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Laptop Warranty Buying Guide

Laptop warranty buying guide with expert tips and purchasing recommendations.

  • 3-year warranty
  • 3-year warranty
  • 1-year warranty is ok for laptops under $400

laptop computer warrantyWhat's the deal with laptop warranties?

In all respect we receive laptop warranty questions fairly often. And while it's great that people are at the least thinking about warranty options these days, the unfortunate truth is that many skip or even overlook this potentially important feature.

Continue reading because from our experience this can be a very costly mistake.

To us it is very apparent that many people are skeptical of a laptop warranty just as they are with other product warranties. After all who likes to pay for insurance, right? 

We've also personally spoke to plenty of computer owners who've had horrible experiences with warranties in the past, and others who were in fact told not to purchase a laptop warranty by someone else who had a bad experience.

Remember, not everyone's experience with something is going to be great and this is also very true for a laptop warranty. Our own personal experiences with laptop warranties have been great, and we've also spoke to plenty of people who made the right decision by purchasing an extended warranty themselves.

Should I buy a warranty for a new laptop computer?

In our professional opinion it is in fact worth it to buy an extended laptop warranty in most situations. 

Of course a warranty is not going to always be worth the extra cash in some situations which we will cover shortly.

For most of you however a laptop warranty is going to be a great benefit, especially if you do ever run into a computer problem, trust us!

One thing to keep in mind first and foremost is that laptops do in fact get lugged around by most of you unlike your desktop computer so it will experience more wear and tear at the minimum. This reason alone justifies the extra cash in our opinion.

Of course we do also realize that not all of you are going to bring your laptop outside your home. But does this mean the above issue doesn't really apply to you? Wrong! It still does folks.

Also remember a laptop by design is more delicate than a desktop computer because of its smaller size and because of this it is more likely to experience premature wear and tear regardless of where it is used. 

Even if you never take your computer outside your home you will at the least take it from room to room, use it on your lap while sitting on the sofa, or even use it in bed, right?

Each of these possible usage scenarios doesn't change the fact that it is a more delicate piece of electronic machinery. We've in fact spoke to individuals who literally toasted their laptop by leaving it on a bed or carpet for too long. Basically the laptops vents were blocked and the cooling system was not able to function.

Others we spoke to experienced premature failures most likely due to their own usage patterns that they were unaware of. Excess heat buildup over time by either leaving it on a bed, carpet, or other unsuitable surface may have caused their premature failures.

In a nutshell folks, laptops have a greater risk for problems over desktop computers so definitely keep this in mind when shopping and contemplating whether or not to purchase a laptop warranty.

Another thing worth noting is that laptop parts & labor costs for a repair is also going to be much higher than a desktop computer. 

Even if you were successful at tracking down replacement parts yourself to potentially save money over high laptop repair shop costs, it's not going to be easy for most of you to perform your own laptop repairs shy of replacing memory or a hard drive.

As you see there are numerous reasons why a laptop warranty may in fact be a good idea.

Ok, what laptop warranty is recommended?

We recommend a 3-Year laptop warranty for most anyone. The lifespan of a laptop or other computer before technology surpasses it is often considered around 3 years, so by purchasing 3 years of coverage you will pretty much be protecting your investment for the entire length of ownership.

While almost every laptop manufacturer bundles in at least a 1 year parts and labor laptop warranty these days, we feel it is not enough coverage because most failures manifest after 1 year from wear and tear in our experience. If a component is in fact bad from the get go it will often fail within the first few days or weeks of ownership.

The only possible exception to not purchase an extended warranty in our opinion is maybe when you are purchasing a low budget laptop for under $400. The warranty cost isn't always going to be worth it but always check out your options anyways. There may in fact be a good deal on a warranty and if you are the so called less cautious user it may be a good idea to fork out the dough anyways.

Is there anything else to consider when dealing with warranties?

Do not always purchase a so called in-house laptop warranty offered by retail or e-tailer stores without using some common sense and doing a bit of research. 

If you purchase a laptop in a retail store your best bet often is to purchase the manufacturer extended warranty instead once you get home.  Retail stores often jack the price up a bit since they give you the added convenience of bringing the laptop into them and they have to pay the salaries of their hard working slaves among other reasons. 

Simply tell the salesman that you are not interested and then stay firm with your words. Of course if it sounds to good to be true it doesn't hurt to do a bit of research into the manufacturer offering to compare price and benefits.  It is possible a retail store warranty may actually work better for your specific needs.  Just do the research and you should be good to go.  In fact bringing a printout of the manufacturer warranty to the store with you is what we like to call a smart shopping maneuver since it gives you all you need to know to perform a warranty comparison and it will also often help you counter some sleezy salesman tactics.

While we are not haters, our experiences has shown that retailer warranty options are not always worth going for and that the manufacturer offering works better for most users needs. 

Even though a computer salesman is most likely going to tell you otherwise, remember folks that it is their job to do so.

Also, we advise you purchase the laptop warranty sooner than later so that you don't forget. A good time to purchase an extended warranty if you decided against an in house option is when you get home and pull your computer out of the box. Simply jump on the manufacturer's website or call them to purchase the extended warranty. It's that easy.

Other things to consider are whether or not you want to get accidental damage protection or even theft recovery assistance. While not all manufacturers offer this, some do including Dell.

Theft protection in a nutshell is in fact LoJack for laptops. If your laptop is stolen you can report it to a Monitoring Center and they will actually work with police to recover it. Accidental damage protection is a given and all you coffee drinks will appreciate this if say your mochachino ever decides to say hello to your keyboard.

To determine whether or not these services justify the extra cost for you simply look at your own unique lifestyle. For example, are you a traveler or say a clumsy individual? We personally think these are great services regardless of your lifestyle due to the nature of a laptops intended purpose and design.

As a final note also take into consideration that the cost for these extra services isn't always going to cost you your life savings. Because these services don't always cost too much more over the standard 1 yr laptop warranty the extra cash spent can in fact be a future lifesaver.

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