We get this question a lot (no surprise). While it might help our bottom line to always push for a repair, we believe in helping our customers make a decision that best fits their needs – even if it means declining a repair to purchase a new computer. We all need a tech pro we can trust, and we aspire to be that tech pro for you!
When you’re deciding whether to fix or replace your computer, you should always start by getting a free repair quote. Any reputable computer repair store will offer free quotes and will diagnose your problem for you. If you’re trying to make a decision about repairing vs. replacing your computer without getting a free repair quote, you’re probably just being lazy (we say that with kindness). Without knowing how much a computer repair will cost, you’re flying blind.
If you don’t know of a computer repair store nearby – google it! Choose a store with good reviews that looks trustworthy and make sure they offer free estimates (there are still some dinosaurs that don’t offer free quotes – ridiculous).
Once you know how much a repair will cost, it’s time to ask yourself a few more questions. You might not know the answer to all these questions, so its often helpful to talk them out with a professional. Again – someone you can trust to give you honest answers! We’ve compiled a list of the most relevant questions to ask below:
Age / Condition – How old is your computer? Less than a year? 1-4 years? 5-8 years? 8+ years? Is it running a current or outdated operating system? Is there any newer technology your computer isn’t taking advantage of that you’d like? If you’re considering a computer repair then you likely have at least one problem with your computer. Besides that, is there anything else wrong with the computer? If so, did you consult an expert to see if that could be an easy fix? If your machine could be ‘brand new’ again with a software reset (and data backup), would the computer’s speed be enough for you?
Price to repair vs. replace – What is the cost of repair vs. the original purchase price of your computer? What would a new computer cost you (incl. hardware upgrades, software, accessories, shipping + tax)? Are you ready to buy a new laptop now? If you got your current computer repaired, would it increase the resale value in the future if you decide to buy a new computer anyway?
Personal preference – Is your computer setup exactly how you like it, and would that be difficult for you to recreate? Are you attached to this specific computer (ie., comfortable with size/design/keyboard layout), or would any computer be just fine with you? Do you always prefer to have the latest tech gadget or are you okay with something completely functional even if it’s a few years old?
You’ve made your decision already? Great! Still have some questions? No problem, here’s what we think about those question categories above.
Age / Condition – We all know computers don’t last forever and should be replaced eventually, but exactly how long is eventually? Well that’s both a matter of opinion and personal preference, but in general a regular consumer should probably replace their computer every 5-10 years.
Ten years may seem like an eternity in computer years, but computers are lasting a lot longer than they used to. To make my point, I’m typing this article on a 9-year-old Dell 755 desktop computer (that I spent $60 to upgrade to an SSD) and it works great. Seriously, if I cleaned up the casing a little I could probably fool most people into believing it was a brand-new machine. Age is just a number!
Besides age, is there anything else wrong with the computer? An older computer with a single problem may make sense to repair while a bit newer computer with a litany of issues may make sense to replace. However, make sure to keep in mind that some computer ‘fixes’ can solve a host of problems. For example, an operating system reinstall (factory reset) will remove viruses, fix error messages, speed up your machine, and clean out endless amounts of junk all at once.
Every computer is different and more expensive machines tend to last longer than cheaper machines (no surprise there). So, before you run out to replace your machine, keep in mind there’s a very good chance that a factory reinstall and maybe an SSD upgrade can breathe significantly new life into your older computer.
Price – It’s hard to get too specific here since everyone has a different budget, but the broad strokes are the same. A repair will almost always be cheaper than a replacement computer, but if the repair is looking to cost 50-70% of the cost of a replacement then you should always consider the age/condition of the machine before making a decision. And please – Always get a free quote before deciding to skip a repair. Do yourself that favor! Lastly, don’t forget that if you decide to upgrade to a new computer, your older computer has a higher resale value if it’s working.
Personal preference – Deciding on a repair vs. replacement computer isn’t all dollars and cents. If you love the design/layout of your computer and its setup exactly how you like it – it might make a lot of sense to fix your computer! No sense in replacing a machine you love when it can be repaired. On the other hand, if you’ve always slightly detested your computer and had your eye on a newer model – take the plunge! Also, you might opt for a new computer if you’re the type to always need the latest gadget or you might opt for a repair if you believe in preserving the environment by reducing tech waste.
In summary, there are a lot of factors that can affect your decision to get your computer repaired vs. buying a new computer. Always get a free repair quote, consider the age and condition of your device, factor in the cost savings of a repair, and ultimately – do whatever you prefer!
And remember, if you’re in need of a free computer repair quote or just a second opinion, we’re always here to help! Check out our Locations Page for a store near you.
Thank you for reading. We hope you don't have any broken devices, but if you do, please feel free to look at our locations to find your local store's information! The Doctor is here to help.