Should You Lease or Purchase a Laptop?

Leasing a PC lets you take advantage of the latest technology

Hands on laptop, alongside another laptop
Tomohiro Ohsumi / Stringer/Getty Images

Companies that provide laptops for their mobile workforce face an important decision: Is it more economical to buy laptops or lease them? Unless you plan on buying new laptops for your employees every two years, you may be better off leasing.

Laptop leasing agreements vary vastly in their terms and policies. Read the fine print of any contract carefully before you sign it.

Leasing a Laptop vs. Buying a Laptop

Leasing a Laptop

  • No fear of obsolescence.

  • Maintenance and technical support included.

  • Choose from a limited selection of laptops.

Buying a Laptop

  • Unlimited options for hardware, upgrades, and peripherals.

  • More flexibility for maintenance and repairs.

  • Can cost more in the long run if you upgrade every few years.

It's important for mobile office professionals to keep up with technology. Using outdated software and relying on workarounds costs companies time and money, which defeats the purpose of mobilizing the workforce. Leasing can be a cost-efficient way of ensuring that everyone has the latest technology without buying brand new equipment, but leasing agreements often come with limitations that you need to be aware of.

Pros and Cons of Leasing a Laptop

Pros

  • Monthly payments are easier on the budget.

  • Maintenance agreements provide hassle-free repair and replacement.

  • Try different laptops before committing to a purchase.

  • Get a quick replacement whenever you want.

Cons

  • You may be locked into long lease periods before upgrades or or trade-ins are allowed.

  • Laptop sometimes can't be returned after a certain period of time.

  • Lease payments may end up costing more than the price of purchasing a laptop.

Leasing provides you with a laptop that has the most current software, and many arrangements allow you to trade in your laptop for a more up-to-date model after a specified period. Leasing agreements come with technical support, so you never have to worry about your laptop warranties expiring.

Being locked into a leasing contract does come with some downsides. Dealing with the extra paperwork requires time, so you have to take that cost into account. You're also stuck with the leasing company for technical support, so if something goes wrong while traveling with a laptop, you may have limited options for getting repairs or replacement in a timely fashion.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Laptop

Pros

  • Purchased equipment may be tax deductible.

  • Upgrade hardware as you please.

  • No need to deal with leasing companies.

Cons

  • Large upfront cost.

  • Upgrading hardware is expensive and time consuming.

  • You'll eventually be stuck with outdated equipment.

Networking and software programs are constantly changing and upgrading, so whenever you purchase a new laptop, it's usually obsolete within a few months. Laptops are difficult and expensive to upgrade, and older laptops that your company no longer needs are difficult to sell.

That said, once you purchase a computer, you have the freedom to upgrade, maintain, and repair the device as you please. You also don't have to deal with a leasing company, which frees up time to do other things.

Final Verdict

Whether it's more economical buy or lease a laptop depends on many factors, but there are definite advantages to leasing if you want your workers to always have the latest technology.