Laptops are nowhere near as roomy, accessible, and tinker-friendly as PCs. When you buy a laptop, its parts and components fit its chassis like a glove. This makes it impossible to customize — but not totally. They have so much room for upgrades—removable parts, accessible hardware, more slots for expansion cards, and anything else that allows enhancements.
However, new technology released these days is getting more and more upgradable with buildable features. Just because laptops are a little more limited in upgrades, that doesn’t entirely mean that it can’t be done. It has a limited number of upgradable parts, but it is still doable.
A good thing about upgrading parts is that it saves you some bucks. Instead of buying a completely new laptop, you can upgrade it.
Is it upgradable?
To know if your laptop model is upgradable, consult the infinite well of answers: the Internet.
Go to the manufacturer’s website and read up on the model of your laptop. Go through threads, blogs, and other sources to see how other people have upgraded theirs. Study and compare how tech nerds got to achieve the custom-built laptop of their dreams. This way, you’ll get an idea of what you can do with yours. Generally, updatable parts are the RAM, storage, and battery.
Laptop batteries these days are made from lithium polymer. Unlike laptops from a decade ago, you don’t have to worry about damaging your battery after draining it. However, the heat is something to be mindful of. Using your laptop on surfaces that obstructs airflow–like your pillow–it’ll heat up. Be sure to use your laptop only on flat surfaces, so it’s well-ventilated for use.
With some laptops, owners can do the enhancements themselves. But if that’s not the case for you, contact the manufacturer to do it instead. A good tip is not to cheap out on the battery. For the sake of your laptop’s health, go for the original one.
RAM is important in running apps smoothly in the background. Upgrading a laptop’s RAM is trickier than a PC’s. Some laptops have an access panel to slots, some have them tucked away, and some don’t even have any at all. Other laptops have their memory joined to the motherboard, which is common for smaller and lighter laptops. If your laptop is on the bulkier side, then it might mean good news for you.
A common enemy of computer users is lag. Do you have a slow hard drive? Upgrade it to a solid-state drive (SSD). It consumes less energy, improves performance, and makes gaming faster. They’re quieter than HDDs too. SSDs are more efficient in storing and processing memory and running apps. They’re essential in video editing, animation, importing, photo editing, and other heavy apps.
If you do any of these and experience lag, you probably need to update to an SSD. When getting one, be sure you know the measurements so that it fits.
Things Worth Considering
DIY-ing It Can Be Risky
An opened laptop feels like Pandora’s box. It is made with contents that are tightly arranged inside. It’s so compact that going through the parts on your own can be nerve-wracking. You might even have to move some pieces around to get to the part you want to replace.
This is one of the risks of upgrading on your own.
Installing a Part Correctly
Another risk worth considering is being able to replace a part properly. If you’ve done it before and are confident to do it on your own again, then feel free to do so. But when in doubt, don’t hesitate to have a professional do it for you.
Checking the Compatibility
Like mentioned before, be sure to know the measurements of the piece you want to upgrade so you can replace it with another that fits. You still want to screw your laptop close, don’t you?
Compatibility isn’t just about the fit. It should also be about the motherboard. The older the motherboard, the less likely a laptop component to be suitable. The newer motherboards are more convenient and friendly to newer parts. Generally, they’re better parts too.
Saving Money for a Change
Let’s face it. These parts are pricey. Yes, they’re expensive but definitely worth it. Instead of going for everything at once, you prioritize. Start with the part you need the most and work your way from there.
Think of it as an investment. With an upgraded quality of your laptop, your work and play will upgrade too. For long-term use and better performance, it’s worth the cost.