Are Computer Manufacturer’s Pushing Us Into A Disposable World?

Are Computer Manufacturer’s Pushing Us Into A Disposable World? Back in the day it was simple to replace the battery and other parts in a laptop computer. Any computer user could easily order a new laptop battery, slide the old one off and the new one on and be back in business in a flash.  It now seems that those days are no longer.  Which makes us have to wonder – why?

New laptops are much lighter, much thinner, and much ore powerful then ever before.  All of these things are wonderful improvements over the older heavy laptops we all used to haul around. Newer laptops are thinner and lighter than ever before

Things Have Changed A Lot

In recent years I have seen a lot of changes.  Apple went so far as to design special screws which require a special screwdriver to deter you from getting your Apple computer repaired at any place other than Apple itself.  Fortunately this tool is now readily available to computer technicians.  However what was Apple’s point in doing this other than to make getting your computer repaired much more difficult?

PC manufacturers have redesigned laptops in recent years as well.  What used to be a simple repair now requires complete disassembly and reassembly of the laptop.  As a result, a simply hard drive or battery replacement that use to take just minutes now takes as long as 3 hours.  And guess who has to pay for this additional time?  If you guessed yourself you have hit the nail on the head.

This creates another potential issue – how much is a computer repair worth before its simply time to dispose and replace?

Lets take a look at recent local Santa Barbara computer repair rates:

Average Diagnostic Fee $70
Average hourly rate       $110
Minimum charge for repair $110

Lets say you simply need a new battery in your laptop computer.  The average price of a replacement battery as of October 2019 is about $70.  With that in mind, we are looking at a minimum of about $180 simply to replace the battery.  Compare this to 2007 prices.  In 2007 replacement laptop batteries were about the same price as today.  First of all, since most laptops were designed for easy battery removal the end user could perform this task themselves without paying any labor charges.  Life was simple.

If you were to attempt to replace your laptop battery today you may find things quite a bit more complicated.  The 15 second battery replacement has turned into a 2-3 hour surgical procedure.  The risk of permanently damaging the laptop is extremely high.  This leaves you with just two choices: repair or replace.


Laptop disassembly and reassembly should only be performed by an experienced IT Technician. There are many connectors, ribbon cables and screws involved and things can easily become broken.  Attempting this yourself is extremely risk and you may permanently damage other components.  The entire process can take anywhere from two to three hours.

Seems like places such as Best Buy are now selling new laptops for as little as $225 so is it worth it to replace your laptop battery for $180?  We wouldn’t recommend it.  Welcome to the disposable world of computers.

Santa Barbara Computer Repair That Tech Jeff

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