Back to top

The indispensable source for professionals who create, implement and service technology solutions for entrepreneurs to enterprise.

In the Zone

How to help customers get more from their laptops

Kevin Jacoby's picture

by Kevin Jacoby on 10/12/2022
Blog Category: devices

Laptop-using customers who need more speed or extended functionality no longer have to replace the whole machine.

Instead, they can take advantage of today’s great new options. With just a few smart purchases, your customers can breathe years of new life into aging lappies. At the same time, they can also help reduce plastic waste.

In the past, some designers of consumer electronics found themselves on the wrong end of lawsuits asserting consumers’ rights to upgrade and repair. Laptop makers have also been accused of contributing to climate change.

Now the pendulum is swinging in the other direction. Laptop makers are finding new ways to offer us the upgrade options we want—and the sustainability we need.

Cooking with the right stuff

Not all laptops are upgradeable. Many now have components soldered to their motherboard. While this helps to reduce prices and miniaturize components, it also makes adding a new processor or graphics card virtually impossible.

That said, laptops designed with upgradeability in mind are not too hard to find—especially in the gaming world.

One good example is Dell’s Alienware Area 51m. This gaming laptops lets the user upgrade nearly every major component. That includes the processor, GPU, SSD storage and memory.

Dell Alienware Area 51m

Dell Alienware Area 51m: nearly every component upgradeable

Sure, your customers will have to pay around $4,000 for the privilege. But the longer they own this laptop, the lower their total cost of ownership (TCO) will get. And when you’re talking about a system with this many upgrade options, that could be a very long time indeed.

Creating a new Framework

Another alternative for laptops comes from San Francisco startup Framework Computer. The company offers a brand-new paradigm. Upgradeability has been designed into the very DNA of Framework’s Windows laptops and Chromebooks. That makes upgrades easy, inexpensive and sustainable.

So instead of spending $1,200 to $2,000 on a new laptop equipped with the latest, greatest processor, Framework users can purchase an upgrade kit for their current laptop. Prices for these kits start as low as $540.

Framework laptop

Framework laptop: designed for upgradeability

For that easy price, Framework customers get a brand-new mainboard equipped with their choice of either a 12th gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor. This upgrade breathes new life into the machine, keeping it out of landfill for the foreseeable future.

Other upgrade options from Framework include memory, storage, colored bezels and keyboards. The company also offers a series of smartly designed expansion cards that fit into any of the 4 integrated slots built into the bottom of the chassis.

Peripherals, too

When laptop users are on the move, they settle for using their systems’ integrated screens, keyboards and trackpads. It’s a necessary evil. Laptop screens are small, keyboards are cramped, and trackpads can be clumsy.

That’s why coming back to home base is so satisfying. Your customers can avail themselves of the best peripherals the market has to offer.

That includes the latest crop of super-wide curved displays. Extreme multitaskers in particular will love screens that let them line up multiple windows, eliminating the need to shuttle between apps.

One cool example is LG’s 49WL95C-W Ultrawide Dual QHD monitor, which retails for about $1,200. This monitor’s 49-inch curved display envelopes the viewer with a 32:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 5120 x 1440. And its USB-C connectivity makes linking with just about any modern laptop a breeze.

Your customers might also enjoy an upgrade beneath their fingers. Logitech’s $170 MX Mechanical keyboard offers luxurious typing with just the right amount of tactile feedback and old-school audible click.

Logitech MX Mechanical keyboard: modern features, old-school click

This Logitech keyboard also uses Bluetooth to connect with up to 3 computers at a time. Switching between the devices happens with the click of a button.

Mouse upgrades are available, too. One attractive option is Logitech’s MX Master 3S mouse. It offers an ergonomic design that helps take some of the physical stress out of virtual navigation.

In addition, the Logitech mouse’s 8K DPI surface-tracking laser is housed in recycled plastic, the production of which is certified carbon-neutral. Because climate change.

Tech providers to the rescue

Speaking of climate change, it bears mentioning (again) that upgrading is good for both your business and our planet.

Tech providers can collect respectable profits on hardware components and software. They can also open additional revenue streams through bench fees, support and consulting.

At the same time, you can also make a compelling argument about fighting climate change and reducing waste while also saving your customers time and money.

That’s a value proposition any customer can get behind.

 

Back to top