Should you buy an extended warranty with your laptop?
You may not want to think about it now, but sooner or later,
something is going to break down on your laptop. When it
happens, the big question will be who gets stuck with the
bill, you or the manufacturer.
The standard (standard in this case meaning free) warranty
on a new laptop typically runs anywhere from 90 days to a
year. That probably doesnt seem like much when you consider
how long you expect to own your laptop. What happens when
your laptop poops out on the 91st day?
First of all, even if your laptop only includes a 90-day
warranty (and assuming youve purchased a reputable brand-
name system), the chances of your laptop dying on the 91st
day are very, very slim.
Manufacturers dont offer a 90-day warranty with the
expectation that their product will malfunction shortly
thereafter. A shorter warranty is likely, at least in part,
to be a marketing ploy to push you toward an extended
All major laptop manufacturers offer a long menu of extended
warranty options, each menu item with its own price tag. The
two biggest components that factor into the cost of an
extended warranty are duration and location.
Through extended warranty, you typically have the option to
extend the duration of the standard warranty from one to
three years. The first extra year is always the most
expensive, with each subsequent year costing significantly
less. The longer the extended warranty, the better the deal.
As for location, the least expensive extended warranties
require you to ship your laptop (at your expense) to a
remote repair facility. With the most deluxe extended
warranty packages, a service technician will meet you at
your own front door to attempt the repairs. This type of
coverage tends to be on the expensive side.
At this point, you might decide to research manufacturer
websites to determine their standard warranty policies.
Dont bother, because most laptop manufacturers dont have
standard warranty polices. Warranties vary from line to line
and product to product. Even with a particular model in
mind, its still going to take some digging.
So how do you decide whether an extended warranty is right
for you? Your best bet is to consider your anticipated
If youre buying a laptop as a second computer for
occasional use when you need to travel, you can probably
pass on the extended warranty and still feel relatively
At the other extreme, if you use your laptop day in and day
out as your primary system, with half your life spent in
airport terminals, you should consider adding as much
extended warranty as you possibly can. Fortunately, unlike
automobile warranties, laptop warranties dont put any
restriction on mileage.
About the author:
The author, computer journalist John San Filippo, has written the definitive guide for buying a laptop computer at: http://HowToBuyALaptop.comYou can also pick up your complimentary ebook titled “Computer Tips From The Experts” at: http://howtobuyalaptop.com/laptop-tips.htm