Often regarded as “the limpid children of the American Dream”, extended warranties are one of the most controversial topics when it comes to buying any kind of high-end technology: in this day and age it seems that almost every shopping mall and retail chain has its own set of rules, advantages and conditions to propose to their customers extra fees for a few more years of coverage. Breaking them all down is probably an impossible task, as these promotions tend to change yearly, but is it really convenient to buy one of these options for a gaming laptop?
Staying purely on number-talk, a recent research made by the US Consumer Federation noted that portable PCs tend to be way more damage prone than their desktop counterparts: this is due to their “mobile” use and lifestyle (often moving from room to room, with a high chance of being dropped or bumped into other furniture), but also their airless build quality and design.
As an example we can compare the cooling system of a desktop PC and a laptop: in the latter ones, especially with cheaper models, the fans will often be sacrificed in uncomfortable positions, accumulating way more dust than desktop towers.
Moreover, repair costs are often pretty high when it comes to laptops, as their ‘mass production’ mentality tends to use non-interchangeable or custom made components that need to be ordered directly from the manufacturer.
Talking about extended warranties means diving into conceptual thoughts: standard warranties tend to cover one or two years of use, when the PC is still in its early years, way before the machine starts to gaze at the end of its life cycle.
The average timeframe for a mid tier laptop ranges from 3-4 years for common users (those who don’t practice a deep maintenance) and 7-8 for the more experienced ones, so the standard warranty will probably run out in those critical years.
One crucial aspect of extended warranties is the accidental damage cover, a feature that almost no brand integrates into their general policy: a raising number of sellers is starting to implement this small provision as a form of customer care, creating an added value that by itself justifies the cost of an extended warranty.