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Purchasing Computers In A Short Timeframe

Surface Laptop 4

A few years ago, I watched a Linux tutorial on YouTube. The person wanted to show people that Linux was capable of running on older hardware. I gasped when the person said, “As you can see, Linux is running well on my three-year-old computer.”

Why was I startled by the person’s statement?

Because, in my opinion, a three-year-old computer is not that old.

Recently, a cousin of mine had a hearty laugh when I told her that my computer was older than three years.

She told me that she buys computers every three years and gives the old ones away.

She even asked me if I wanted her laptop computer and even went as far as to tell me that it had Windows 10 on it and asked if having Windows 10 on it would be a problem (My cousin was probably thinking that I would have preferred to use Windows 11 instead).

I told her, “It really does not matter. All I am interested in is the hardware. I use Linux. So, I would be installing Arch Linux on it.”

Honestly, I am still perplexed by the idea of someone getting rid of their computer because it has reached three years of age.

So, today, I am going to make an attempt to understand the reason why some people get rid of computers when they are three-years-old.

Microsoft Might Have Something To Do With People Buying Computers So Often

Microsoft is always advertising their new computers (And if you are a hardcore Microsoft Windows user, you might find yourself being open to the idea of buying a new computer every three years).

Some people are mesmerized by the sight of the latest computers and imagine themselves using one of them in their home office.

So, that could be the reason why people go out of their way to purchase the following types of computers:

  • Surface Pro 8
  • Surface Go 3
  • Surface Laptop Studio
  • Surface Laptop Go 2
  • Surface Duo 2
  • Surface Studio 2
  • Surface Laptop 4

It is a strong case of people wanting the latest computers.

For the record, I do not see anything wrong with a Microsoft fanboy or fangirl buying any of those Surface products (Especially if their current computer is extremely old or is malfunctioning).

What would be ridiculous is they having a perfectly working Surface Laptop from the previous generation and running to buy the latest iteration of the Surface Laptop.

On the other hand, we Linux users would gravitate towards purchasing a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme.


Because we can install Linux on them and those Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme laptop computers have a reputation for lasting longer than three years.

I Am One Of The Many People Who Want To Use Their Computer For Longer Than Three Years

Thankfully, I am not the only person who wants to use a computer for more than three years; there are other people who feel the same way as I do about the lifespan of computers (If it still works after three years, we will continue to use it).

And, even though we were given a brand new computer every three years, we would still continue to use the old one.

As a matter of fact, we would use all of those computers until they were no longer operable.

As far as we are concerned, we are doing our part to prevent an excess amount of old computers from ending up in a landfill.

We Can Take A Hint From Some Places Of Employment

We all know that the majority of companies are quite capable of buying new computers for their office staff (They have the finances to do so).

Instead, they keep those older computers and the office staff continues to use them.

So, why is it that a large percentage of people (some of whom could barely make ends meet) go out of their way to buy a computer every three years?

If those companies can see that those old computers are still useful, why is it that the rest of the population is unable to see things in the same light?

The answer is a simple one, my friend. We were psychologically programmed to be consumers; thus buying almost every new electronic item that appears on the market.

The Bottom Line

It makes no sense to stop using a computer because it has reached three years of age.

If it so happens that it cannot be upgraded to the latest version of Microsoft Windows, install an alternative operating system on it (I recommend Linux).

And, stop making those computer manufacturers rich by purchasing a brand new computer every three years.


71 thoughts on “Purchasing Computers In A Short Timeframe

  1. I ran my previous MacBook until the battery went crazy and began expanding. Had it replaced and used the laptop another few months. I traded it in at an Apple store where they gave me a few hundred bucks for it toward the new MacBook. I had that laptop about three years!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. ๐Ÿค” Well, despite getting three years of usage from it, you had to get a new MacBook because you needed to.

      So, my friend is very lucky that his MacBook Pro from 2014 is still operational.

      By the way, I have other friends with MacBooks that are older than three years.

      Thank you for participating in the discussion, John.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Back in my pc gamer days (90’s), I built my own computers. Customized it, “Modded” it (things like water-cooled CPU systems, cooling fans to extend the life of my overclocked CPU) All to get the best performance from a game with the fastest framerate etc.. At the time computer graphic technology was outpacing the power of a computer to run it, so a 3 year old computer I wouldn’t even bother to plug in. Now days Since what I am doing is not so dependent on the fasted CPU or the highest end graphics card, I would have no problem using 3,4 or 5 year old computer. I would still be using my Surface pro 3, had the motherboard not crapped out on me. I think it depends on what your need is.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I think people replacing their computers every couple of years is driven by 2 things:

    1: Apple. Anyone engrained in the Apple ecosystem only gets about 3 years worth of security and software updates. Unless they have a Mac pro or studio that comes in at like $10,000+ USD.

    2: The Gaming Industry. With games requiring more and more from the hardware that you play them on, you really only get about 2-3 years out of premium gaming setups before you have to upgrade again to play the latest and greatest games.

    It’s just a nasty cycle that everyone has gotten used to.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I actually changed my laptop every 3 yrs since I started owning a laptop since childhood. My current laptop is the last purchase dad made for me 4 years ago. The laptop… is co-currently dying slowly. The speakers volume had gone haywired and even if the volume hits 100 you still hear nothing much but soft whispers… and I cant use the laptop unless the charger is plugged in.

    Maybe there is something about 3 years usage maximum per laptop might be true.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Currently after marriage… well… its hard to save up money.. to get it repaired or buy food ..


        1. ๐Ÿ™‚ I understand your financial situation.

          I would put it across in another manner (And, hopefully, it should prove my point).

          If you were to get your laptop repaired for free by someone who is qualified to do computer repairs, would you still use it after the three-year period?


            1. ๐Ÿ™‚ That is good to know!

              So, that proves you are willing to you use a laptop computer for more than three years.

              Thank you for participating in the discussion.


  5. My current PC is a desktop, well l only use desktops truth be told. I bought it back in 2018 and it is still running strong and will probably not need replacing for a few years yet. I getting so annoyed by the sheer number of manufacturers that are creating products purely for obsoletion!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. ๐Ÿ™‚ Neo, Microsoft Vista is 15 years old (So, that would make your computer a very old computer).
      Anyway, you have proven to a lot of people, that a computer can be used after 3 years.
      Thank you for participating in the discussion.


  6. I agree fully not to get the latest machine after three years until it malfunctions or just cannot work anymore. Some companies use planned obsolescence, and that has created a huge monetary and environmental waste.

    I have a MacBook Air from 2014 that still operates. Planning on keeping it until it burns out completely.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I find my laptops only seem to last 3-4 years as it is…..
    Since 2005 I have had 5 laptops! This one is an HP Notebook (a piece of you know…) & is only 3 years old.
    I want to buy an ASUS next time around…..I need a reliable laptop!
    Thanks for a solid post yet again!
    Sincerely Sherri-Ellen & **purrss** BellaDharma

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “ASUS next time aroundโ€ฆ..I need a reliable laptop!”
      Oh. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ASUS has a not-so-good track record when it’s about reliability. They are maginally better than their bargain basement sister company Acer but far from good. When it’s about laptops, best purchase the stuff professionals rely on: Lenovo ThinkPads … and with some distance Dell and HP. Forget the rest.
      Abovementioned brands you may buy second hand from outlet stores, where they sell refurbished machines that came back from leasing contracts n stuff. Check eBay.


    1. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you, Sully. I would be most happy to read your blog.

      By the way, I advise not asking other bloggers to read your blog via their comments thread because a lot of them will either delete your comment or mark it as spam.

      Asking a blogger to read your blog via their comments thread is frowned upon in the blogosphere.


  8. I try to get as many years as possible out of my computers (I like to get my money’s worth). I’m a Windows laptop person. I don’t like Apple and it really burns me up that we have an Ipad (that was a free gift) that is still working after twelve or thirteen years.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I can tell from experience it’s financial and emotional exhausting to always change computers. You have to reinstall all the programs, fix email accounts and you can count on losing data. Nowadays I use my computer till it’s busted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “reinstall all the programs”
      Installation of Linux takes 10 minutes max and mostly comes with a collection of software that allows you to be awesome immediately.
      “fix email accounts”
      Why, what? What’s there to fix?
      “and you can count on losing data”
      Sorry, only happens with unconscious users. Neither the hardware’s nor the OS’s fault. Besides, insider trick, attention please: I keep all my data on external HDDs. My computers are kinda completely empty, aside from the OS and stuff I’m currently working on.


  10. My goodness, only three years? I have an ancient desktop, one step up from a freakin’ abacus for cry’n out loud, that still runs better than new on a completely updated 32-bit Linux OS called Salix. Debian Linux is also available in 32-bit ISOs for those 10-20 year old boxes with 512 MB of RAM and the old Celeron processors. I’m not in the habit of throwing away perfectly good working machines! And as our economy sinks, I think Linux may become a lot more popular as people re-think the idea of replacing perfectly good desktops and laptops just because Microsoft or Apple changed something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For Christmas in the year of 2005 I was gifted by a neighbor with a brand new desktop computer (Microsoft/Windows/Dell).

      I loved that computer.

      I used that computer from January 2006 to the year 2013. This computer lasted 7 and a half to eight years.

      The monitor nolonger displayed a picture. The screen went dark completely. At first the screen would go dark then periodically go back to its normal function. I was able to operate and watch the screen after continuing to mess with it.

      Then one day my desktop just conked out completely.

      I would still be using this computer today if it was still working.

      Afterwards I purchased a laptop. And, I will be using my laptop until the day it conks out.

      I don’t get rid of things that work perfectly fine just because a newer model comes on the market. I feel the same was about my smartphones and television sets.

      I am one that doesn’t mind enjoying and loving and getting the best out of my items longterm.

      And, why waste money when one doesn’t really have to?!


  11. I keep my computers longer than 3 years. I bought a new battery for my six-year-old laptop and keep it for a backup. I just replaced hubby’s ten-year-old desktop. I like having backup computers – a desktop for hubby and a laptop for me. My older computers may be slow but they’re there just in case. I have a smaller refurbished laptop that we use when we travel that is ten years old. I would say, I average a new computer every 6 to 7 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. When I was a child I remember adults who insisted you had to change your car every three years. It made no sense in that context nor does it make sense about computers. Waste not, want not, as they say.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ugh, planned obsolescence makes me so disgusted. I was given a Microsoft Surface as part of my grad program in 2017 and all I can say is I have always hated it. Plus now, it no longer is functional without needing to always be plugged in and even then it is laggy. I mean maybe I could replace the battery to fix part of the issue but that won’t change the fact I hate it.

    However, the Acer I bought in 2016 is still going strong and I don’t see any need to replace it any time soon. And the MSI I had before then lasted me 8 years before I needed to upgrade it. And if I remember right, that upgrade was mostly because I wanted a full keyboard so I had the number pad for writing/calculating/coding that came along with grad school. Also both were hundreds and hundreds cheaper than whatever was flashy at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. My corporate laptop is a lenovo thinkpad and while we hv a 3 year replacement policy, I usually use mine til ‘symptoms’ appear, then I would request a replacement …symptoms like over heating and potential to ‘crash’…I think the 3 year life cycle is due to all the upgrades pushed down to the ‘user’…and hardware limitations due to constant upgrades…vicious cycle

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I run a 6-year-old NEC PC and 10-year-old Acer laptop. They’re both fine for simple work use. Switching to a linux distro is a great way to keep older hardware usable.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Proud user of a 2015 MacBook Pro. Donโ€™t see a reason to change after 3 years, but at the moment mine has started to get a little noisy and running a little hot when opening some of the newer applications. Maybe thereโ€™s a case for a 7 year upgrade ๐Ÿ˜†.

    Liked by 2 people

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