For years there has been much debate over MacBooks and PCs, which one is better, faster, more durable – and which one lasts longer. A lot of the answers to these questions come down to personal preference, what the main function of the computer is, and the price point that you’re willing to spend. However, there are certain product aspects to be considered when determining longevity.
Do MacBooks really last longer and why do they last so long? While the life expectancy of a Macbook versus a PC cannot be determined perfectly, MacBooks tend to last longer than PCs. This is because Apple ensures that Mac systems are optimized to work together, making MacBooks run more smoothly for the duration of their lifetime. PCs are made of parts from various manufacturers that, over time, may run into compatibility issues, ultimately shortening their lifespan.
There is a lot to uncover when it comes to MacBooks and how Apple has created such a long-lasting system. Keep reading to learn about the life-span of a MacBook, why MacBooks tend to last a long time, signs it’s time for a new Mac, and some MacBook product recommendations.
Do MacBooks Really Last Longer?
The lifespan of a MacBook is determined by a number of factors. These include:
- The purpose of your MacBook
- How you use it
- External components that affect the life-span
- Time until it is outdated, as Apple notoriously updates their products and releases new products designed to function even better than the last
On average MacBooks (though discontinued in July 2019) and MacBook Pros will last approximately 6 years, and oftentimes much longer. A MacBook Air will typically last 3 – 5 years, and again often times much longer. It’s important to note that the issues users typically report after only a few years are often external component issues such as the screen becoming loose, but report that the operating systems continue to run smoothly.
Meanwhile, PC users have reported on average their laptops have lasted roughly 2 – 4 years, citing a number of issues ranging from external components to various internal hardware/software issues.
Generally speaking, when you compare MacBooks to PCs, they not only tend to last longer, but the complications that may arise with MacBooks tend to be less serious and more easily managed than those of PCs. And while one of the biggest turn offs to MacBooks may be the price point, in 2016 IBM confirmed that Macs are actually less expensive to own than PCs. (Source)
Why MacBooks Last So Long
MacBooks tend to last so long because Apple takes the time and effort to make a high-quality product. This can be broken down into a few reasons:
- Apple controls every aspect of a MacBook’s production to ensure that all components of their product fit together and work together smoothly.
- MacBook systems are constantly updated.
- Antivirus protection is built into the operating system.
- Apple products have brand-recognized technicians who specialize caring for their product.
Another perk is that MacBooks sync perfectly with other Apple products such as iPhones and iPads. Because Apple controls their MacBook production so closely, this means that not only is their operating system top-notch, but so are all of their apps.
MacBook Systems Are Consistently Updated
Apple keeps their systems up to date with fixes as soon as they’re ready. Consistently working out problems and fixing any bugs is just another way Apple makes sure your system stays running smoothly for as long as possible.
While it’s not impossible for MacBook users to experience unwanted viruses, spyware, and malware on their devices, it’s far less of a problem for Mac users than PC users. This is due mostly to the antivirus protection that is embedded deep within the operating system.
The Apple Store
Should you run into any problems with your MacBook, you know exactly where to take it for top-rated customer service. Not only does this give MacBook users peace of mind regarding where to take and who to trust with their devices, but employees at the Apple store employees have been trained to work with and fix Apple products specifically.
Having a trusted place to take a MacBook that may be experiencing a technical difficulty will ensure a longer lifespan.
It’s also worth noting that many users have reported their Macs lasting up to an entire decade. This is made possible by SSD and RAM upgrades.
So even if you feel like you’re outgrowing your Mac, as long as it’s still operating smoothly, simply upgrading your system may be all you need to do to increase the lifespan. While this may not be something you feel comfortable doing on your own, this is certainly a task Apple store employees can help you with.
Ways to Make Sure Your MacBook Lasts As Long As Possible
Though the quality and longevity are worth it, MacBooks are still quite an investment. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to make sure your MacBook lasts as long as possible.
- Avoid filling up your hard drive completely. If your hard drive is full, your computer will run much slower.
- Run the updates. It’s inconvenient and they always seem to come at the worst possible time, but running the updates will ensure your system stays operating smoothly. You can always opt to run updates overnight if you need to.
- Empty the trash.
- Keyboard covers will keep your laptop from crumb, dirt, and dust buildup or spills. Here are a few to check out:
This cover protects all MacBook Pro models from 2016 to 2019 and is washable and reusable.
The Mosiso cover is compatible with both a MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, provides full protection for your keyboard, and comes in (26) different colors.
YYubao silicone cover is compatible with both MacBook Pro and Macbook Air, is made with non-stick silicone that won’t stick to fingers, and comes in (20) different colors.
- Consider a case for the outside to prevent scratches and if you travel, consider a case and sleeve combination for further protection.
Here are a few cases to check out:
This case is compatible with 2018 – 2020 MacBook Air models, totally removable, easy to put on and take off, and fully vented. This case also comes in (37) different color options.
This case is compatible with 13 inch MacBook Pros, is sturdy and durable, has cut-outs that match perfectly for ventilation, and is available in (33) different colors and designs.
The Dongke MacBook Pro case is designed to perfectly match your device, complete with all features, buttons, and Touch ID function, and provides proper ventilation. This case comes in (26) different designs.
- Check your computer routinely for any damaged files to avoid file corruption.
- Keep your desktop clean so as not to eat up your RAM and slow your entire system down.
- To help preserve your battery, don’t keep your MacBook plugged in all the time. Allow your battery to drop down to 5-10% before plugging it in, then letting it charge.
- Keep your MacBook well ventilated by placing it on a desk, laptop stand such as this IQunix Aluminum Ventilated Stand, this Soundance Laptop Stand, or this Nexstand Laptop Stand or something similar to raise it up.
- Don’t drop your MacBook. Physical damages often lead to broken parts and smashed hard drives.
Helpful tip: If you notice your system is slowing down, but everything else seems to be operating smoothly, try restarting your device, closing out of or even removing apps you aren’t using, and/or limiting the number of tabs that are open as these are all things that could be slowing your computer down without you realizing it.
When It’s Time for a New MacBook
All good things must come to an end, including MacBooks. If you notice your laptop is acting a little different, it may be time for a new one. Here are a few signs your MacBook may be nearing the end of its lifespan:
- Your current device can’t support the latest macOS version. New macOS versions are released every September/October, and if your MacBook won’t support the newest version, it may be time to consider purchasing a new one.
- No more free space. If you’re out of space then it’s probably time to upgrade to a new MacBook with plenty of storage.
- Your battery no longer keeps its charge. Just because your battery doesn’t keep it’s charge like it once was doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to run out and buy a new MacBook, it may simply mean it’s nearing the end of its life. Check out the Apple battery replacement program if you’re experiencing battery issues.
- Apps are slowing down. If you notice frequently used apps are starting to run slower, this may mean your device may be struggling to support updates.
- Physical damage. If your MacBook has suffered physical damage such as a cracked screen or USB/charging ports have quit working, it may be time to consider a replacement. It’s always worth getting your MacBook checked out and to see how much it would cost to get your device fixed, but in the end, it may be more cost-efficient to purchase a new MacBook.
Which Mac is Right For You?
MacBooks don’t come cheap and there are several different models to choose from. Remember, you don’t have to go for the newest or most expensive device, there are excellent options in all models, in all shapes and sizes, and for all budgets.
Let’s take a look at the different options Apple has to offer.
The MacBook Air is ideal if you’re on the go a lot, and need a device that is less bulky and smaller in size. Another great benefit to the MacBook Air is that it’s the more budget-friendly option.
This device has 8GB of RAM, integrated intel iris pus graphics technology, an 11-hour battery life, and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. MacBook Air has Touch ID which means no more having to remember a password, and Touch ID makes Apple Pay purchases even more simple. Built-in apps include Safari, Siri, Messages, Photos, FaceTime, and more.
This is a great option if you plan on using your computer for general work such as checking e-mails, browsing the web, using office apps, and editing photos or videos.
Details: up to 3.2 GHz, 256 GB storage, Touch ID, retina display with True Tone, magic keyboard, Force Touch trackpad, available in (3) colors, starting at $999.
The MacBook Pro is targeted toward the more demanding user due to its high processing power; in fact, this is the fastest model Apple has created. There are several different models and pricing options available in the MacBook Pro series, both in 13-inch and 16-inch options. The Pro features a touch bar at the top of the computer and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth.
There is also the option to purchase refurbished Pros if you’re looking to save a little cash.
Details: 1.4 GHz Quad-Core Processor with Turbo Boost, up to 3.9 GHz, 128 GB storage, Touch Bar, Touch ID, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645, available in (2) colors, starting at $1,299.
Details: 2.6 GHz, 6 core processor, 512 GB storage, AMD Radeon Pro 5300 M, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, available in (2) colors, starting at $2,399.
Quick Note: The base model of the 16 inch MacBook Pro has tons of power and flexibility. It is the version that I currently work with and recommend hands down.
Pros and Cons of MacBooks
Choosing a laptop is, not only a big investment decision, but a big decision in general. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of opting for a MacBook.
- The magical touch bar allows you to control video and/or audio playback, control brightness, volume, and more with just your fingertips.
- MacBooks have a bright color display. Backlighting is brighter, colors are more vibrant, and contrast is increased.
- Super fast smooth processing speed.
- High-quality speakers with 58% more volume and maximum bass.
- The keypad on a Macbook is super durable. Keypads are now made with a silicone layer under each key that helps prevent debris from entering and in turn building up.
- One word, Siri. MacBooks come with Siri which gives you the ability to control your computer with your voice.
- Apple offers excellent customer service support and top-notch warranty programs, so even if something does go wrong with your device, you’re guaranteed to get a professional solution.
- Price point. It’s no secret MacBooks come at a price, and if you’re considering purchasing a MacBook you should be prepared to drop a pretty good chunk of change on one. This is often, and understandably so, the main reason people tend to shy away from buying one.
- MacBooks aren’t the best for gaming. Users have reported frame rate being of poorer quality and depending on the model of MacBook, they aren’t always compatible with the gaming service or accessories of your choosing.
The Long Life of a Macbook
The debate as to whether Macs last longer than PCs has been ongoing, and there are a lot of factors to be taken into consideration such as personal preference, the main function of your device, and budget.
On average MacBooks last between 3 and 6 years with many users reporting their devices have lasted significantly longer; meanwhile, PC users have reported their devices lasting 2 – 4 years. Perhaps most importantly, MacBook users typically report issues such as a loose screen while PC users experience various hardware/software malfunctions.
MacBooks have a long lifespan because of the lengths Apple has gone to create a high-quality product such as making sure all components work together smoothly, keeping updates consistent, embedding antivirus protection deep within the operating system, and offering top-rated customer service at Apple stores.
There are several ways to make sure you’re successfully preserving the life of your MacBook such as running updates, emptying the trash, and preventing physical damage by investing in a keyboard cover and/or case for your device. Even if you notice your device slowing down or space is filling up, there may be a simple solution such as removing unused apps or purchasing extra space.
All Good Things Must End
Unfortunately, every MacBook will see it’s last day, but there are signs to look for that may mean it’s time to consider purchasing a new MacBook such as no more free space on your current device, frequently used apps slowing down, and physical damage.
Apple offers a variety of MacBooks that serve different purposes so be sure to check out the specifications that will be best suited for you.
There are several pros to purchasing a MacBook including its sleek design, high-quality speakers, and Siri; but understandably a con to Apple products is the price point.
Bottom line, if you’re looking for a high-quality, high-performance laptop with a long lifespan, MacBook is the way to go.