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How to Buy Tech That Lasts and Lasts

All of our tech products will one day become obsolete, but here are some strategies to buying gadgets that you can enjoy for many years.
By Brian X. Chen, The New York Times, July 8, 2020

The next time you shop for an electronic product, try this exercise: Before you buy it, find out whether you or a professional can easily fix it. If so, then go for it. If it’s too difficult, make it a hard pass....Consult iFixit, a website that offers instructions on gadget repairs.

Is the battery replaceable?

One of the clearest indicators of a product’s durability is whether the batteries are replaceable. Gadgets that work without wires are powered by a lithium-ion battery, which can be charged only a finite number of times before it deteriorates....

Consumer Reports, well known for publishing reliability ratings for household appliances, compiles similar reliability data for smartphones, laptops, tablets, TVs and printers by surveying subscribers who own the products....

Is the software easy to update?....
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No. of Recommendations: 5
Modern tech can not be fixed. It’s generally one single printed circuit board.

I could add parts to my desktop computer but laptop computers, cell phones... built to be disposable.
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laptop computers

Depending on the part. Disks and batteries can be replaced. If the main board fails that's it.
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Modern tech can not be fixed. It’s generally one single printed circuit board.

By choosing a cell phone with a replaceable battery, my first smart phone lasted through two battery changes rather than having to be replaced when it couldn't hold a charge. For things like TVs, I've never bought the newest thing, preferring to get proven technology rather than leading edge.

Although there are some items that can't be repaired economically no matter what, there are some things that avail themselves to some level of service. For example, a non-functioning item was returned to service by noticing that the battery pack contacts were oxidized, and rubbing them with a polishing cloth made the item as good as new. Also, a blood pressure monitor stopped working, and disassembly revealed that a tube had come off a fitting where the tube joined two others. That was an easy fix, but you had to find some hidden screws behind a label, but if you're throwing it away otherwise, you don't have to treat it gently. As you described, there was a single circuit board inside, but the problem had nothing to do with it.

Oh yeah, there's a brand of coffee maker that verifies that you use only *their* coffee pods, although there are several work-arounds. Did you know there's a thermal fuse that protects the coffee maker against overheat? That fuse can be replaced (20 minutes work, plus a $7 fuse) rather than buying a new machine...especially nice if your old one is the generation prior to the one requiring proprietary pods (or doing a work-around).
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