When to upgrade a laptop

Like most freelances, I’m extremely stingy when it comes to upgrading gadgets. I don’t know why it should be any different for those on staff than those not – maybe it’s because we’re a bit older than most and the gadget phase is starting to pass us by.

All I know for sure is that it was three and a half years before my iMac was out of its prime and that I’ve now had my PowerBook for three years (almost as long as I’ve been a freelance) and I still haven’t upgraded it.

As you may know from my earlier entry on the subject, my PowerBook has been getting a bit temperamental of late. Well, yet another thing’s gone wrong with it. It still works, but it’s gone wrong.

Here’s a list of all the flaws I’ve come across so far. At what point would you have returned or replaced it?

  • Tendency to freeze for no adequately explored reason (I ignored it)
  • Little rubber feet falling off (I let them)
  • Great big black marks appearing on the surface (nothing I could do)
  • Heat scoring appearing on the surface (nothing I could do)
  • Hard drive packing up (replaced it)
  • New hard drive packing up (replaced it again)
  • ‘7’ key falling off (keep putting it back on)
  • AC power supply stopped working (replaced it)
  • Battery life reduced to 40 minutes (replaced it)
  • Screen starting to split away from the back (looking for the super-glue, right now)

If I hadn’t read such scary things about the new MacBooks, I think I would have bought a replacement by now. Plus the 12″ PowerBook has such a great keyboard, even if the 7 keeps falling off. Plus probably all my accessories would stop working as well if I upgraded.

I’m still thinking about it though. Maybe next year…

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