How Long Should a Tablet Last? What You Need To Know

Every year there seems to be a new device available on the electronics market. However, is it really necessary to keep updating your device every time a new product appears? How long can your device last, and when should you consider getting a new one?

A tablet should last for at least five years. It’s possible to extend your tablet’s lifespan to seven or more years if you care for it properly, and you don’t need it to be very fast and responsive. Getting a protective case can help preserve the lifespan and keep it safe from cracks and damage. 

If you’re wondering if it’s time to start shopping for a new tablet, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve created a definitive guide to help you decide when you should buy a new device, and when you should hang on to your old device. So, keep reading!

ipad with cover as stand and screen on

What Is the Average Lifespan of a Tablet?

The average lifespan of a tablet is around five years. The amount of time you can get out of a tablet depends on factors such as the brand, how often the tablet is used, and what it’s used for. While there are differences in performance between brands, there’s little difference regarding lifespan.

According to, the average lifespan of tablets owned by North Americans is 4.72 years. The data also indicated that most owners of tablets were well over forty and tended to use their tablets for:

  • Watching videos.
  • Reading books.
  • Other less intensive activities.

How people use their tablets profoundly impacts its lifespan because as tablets age, their performance power decreases. So, for people who use their tablet for reading books or comics, a fast-paced and super responsive tablet isn’t needed. Therefore, they’re more likely to hang onto it for years, despite its deteriorating experience.

Laptops Compared to Tablets 

By and large, there isn’t a noticeable and significant difference between laptops and tablets regarding basic performance. Most tasks performed on a laptop can also be performed on more advanced and up-to-date tablets. 

However, some tasks are easier to perform on a laptop when it comes down to the nitty-gritty. Laptops tend to have better software maintenance, making them better for long-term use. Additionally, tasks such as PowerPoint presentations and typing are easier to accomplish on a laptop. 

Tablets are generally lighter, smaller, and easier to transport, though. They’re the preferred device for those who must work on the go. This is especially true if their work doesn’t require extensive writing. However, there are now some tablets with keyboards built-in. 

If you’re interested in this, check out this helpful YouTube video:

Keep in mind that the keyboard will take up more space when you travel than a traditional tablet. So, be sure to make some room on the road.

When Should I Replace My Tablet?

You should replace your tablet when you notice a degrading battery life, slow loading screens, or if you have damaged or broken parts. As new tablets continue to come out, companies will stop updating older tablets. Therefore, along with a shorter battery life, it begins to run slower.

An old tablet is no longer compatible with new updates and thus slowly becomes obsolete and breaks down. 

Next, let’s go over the different signs that indicate it’s time to upgrade your tablet.

Degrading Battery Life

Phone and tablet batteries are very similar. They both use a lithium-polymer or Lithium-ion battery that allows them to charge quickly. They’re also the best for intensive tasks, which phones and tablets regularly use. 

The downside is that these batteries degrade very quickly. Lithium batteries lose their potency over their lifespan due to loss of charge and damage from the weather. So every time you charge your device, the battery becomes more depleted. 

If you notice your tablet loses its battery life quickly, or it’s no longer charging appropriately, it might be the battery itself. Additionally, the charging port tends to degrade over time, resulting in the plug no longer working or not charging the device properly. 

three ipads next to each other

Software Updates Are No Longer Available

Apple, Samsung, and other large tech companies only invest so much in the preservation of devices. This includes your device’s software and maintenance updates, which typically appear under the settings app. 

As these tech companies make newer devices, they shift focus to these devices and away from older devices. This means the regularly scheduled maintenance and software updates become fewer and fewer until they cease to exist. 

This results in the devices becoming degraded and losing their potency. If you notice your device is slowing down and it’s challenging to play videos, it might be time to buy a new device. Unfortunately, there’s no other choice available since these updates cease to exist over time as new devices are released. 

Damaged or Broken Parts

Use and regular travel can damage your device, which may cause it to become unusable over time. I already spoke about the damage to the charging port, but there are other ways your device can break down over time due to age and use. 

Cracked and damaged screens are common, especially if you don’t use a protective case and screen cover. Broken screens tend to be less responsive and exhibit delayed responses when you touch them. However, this can usually be fixed at a cellphone repair shop. 

Other common damages include broken volume buttons and broken sensors, which can also usually be fixed at the repair shops mentioned above. If you have difficulty adjusting the volume or using the finger recognition feature, your tablet might need repair. But, if the damage is more extensive, a replacement might be necessary.

damaged ipad in kids case up close


A tablet will usually last you around five years if it’s properly cared for. Maintenance and regular care are the best solutions for preventing damage and wear on your tablet. And, when they’re available, ensure that you always download the new updates and software maintenance features. 

If five years doesn’t seem like a long enough time, laptops are always an option, as they tend to last longer than tablets. However, if you prefer a tablet, it’s best to use a protective case as it is an excellent way to preserve your tablet’s life.


I'm Rob, the founder of I’m a Marine Corps vet with a master’s degree in Information Systems and have been working in the technology field for over a decade.

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