What to do if your device breaks?
It is a legal obligation for companies to provide a warranty period. The cover usually lasts for 12-24 months but there are exceptions such as Fairphone and Teracube who have longer warranties for their products - our guide to mobile phones has more information.
Amongst laptops, ASUS stands out with a three-year warranty on some of its range.
Several companies provide care packages that include extended warranties at a cost. These can range from £5 a month to several hundred pounds a year.
Most companies will offer repair services beyond the warranty period, but these may not be cheap.
Repairability of tech devices
Unfortunately, many tech devices are not designed to be easily repaired.
iFixit is a company that rates devices based on their repairability. Fairphone is a clear winner as the most repairable phone, while Framework is leading the laptops list.
iFixit also offers free manuals and repair guides to help people repair their devices. And if you’d like company, the Restart Project encourages handy people to organise ‘Restart Parties’ to share their skills – see the Restart Project website for details.
Finally, if a laptop is definitely beyond repair you can still use its still-working parts. For example, an LCD display can be used as a stand-alone monitor. As Jessika Luth Richter from Lund University in Sweden says, “keeping devices we have in use for longer does two things: it slows the demand for these materials, but it also gives us more time to develop recycling technologies”.