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3 Signs It's Time to Get a New Computer

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By George Khoury, Esq. on September 25, 2018 3:57 PM

When it comes to lawyers buying new computers, most subscribe to the age-old wisdom: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

However, when you're heading into trial, or about to take an important trip, if your computer is on the fritz, it's a risk you probably shouldn't take. If you're having trouble figuring out whether your device is suffering from a potentially terminal problem, below you can read about a few of the tell-tale signs of device failure.

1. Battery Doesn't Hold Charge

Not having a battery that can hold a charge can easily become a nightmare. Nowadays, batteries on computers, smartphones, and other devices are not easily replaceable by end-users. However, most manufacturers will offer battery replacement services which are usually a fraction of the cost of buying a new machine, and there are also third-party services that might be a little bit (or a lot) cheaper and more convenient.

But battery replacers beware: While replacing a battery might give your device some added life and the ability to work untethered from an electrical outlet, you should be aware that other problems might be lurking in the background as batteries conveniently tend to die near the end of a device's other components' expected lifespans. Three to five years is the expected lifespan of just about every computer on the market.

2. Applications Take Forever to Load

If it's been a few years since your last hardware upgrade, and you've updated your application suite since, you've probably noticed apps take longer to load. This may be due to improper memory management which can be fixed by changing the way you compute (yes, all those browser tabs are probably to blame), or some cleanup of the system, but it could also be due to aging hardware deteriorating, or becoming obsolete for your computing needs.

If you're in the aging-hardware-boat, you may be able to upgrade a computer by adding more RAM or a better processor, but depending on the age of the device, you may want to consider just getting a whole new machine instead.

3. Screen Flickering, Blue Screen, Crashing

If you screen is flickering, or stuff's just not working, or software is continually crashing, or the dreaded "blue screen" has become your mortal enemy, you may have a problem with some internal components. If your device is less than a year old, it's probably under warranty and you should get on that ASAP as you'll likely need to figure out a loaner/rental computer during the repair period.

If your device is more than a couple years old, it may still be worthwhile to contact the device's manufacturer to see if there's been an extended warranty due to a known problem (Apple has been known to offer extended warranties for known hardware defects). However, this process can be time consuming and leave you without a computer/device for weeks as you'll likely need to leave (or send) the machine with the maker, or a reputable repair service.

In all of the above situations, the opportunity and actual costs generally lean toward a new computer being the best option.

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