The software requirements are growing every year, and it may happen that the capabilities of a laptop purchased just a couple of years ago will no longer be enough for your needs. What to do? Preparing a budget for buying a new one? Let’s see what can be improved in the old one.
The problem with modern thin laptops is the stingy set of interfaces. For example, HDMI or USB-A may not exist at all. What if you still want to connect a monitor and insert flash drives?
In this case, you don’t even need to disassemble the device – just buy a hub with the required number of required connectors. Note that cheap hubs can essentially be extension cords – you can’t use multiple connectors at the same time. It is better to take something more worthy – for example, this option.
Such an adapter can solve another problem. As you know, in the latest laptop models, support for the Power Delivery protocol is implemented, which allows you to charge the device via the USB-C port. But charging can take up to 3 hours – it turns out that at this time you cannot use the interface otherwise?
It all depends on the adapter. The same Moshi Type-C Multiport Adapter, which we recommended above, makes it possible to simultaneously charge a laptop and connect peripherals. Of course, charging can work in the other direction: if you connect a smartphone to a pass-through USB-C, it will be charged from the laptop. In this case, the indicator on the hub shows the remaining charge level of the laptop.
There are also very miniature options – for example, from USB-C to a pair of USB-A.
We increase the volume of HDD / SSD
Depending on the laptop model, a traditional hard drive or solid state drive may be installed. Both that, and another can usually be replaced by analogs of a larger volume.
When choosing a hard drive to replace the old one, pay attention to the following parameters.
- Form Factor Usually this is 2.5 inches, but 1.8 inches discs can also be found in ultrabooks.
- Thickness. Typically 9.5mm or 7mm. You can buy less fat, but not thicker.
- Interface. Most likely. you have SATA. Take a drive with a third generation interface right away, even if you have SATA-1 or 2 in your laptop.
With SSDs, everything is easier. The main thing is to decide on the interface. This is either SATA / mSATA, or M.2 – the latter is being used more and more often.
We increase the amount of RAM
It is on the amount of RAM that the speed of performing tasks largely depends, be it games or working software. Perhaps, with the increase in RAM, your laptop will get a second wind. The only question is whether it is possible to physically add extra “gigabytes” to the device. It all depends on the situation. This is how they can be.
One bar is installed, but there is an additional slot
The task is simplified: you can buy a second bar and put it in a free slot. But do not dream of this with Ultrabooks – there is a shortage of space.
One bar is installed, and there is only one slot
It’s okay: nothing prevents you from replacing the bar with another, larger volume.
RAM is soldered directly on the motherboard
This is exactly the solution used in the Macbook and many other laptops. Alas, there is nothing you can do about it.
How to determine if you can increase your RAM?
The easiest option is to open the lid and see how the RAM works. But, if you are afraid to do this, you can use CPU-Z program…
Go to the SPD tab, at the top you will have a list of slots. If there is no information on one of them (of course, the second), then it is empty. Do not forget that when choosing a new plank, you will need to focus on the type of the first one. That is, if DDR4 is installed in the first slot, then you need to buy DDR4 in the second one.
Which laptops support the upgrade?
If SSD problems usually do not arise, then with RAM. as you can see, “there are options.” It is better to clarify the possibility of an upgrade when buying a laptop. The main question that needs to be asked is how is RAM organized? Is it soldered or installed in the slot?
Let’s explain with examples. Let’s say you bought this Lenovo ThinkBook 13s with 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD.
This model has only one slot for RAM, but you can install a similar one on 16 instead of an 8 GB bracket. The same is with the drive: you can increase it up to 256 GB. Detailed instructions for disassembling the case from the manufacturer can be found here…
Another example. You took an ultrabook Lenovo ThinkBook 14 c 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD.
Here the situation is as follows: again, there is a slot that theoretically supports up to 24 GB of memory. With an SSD, the situation is even simpler: the device has both mSata and M.2. That is, you can leave the already installed drive and purchase a new required volume for it.
Will I lose my warranty if I open the case?
A logical question: after all, manufacturers are trying with all their might to prevent the user from filling the laptop. Ideally, you should clarify such information with the technical support of your brand. We, for example, requested information from Lenovo “techies”.
Lenovo does not prohibit users from changing RAM, SSD, cleaning a laptop with its partial disassembly. The warranty will be preserved if two important conditions are met: firstly, you acted carefully and did not cause mechanical damage affecting the device’s performance, and secondly, Lenovo’s seals inside the case are preserved.
So, most likely, if you are not going to open the lid with a pry bar, you will not lose your warranty.
Here are some more useful materials for those who decided to upgrade their laptop: