Broken Tech: Should You Fix it or Replace it? (Infographic)

From bum smartphones to glitchy laptops and printers, which electronics are worth repairing and which should you replace? This easy visual guide will help you decide.

learn more about Kim Lachance Shandrow

By Kim Lachance Shandrow

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Nothing lasts forever, gadgets included. Whether we accidentally spill liquid on them, drop them or they finally give in to wear and tear, in time and without question, all of our beloved electronics will eventually let us down, workplace devices included. So the question isn't when will your gadget's day of reckoning come, rather, it's what will you do when it does? Will you suck it up and pay to fix it? Or will you ditch it and buy a new one?

Deciding can be a tough nut to crack, especially if you're too busy to crunch the repair vs. replace cost-benefit numbers. Instead, stick with this simple rule of thumb: If the expense of replacing the broken item is more than twice the cost of repairing it, it's probably best to repair it, according to Lexicon Technologies, a technology maintenance company and the creator of the helpful infographic on the topic below.

Tablet lovers, you're in luck. Tablets are generally worth fixing if the cost of repairs doesn't exceed $210, Lexicon reports. Replacing a broken tablet with a new one will likely cost you double, typically around $420. Is a new tablet really worth it? Probably not if you have to replace more than a few for butterfingered employees. (You know who you are.)

Related: 6 Ways to Extend Your iPhone Batter Life After Updating to iOS 7.1

Now for the biggie, the almighty smartphone. As satirical British street artist Banksy recently (and quite sinisterly) illustrated, we're basically at peak smartphone addiction. Some of us even sleep with our cells more than we do our lovers. Should our precious phone croak, we (yours truly included) often fly into a panic and replace it straight away, without so much as budgeting or shopping around for a good deal and that's no bueno. Why not? Repairing an ailing smartphone is typically a smarter money move than getting a new one. So much for that shiny, new iPhone 6, huh? The average price of replacing a smartphone is about $500 these days, whereas fixing one usually costs between $50 and $150.

Switching to bigger electronics now, it's generally best to replace desktop computers, ideally every three to four years. On the other hand, laptops are generally more cost effective to repair, while desktop printers are cheap enough to simply replace when they kick the bucket.

Related: Long Live Your Laptop Battery

For detailed side-by-side repair vs. replace comparisons for all of the above mentioned electronics and more, check out the infographic below.

Click to Enlarge+
Broken Tech: Should You Fix it or Replace it? (Infographic)

Related: 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Company's First IT Support Person

Kim Lachance Shandrow

Former West Coast Editor

Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here

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