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From the Tech Desk: Disposable Laptops

Is your laptop disposable, meant to be discarded after a few years or if it becomes damaged in any way (broken display, broken keyboard, failing hard drive, bad RAM)?

These days disposable laptops come in many shapes and sizes, and from many manufacturers including major brands such as HP and Apple.

Here are some signs that it may be better to replace your machine than to have it repaired or upgraded:

You paid less than $300 for it new at a retail store.

Most of the time your laptop will not be repairable at this price point - that is to say that the cost of parts and labor will exceed the value of the machine. It may look like a completely normal laptop on the outside, but on the inside it will likely contain components that do not meet our minimum specs for a machine (details here). It may even have a unibody construction that prevents all repairs and upgrades.

In addition to price, signs that you have or are considering a disposable laptop are tiny hard drives (64GB, 128GB), very little RAM (4GB), and certain Celeron processors.

There is nothing wrong with such a laptop as long as it meets your needs, just be sure to keep important files backed up at all times so that you can easily transition to a new machine as needed.

It is an Apple laptop, particularly a MacBook Air

Be careful when buying Apple laptops.

Some MacBooks, especially Airs, are not upgradeable and cannot even have failing hard drives replaced or upgraded. When in doubt ask before pulling out your wallet, because none of these non-repairable units are bargains - Apple hardware is not cheap and once again these MacBooks look completely normal from the outside!

Questions about this? We are in every day, please feel free to contact us.


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