Once you nail down the problem the next step is determining if your laptop is worth repairing or if you should just replace it altogether. In order to make that call, you need to ask yourself a few questions. What’s the cost of a new laptop? How old is your current laptop? How bad is the problem? Are you still under warranty? Can your warranty be extended?
How much are the repairs?
A general rule of thumb is if the total repair costs equal more than one-third the cost of a new laptop then don’t repair. Consumer Reports say that if the repair cost is over half the cost of a new laptop then don’t repair. However, another way to look at it is to determine how different a new laptop would be compared to your current one. Does the new one you are looking to get have at least two important features that your current laptop does not? Is the new one lighter, have a better processor, better battery, more RAM, etc…?
How old is your current laptop?
If your laptop is 5+ years old then chances are repairing it isn’t worth it. If your laptop is in the 3 to 4-year range then you could go either way. This is where checking the features can help. Anything under 2 years old is a pretty good candidate for repairs.
How bad is the problem?
If something like your main logic board is busted then repairing might not be feasible. Did the hard drive fail? If so, then you can probably get that repaired for a couple hundred dollars. Nailing down precisely what the problem is will be the best way to determine how much money you will need to spend repairing your laptop and if those repairs are worth it.
Is your laptop still under warranty?
If so then repairs should be covered depending on what they are. If your laptop is not under warranty then you should look into extending it. Some manufacturers have actually been known to extend warranties for free if it is recently expired. Other manufacturers offer the option of extending a warranty for a small fee while some credit card companies automatically double or extend a manufacturer’s warranty. This means that you may already be covered without actually knowing it. Definitely don’t spend any money on repairs until you are 100% sure that your laptop is no longer under any type of warranty.
What is the shops warranty on repairs?
Any respectable shop should offer at least a 90-day warranty on their repairs, which means they will fix your laptop again, if necessary, during that 90-day period. If 90 days seems too short, you may be able to negotiate for a longer warranty.
How long will it take to repair your laptop?
Some repairs take longer than others. Some shops may not be able to get your laptop fixed and returned to you in less than a week. Are you able to be without your laptop for a week or more? Can you find a replacement laptop for the time when yours is out of commission?
How are the online reviews?
Checking online reviews is the best way to validate a company. You do it for restaurants, movies, and any other thing you are looking to do so why not do it for your laptop repair shop?
Will they make a backup of your hard drive?
A lot of shops will do this without even asking, or they may perform a backup for an additional cost. However, the best thing for you to do is to backup your hard drive on your own before you take your laptop in if that’s a possibility.
Is the shop secure?
Unfortunately, some small computer repair shops are targeted by criminals. Thieves will break into these stores, knowing that there is a possibility that there are multiple computers in there ripe for the taking.
What happens if someone steals my laptop?
I’m not entirely sure there’s a concrete answer to this question. Each shop is different. You should definitely ask the manager or owner of the shop you’re taking your laptop to though you may not get a straight answer