After the iPad revolution commenced in 2010, there was speculation that tablets would soon replace laptops and PCs. However, ten years later, it is clear that those speculations were wrong. While smartphones and tablets have become the primary choice for media consumption, most consumers and offices still rely on laptops and workstation PCs for getting the actual work done. The importance of these devices amplified even more during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to market research firm Canalys, laptop and mobile workstation shipments surged a whopping 28.3 per cent YoY in Q3 2020.
A sudden surge in work-from-home and remote learning demand led to a shortage of stocks — and a hike in prices for computers and laptops. Even the prices of used products and PC components shot up during the period, leaving many consumers struggling. Some couldn’t buy new or used laptops for their children even as e-learning emerged as the only viable learning solution amid the pandemic.
Even those who had access to laptops struggled with various hardware and software-related issues. With that in mind, the report analysed the problems troubling Indian consumers the most. It studied over 8,000 laptop issues to share these key observations and insights.
With the advancement in manufacturing technology, hardware components are getting smaller each year, and it is getting harder to replace them if something goes defective. In 2020, of all laptop issues we studied, the hardware issue was the most common problem.
More than 82 per cent of all the laptop issues were hardware-related. Software-related problems accounted for just 17.26 per cent of all the laptops. The research clearly indicates that most laptops face hardware-related problems — and fixing such issues — often proves costly and more time-consuming.
Breaking down hardware-related issues, we found several users faced problems with the laptop’s keyboard, trackpad, display, and Wi-Fi.
While we expected the display and keyboard-related issues to be among the most common problems, astonishingly, several laptop users in India suffered from Wi-Fi-related issues.
Around 27 per cent of laptop service requests revealed problems related to Wi-Fi connectivity. More than 18% of laptops faced issues related to the keyboard and the trackpad, while display issues accounted for more than 15 per cent of laptop service requests. Battery and charging related issues also bugged a considerable amount of laptop users (7.64 per cent), and their laptops wouldn’t charge or had short battery life or a bulged battery.
Some laptop issues such as frozen devices and users unable to boot their laptops are also related to the motherboard.
A few cases of unidentifiable issues in a laptop were related to a faulty motherboard.
All other issues, including audio, Bluetooth, exhaust fans, hard disk, overheating, physical damage, power button, and webcam, accounted for around just 2 per cent of laptops.
More than 17 per cent of the laptops faced software and operating system related issues. Most of the users who faced operating system and software related issues on their laptops reported problems related to applications and hung systems.
Almost half of the laptops that had software related issues were due to individual applications — whether it is due to incompatibility or buggy and resource-hungry apps.
A whopping 40.3 per cent of users reported that their laptop would plainly get stuck or hung in the middle of their usage, and that could be due to inefficient background apps, malware, or viruses.
Of all the laptops that faced software issues, 3.27 per cent of them faced problems due to Windows updates.
The COVID-19 lockdown dragged on for several months in India, and a lot of people faced laptop related issues as they worked from home.
Now that we know about the most common hardware and software related problems that laptop users face -- let us look at how much it would cost to repair and fix those issues. Since the repair cost depends on the failed hardware components or various kinds of software issues, and all of that depends on the price of a laptop, we have classified the data into six price ranges: below INR 20,000, below INR 30,000, below INR 40,000, below INR 50,000, and above INR 50,000.