With so many people transitioning to working from home in the past few months, demand for laptops has arguably never been higher. 

Still considered the optimal blend between power and portability, they offer a tried-and-trusted way to stay productive away from the workplace.

Perhaps inevitably, the tech supply chain has struggled to cope with the surge in demand, particularly considering manufacturing came to a near-standstill in some countries.

That begs the question: Is it really worth buying a laptop now?

The answer to that question will depend on a number of variables, but we've attempted to cover most across the six following scenarios. 

Scenario 1: No laptop or PC

This is perhaps the most obvious reason for buying a new laptop now. If you've relied on the PC at work and only use your phone and TV at home, we'd recommend buying one now.

Which model you buy will depend on how much you're willing to spend, so our laptop charts are divided into best budget and best overall

However, if you have a capable tablet lying around you could still make it work in the short term. Apple's suggestion that the iPad Pro can replace your laptop makes it the most prominent example, but nearly all tablets have Bluetooth functionality so allow you to connect an external keyboard or mouse. It's far from a perfect solution, but could see you through the next few months in theory.

Scenario 2: Multiple people sharing the same laptop/s

It's a common situation in households across the world. Two laptops for a family of four may have seemed plenty under usual circumstances, but juggling work, home schooling and free time means strict schedules have had to be imposed to avoid complete chaos. 

In this scenario, I'd recommend buying at least one new device as soon as possible.

Fortunately, many of the entries in our best budget laptop chart are now in stock, and in many cases you can pick up two great devices for under £1,000. 

Scenario 3: Laptop not working properly, but looks fine

There are various reasons why a laptop might not be working properly, and it's incredibly frustrating when you don't know the cause. 

Whether it's a device that won't charge, ports that won't recognise anything or a dreaded black screen, it can be tempting to simply go ahead and buy a new device. 

However, we'd encourage caution, and only invest if you're sure you can afford it. There are plenty of great budget laptops out there, which should ensure you can get a great device without breaking the bank.

If you'd like to try fixing it yourself, there's lots of support available online, including our dedicated guides to fixing a laptop that won't turn on or displays a black screen

Scenario 4: Laptop needs repaired

If you've tried many of the potential fixes for your device but nothing seems to be working, you'll need to contact a professional to try and get it sorted. 

It might seem like a lot of hassle, but their technical expertise might mean a fix is relatively inexpensive. Many won't charge unless they feel there's something they can do to solve the issue either, 

Depending on where you live there may still be restrictions on going into someone else's home to repair tech, but you can always send it via secure postage. This means you'll need a back-up device to work on in the meantime, but it's something worth considering. 

Changed or planning on changing profession

Scenario 5: Long-serving laptop needs replacing soon

This has parallels with my current situation. The laptop I've had is nearly six years old, and while it's served me extremely well it's starting to show its age.

Naturally I've been considering what I'd look for in a replacement, most notably whether to go with Mac or Windows. 

My current line of thinking is that if I can eke just a few more months out of a laptop that still gets regular software updates, the market will be in a much better position for me to make an informed decision. 

If you can make do with your current device for the time being I'd recommend it, but if it's hampering your productivity it's probably time to upgrade. 

Another thing to consider is if you've changed or are planning on changing professions in the near future. Perhaps your sturdy business laptop now feels like overkill, or a lightweight ultrabook simply doesn't offer enough power for your needs. 

These are both good cases for buying a new laptop, but it might be worth holding off if you can manage in the short term.

If you've decided that buying a new laptop is the thing to do, check out our best laptop chart for inspiration on which model to buy. 

Got a fully-functioning laptop but struggling to separate work and personal life? We can help