiancée, and I bring my XPS 15 to get work done and stream Netflix.
The XPS 15 has held up really well so far. The hinge feels as rigid as it was out of the box, and there aren’t any visible scars on either the carbon-fiber deck or the aluminum lid. It was portable for a 15-inch laptop for its time, but competing laptops, like the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, have overtaken it in that regard.
Dell did a good job of making the XPS 15 as small as possible, but it’s still a bit bulky for my taste. The laptop is too large to be used comfortably on an airplane . For that, I recommend buying a tablet or detachable 2-in-1, like the Surface Pro 7 .
It’s also a tad hefty, at 4.6 pounds. I’ve never had to leave it at home or take off my backpack because of its weight, but I’ve definitely grown envious of some of the featherweight laptops I’ve brought home to review.
How Long Should A Laptop Last
When my dishwasher quit after about nine years, I was mad. Thats about how long theyre supposed to last, but I was still upset. When we spend a few hundred dollars on something, we want it to last as long as possible. And when it breaks, we want replacement parts to cost $25 and we want to be able to install them ourselves.
Laptops are a bit of a mixed bag. Theyre more complicated than a dishwasher. Depending on what fails, you may be able to replace it. You may be able to replace it yourself and it may only cost $25, with some luck.
But, again, because of the differences in how theyre made, business and consumer laptops have different life expectancies.
A Great Display Then A Great Display Now
I love my XPS 15’s 15.6-inch, 1080p nontouch display and have no regrets about turning down the optional 4K panel. In fact, I’d choose the 1080p display over the 4K option even if they cost the same.
It’s not that the 1080p panel looks better than the 4K display. Rather, the full-HD screen is still gorgeous by today’s standards and doesn’t sap nearly as much power.
I have binged everything from The Leftovers to The Expanse on the XPS 15, and I’ve been really impressed by its sharp picture, vivid colors and blinding brightness. In addition to having a great screen for streaming shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO, the XPS 15 is great for watching early-morning Bundesliga matches of my favorite soccer club, FC Bayern.
I’ve lusted for only a handful of laptop displays since purchasing the XPS 15, and those were 4K HDR or OLED panels on much more expensive machines. If I could do it all over again, I’d stick with the 1080p panel, but I might upgrade to a touch screen.
The XPS 13 I previously owned had a touch screen, and I occasionally miss the feature on my XPS 15. Sometimes, I find myself tapping lazily on the display when I’m lounging on the couch, only to remember that I cheaped out on the nontouch panel. A touch screen remains a nonessential feature for me, but it’s something I’ll consider upgrading to in the future.
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Is It Ok To Leave Laptop Plugged In All The Time
Laptops are only as good as their batteries, however, and proper care of your battery is essential to making sure it retains a long life and charge. Leaving your laptop plugged in constantly is not bad for your battery, but you will need to be careful of other factors, such as heat, to prevent your battery from damage.
How To Buy A Business
Youll save a lot of money in the long run by buying a business-class laptop instead of a consumer-grade one. The key is to buy a Dell Latitude, HP Elitebook, or a Lenovo Thinkpad. You can buy a new one direct from Dell, HP, or Lenovo or, if you prefer, Newegg.
I buy used off-lease laptops instead. You can buy one off Ebay, or if you want one thats been worked over by a professional first, buy something from Neweggs Refurbished PCs category. Youll have to do some research because there are refurbished consumer-grade laptops in that mix. If youre not comfortable taking computers apart, look for one with an SSD already in it and Windows 10 installed.
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How Long Is A Laptop Battery Supposed To Last
Your laptop is an invaluable tool for business, enabling you to take work with you wherever you go. The battery, however, is more of a depreciating asset. With enough use, you will eventually have to replace it. When you have to replace your battery depends largely on how you use it and how often your laptop operates on battery power alone.
Extreme Temperatures And Humidity
Extreme temperatures can cause damage to your laptops component. Even more, very high humidity levels can cause your laptop to short circuit, destroying it.
Therefore, you must make sure that you are always using your laptop in a safe environment, appropriate for the product you have. Otherwise, its life will be much shorter than anticipated.
Extremely warm temperatures are the worst for laptops though, as the components will overheat faster. You can solve this problem partially with a cooling pad.
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How I Use My Laptop
My laptop is mainly used for work. I boot it up at 9 AM and dont turn it off before 9 PM. The screen turns off after 10 minutes of idling, but the laptop is ready to be used at all times.
I have a set of programs that are open at all times. These are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Word, Excel and GnuCash.
Next to these, depending on what I am working on, I use other resource-heavy software for video editing , audio editing , graphical design , and VirtualBox for running virtual machines.
From time to time, I also play some games like Xenonauts and Baldurs Gate 1 and 2 on 3840 x 1600 resolution .
At the moment, no matter what I throw at my computer, it can handle it.
My T440p is 6 years old and, by taking good care of it and with some simple upgrades, its a still a modern and capable machine.
Lenovo Laptops Life Span
Lenovo is usually considered a budget laptop line, so most of their products have an expected lifespan of around 3 years. However, their mid-range and top products can easily last 5 years or more.
My wife, who only uses her laptop for basic stuff never wanted anything than a Lenovo laptop.
She first used a tiny 11.6 Lenovo Thinkpad model for a few years, before switching to a larger display one. That model is already four years old and, except for it being a bit slow due to specifications , it runs flawlessly. And this was a cheap, $300-range laptop!
In other words, if you take good care of your laptop, it will have a pretty solid lifespan, no matter if its a budget laptop or a top brand.
So if you want a cheap, but solid laptop, pick your favorite Lenovo model
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When To Buy A New Battery
The life of your battery is not something which we often think about when we are using our laptops, but most modern laptops will tell us when it is time to replace the battery. Replacing the battery can add new life to an old laptop and can keep it going for a year or two without having to replace the laptop.
Both Windows and macOS laptops have the functionality to alert you when the battery is close to the end of its life.
With Windows, when the battery reaches a predetermined capacity, a warning will appear in the icon tray which you can clock on for more information. The icon will alert you to the capacity of your battery and suggest that it is time for a new one. It will also let you know that the laptop could shut down at any time when on battery power due to this capacity.
With macOS, you can find out what needs to be done with your battery by clicking on the battery icon in your menu bar. If you do not see any message, your battery is fine. If the battery is getting old, you may see the following messages: Replace Soon, Replace Now, or Service Battery. Replacing or servicing your battery can add years to the life of your laptop
Of course, there will be times when your laptop cannot give you this information. If you find that you cannot be on battery power for very long, or if the computer shuts down when on battery power, then it may be time to invest in a new battery or laptop.
Where Is The Battery On A Dell Laptop
It should be located on the bottom side of the laptop. You might need to slide some clips along to allow the battery to be removed. You will, however, have to keep your laptop plugged in all the time, but this method makes the battery last longer. Use the battery only when you need to take your laptop outdoors.
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Inspiron: The Mainstream Choice
For use in home or school, Dell’s Inspiron brand comprises consumer laptops of every stripe: power machines, inexpensive “just enough” machines, big displays, ultracompacts. Whether you’re editing photos or managing your home finances, Inspiron’s copious options fit both screen-size and budget needs for most buyers. These machines are mostly Windows models if you want something a little less expensive for simple tasks and browsing online, consider Dell’s Chromebooks, which put basic functionality into an affordable package that works great for kids and students.
Ways To Stop Your Hard Drive From Failing
You can protect yourself against hard drive failure by taking a few precautions. The first step is to have a backup. By having a completed, current backup, you protect yourself against potential data loss. For advice on how to maintain your backup correctly, check out the complete guide for data backup for home and professional users.
The next step is to secure the environment around your hard drive from threats. Many things can disturb a hard drive. These include dust, heat, weather, theft, electrical surges, and traveling hazards.
Lastly, replace your hard drive after 3-5 years. As you just read, hard drives fail over time. By moving your data onto a new hard drive, you create data redundancy and give yourself more time to safely store your data.
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My Lenovo Thinkpad T440p: 6 Years Later
I bought my Lenovo ThinkPad T440p in 2014. It cost around $1,300 USD and its a business-grade laptop, engineered for performance and durability.
I love it.
When I was looking for a laptop, I wanted one which I could use daily, use a lot, and would last 5-8 years . My personal checklist included:
- A reliable brand
- Socketed CPU
Idoctor Can Extend Your Laptops Life
Much like Dr. Frankenstein wove together human parts to create a monster, we too can weave together parts to create a better laptop. Except we arent using old and worn out parts. We can upgrade your computer, clean it up, replace anything worn, remove spyware and malware, and get your computer back to peak performance. In hindsight, thats really nothing like Frankensteins monster. In foresight, if your computer is getting a bit slow because its reaching 5 years old, bring it in and we can get you a quote on how much it would cost to speed things back up.
We have two locations in Billings to serve you. Both our West End store and our Heights store do computer repair, cell phone repair, device repair, and Frankenstein Monster repair.
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Operational Lifespan And Useful Lifespan
When we talk about laptop life expectancy, there are actually two types of life expectancy. One of these is the operational life expectancy, and the other is the useful life expectancy. The operation life expectancy, or lifespan, is simply a measure of how long the laptop will function properly, the useful lifespan looks at how long the laptop will be able to run advanced programs on the market and meet their system specifications. Technically, you could have a laptop that functions very well after 10 years, but that isn’t very useful with many contemporary applications. Most programs will place high demands on your CPU, on your RAM, and on your graphics card in order to function properly. An older laptop simply might not be able to keep up. However, if your needs dont require a high-performance laptop, then it shouldnt be difficult for you to get by on an old laptop past the five-year average.
Buying Guide Forbest Dell Laptops
When Dell first started marketing computers to consumers, the company wasnt viewed as a threat to established manufacturers like HP, IBM, and Compaq. But a lot has changed since then. Dell has become the biggest name in PC hardware and the default choice for thousands of businesses around the world. Dell computers are powerful, affordable, and best of all, well-supported by the company.
Dells laptops are no exception to this rule. A wide variety of Dell laptops, each based around specific use cases which is another way of saying that no matter what your needs are, theres a Dell laptop thats perfect for you.
Whether youre replacing a dying machine or buying a new laptop for your next digital adventures, weve got you covered. Heres everything you need to know to find the right Dell laptop for you.
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The Best Dell Laptop Deals This Week*
*Deals are selected by our partner, TechBargains
Dell breaks its Inspiron line into three gradations or levels: 3000, 5000, and 7000 series. As you go up that stack, you tend to see more premium features, and higher relative pricing. The number between the word “Inspiron” and the series number is typically the screen size of the laptop an Inspiron 13 5000, for example, would be a 13-inch-screened laptop with middle-field characteristics.
When To Replace Or Buy A New Laptop 6 Tell
All is well in the world when you first pull that shiny new laptop out of the box, but over time the experience always starts to degrade. At some point, you will start wondering: how often should I replace my laptop?
From reduced performance to low battery power and poor screen quality, a laptop never seems to last as long as you need.
Unlike a desktop PC where lifespan can be significantly increased by the tech savvy through regular upgrades, the shelf life on a laptop is limited by design. Thats just simply the price you pay for portability.
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Precision: For Demanding Professionals
Mobile workstations are a breed of machines that share some traits with business models, but they stand apart for their Independent Software Vendor certifications and, in some cases, specialized CPU and GPU options and support for highly precise ECC memory. ISV certifications give users of demanding professional business apps assurances that the workstation will run up to snuff with a given application. Companies such as Adobe, Autodesk, Avid, Dassault SystemÃ©s, and Siemens tend to be the ISVs involved.
Dell’s line of mobile workstations is its Precision line, which comprises both laptop and desktop models. On the laptop side, Precision makes use of the same 3000, 5000, and 7000 series lingo as the other lines, with the screen size indicated within the model number.
A workstation might make use of consumer- or business-grade Intel CPUs, but the mark of a high-end workstation is the presence of a mobile Intel Xeon CPU and a dedicated workstation-grade graphics processor from Nvidia or AMD . The latter are in contrast to their consumer-GPU counterparts and are designed specifically for the kind of heavy-duty calculations that ISV-class applications require. Dell also offers a few 2-in-1 SKUs in the Precision line convertible workstations are far less common than their consumer counterparts.
So Which Dell Laptop Is Best For Me
There are plenty of solid Dell systems to choose from, but don’t be overwhelmed by the options. We’ve combed through our many reviews and singled out the best Dell systems in multiple categories. For more options, check out our 10 favorite laptops overall , as well as our lists of the best Chromebooks, the best budget laptops, and the best gaming laptops.
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Security Is Out Of Date
If your current hardware is incompatible with newer versions of an operating system, it may be time to purchase new. Check Windows and Mac compatibility to ensure the machines you use are eligible for updates.
Even if they are compatible, there are other security measures to consider. Are your company’s computers compatible with the software your team needs? Are employees taking the right steps to safeguard security, such as using strong passwords? Newer Mac and PCs use biometric security. If a security upgrade is in the works, it may be time to purchase new machines.