The absolute first step in buying a laptop or tablet should be to read and compare the laptop warranty. Every laptop without exception will at some point fall victim to accidents and system failures. Whether your device arrives DOA. Or develops issues after a few months of ownership. You’ll be relying on that warranty to get your investment working the way it should. Every vendor offers protection. But here’s the kicker… they don’t all offer the same coverage. To protect yourself and get your device back to tip-top shape. Here’s what the best laptop warranty should cover.
What Your Warranty Should Cover
This one is simple to answer. The coverage section should include instructions on how a damaged laptop should be returned. And who’s responsible for the return-charge; them or you.
Additionally, the warranty should come with available phone support. And include information on how long this particular service is available for (it should be free for a minimum of 90 day with 24/7 access).
A laptop warranty generally covers parts and labor for repairs on hardware issues that weren’t caused by the owner. These include defective keyboards, monitor problems, modem problems, and other internal malfunctions.
Services and Repair
This section should state how repairs will be completed. And where the services will take place. Including whether new or refurbished parts will be used. Ideally, you want a warranty that will replace your new laptop with new parts.
If you buy a used or refurbished laptop. The warranty will usually be good for 90 days. We recommend picking up Extended Warranty, or a Retail Service Plan in this case (more about this in a moment).
What Your Manufacturer’s Warranty Won’t Cover
This isn’t as simple to answer. Generally, a laptop warranty will clearly state that any software issues-bundled or installed-by you or a third-party will not be covered. Which means programs and files that are lost are damaged are generally not covered.
You can also assume that the loss or theft of your laptop won’t be a part of the standard laptop warranty coverage. But certain parts of the laptop may have different warranty coverage terms.
Theft, damage, or accidental damage caused by owner negligence is also usually not covered by a laptop warranty. But they may be covered by your insurance policy.
If you’re going to spend serious cash for your dream laptop. Purchasing Accidental Damage Protection will give you peace of mind when you take it to work and an unexpected mocha latte tsunami consumes the device.
When weighing whether or not to get this type of protection. Remember this. A laptop is a mobile electronic device.
And while you may be a responsible user that knows how to care for your belongings. Other people aren’t as careful with your things. Whether that’s people bumping into you on a train ride. Or a ham-fisted security guard man-handling your precious laptop at the airport.
As you compare laptop warranties. Look for longer than usual terms that won’t cost you extra money. Why? Because most parts won’t start to break until way after the first year.
And if possible. Pay for a good three-year warranty with express service. Try to get this directly from the manufacturer. Some manufacturers carry this service at a considerable cost. So, be aware before speaking with them.
Should You Buy Extended Warranty?
Some users report that purchasing extended warranty for their laptop didn’t pay off in the long run. Especially after factoring in the hefty cost of obtaining one.
Still, an extended warranty will be well worth it after the first year when most laptop warranties expire. And especially if you paid a lot for your laptop.
Not all manufacturers offer this. But as the name implies. An extended laptop warranty continues the original terms and conditions of the warranty. And as mentioned. In most cases, it will add more to the purchase price of the unit.
A second option. And perhaps your best bet may be to purchase a Retail Service Plan. Ask the store from which you are purchasing your laptop if they offer this service.
Retail Service Plans differ from a laptop warranty in that they may cover additional exposure. They can be purchased for 1, 2, or 3 years.
Also referred to as limited coverage. If you travel often away from home. Find out if the manufacturer of the laptop you’re considering offers warranties that protect you if something should happen to your laptop over-seas.
The laptop warranty may explicitly list which items are covered. And in what country they will be covered. Many manufacturers will list where certain components are certified to operate.
Note how repairs will be handled for these types of warranties. For instance, can you take your laptop to a certified repair service in the country you are visiting? Or can it only be worked on in the country it was purchased? If it can be fixed in the country you’re visiting, what are you liable for?
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the warranty for your new laptop. Review the experiences and opinions of users of the laptop you’re considering. Reliability and service ratings will give you an indication of what to expect from your laptop warranty.
The warranty should cover your laptop for at least one year.
Upgrading the hard drive and RAM usually won’t void the warranty of most manufacturers. But some products have a seal that if broken. Voids the warranty. So, read carefully.
Following up with the OEM when you send it in for repair is a great way to ensure that your laptop receives the care and service it deserves.
A great way to evaluate if the laptop your considering is from a vendor you can count on when things go awry is by how up-front their communication is with you when you contact them with questions.
You should know:
- What repair service your entitled to
- What problems your laptop is covered against
- Who pays for shipping and other costs
- If making upgrades voids the warranty
- And how long the coverage is good for