How to Make the Most of an Old Laptop


As well as repairing old tech and keeping things in good service, it’s important to know how you can extend the practicality and functionality of what you have. Rather than buying an entirely new system, you can use advanced peripherals to cut some costs. Here are some modern innovations that are compatible with older laptops.

External Drives

Old systems might be low on storage space and might only use HDD rather than SSD storage. Hard Drives (HDD) are suitable enough, but to update and bring your laptop into the 2020’s you need access to Solid State Drive storage (SSD). External SSDs connect through USB 3.2 so are compatible with most laptops, and provide instant, removable access to up to 2TB of SSD storage. If your laptop is starting to feel slow to boot and install programs, adding an SSD to it with a simple USB cable is a safe bet.

Portable Monitors

Monitor quality and interaction are vital for a laptop. It might seem like the only way to get a new screen is to invest in a whole new system, but portable monitors are a compatible alternative. They are light, free from any computing aspects (so cheaper than a laptop itself) and can be set up with any device (phone, laptop, or PC). This gives you a huge range of usability.

The monitor itself can be used to mirror the screen of the device or act as a second monitor entirely. You can have a two-monitor set-up while away from your desk. Bringing the organization of a two-monitor set-up and quality of a modern monitor to an older laptop via a portable monitor is a great way to modernize an old system. When looking for portable monitors, keep an eye out for sales, and view offers at

Open the Laptop Up

A more direct approach is to replace individual parts of the old system that you know are causing issues. Only commit to replacing parts if you know that the component is the source of the problem, and only if you know your replacement is compatible. Like a desktop, replacing RAM when your CPU is bottlenecking the system isn’t going to help.

Repurpose the System

Finally, if you don’t want to commit to enhancing the old tech, you can resign it to another purpose. One example is installing ChromeOS Flex and making the system a Chromebook-style tab for browsing or smart-device control only. Another opportunity is to mount the screen on a table or a shelf and use the laptop as a controller for your home sound systems, printers, Netflix, and video accounts, etc.

The options for repurposing are far and wide, and you might be interested in one option more than another. If you are a fan of videogame preservation, then your old systems can become storage for abandonware or games that will no longer run on a modern OS, and there’ll be someone who will thank you for committing your system to that cause.

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