Poll: What type of storage will your next laptop have?

You’ve probably read the news by now. Solid-state drive prices are going down, capacities are going up, and an increasing number of notebook makers are offering optional SSDs—if not ditching mechanical hard drives altogether.

In the wake of our 2.5″ mobile drive comparison, we’ve decided to update our poll with a new question. When you buy your next notebook, what type of storage device will you opt for? Will you cough up the extra cash for an SSD-based MacBook Air or ThinkPad X300, or perhaps set aside $300-400 for a flash-based netbook like the Eee PC? Alternatively, do you feel mechanical hard drives are good enough for your uses? Hit our poll either below or on the front page to cast your vote.

Our last poll question was, “What’s the best new graphics card?” TR readers overwhelmingly chose AMD’s new Radeon HD 4870, awarding it 57% of the vote. The cheaper Radeon HD 4850 lay in second place with 26% of the vote, followed by the GeForce GTX 280 with 12%. The GeForce 9800 GTX+ only nabbed 3% of votes, while the GeForce GTX 260 secured a paltry 1%—just 75 votes out of over 6100.

Comments closed
    • Ashbringer
    • 11 years ago

    The correct answer would be whatever is cheaper.

    • wesley96
    • 11 years ago

    I already retrofitted an SSD on my UMPC. I’m not going back to HDD when the time comes to replace it.

    • paulWTAMU
    • 11 years ago

    i just got a laptop recently (basic low end machine for word procession and light gaming). I’m hoping it last at least 3 years, so based on that, SSD. The laptop isn’t the main rig, and would be ok with 120 gigs of storage, so…

    • jwb
    • 11 years ago

    I voted SSD because my Thinkpad X60 is already sporting one. You could not pry it from me. It has the snappy.

    • quarantined
    • 11 years ago

    Mechanical hard drives have been my biggest problem by far. Just about every PC I’ve had, laptop or desktop, has had a hard drive fail. Maybe it’s just exceptionally bad luck, but I’ve grown tired of replacing the damn things over the years.

      • srg86
      • 11 years ago

      That is definalty bad luck. Over 14 years of having new hard disks, 2.5″ and 3.5″, I’ve never had a single failure. I still have drives as old as 11 years that I bought new and still going stong.

      I have had the odd second hand drive go, but that’s no sweat. I’ve always generally had very good luck with hard drives.

        • ludi
        • 11 years ago

        In 11 years, I’ve lost at least a half dozen, mostly Maxtor and Western Digital (I only recently started buying Seagates with any regularity).

        My systems have been transported periodically in a car’s back seat, overclocked (not any more, but I used to do crazy things), subjected to bad memory that took two years to track down, run 24/7 with occasional power failures or accidental cord yanks, etc. Typical enthusiast abuse, but nothing spectacular. No bad luck required.

    • jstern
    • 11 years ago

    I handle my laptop as if it’s gold, I’m so paranoid about moving it too much while it’s on. It’s really a drawback, takes something out of the experience. SSD would be a dream come true. Not worrying about damaging the hard drive would be amazing. Less stress.

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      I’ve seen more hinges die on laptops than HDD’s. But yeah. Reliability rulesg{<.<}g

        • srg86
        • 11 years ago

        Agreed, it’s definatly the hinges. Modern mechanical hard disks are more reliable than you think.

          • jstern
          • 11 years ago

          I agree that I probably over react when it comes to handling a laptop, but it’s something I can’t help, it’s just on my mind, and the day I get one with an ssd drive, it’s just going to feel so sweet. Like going from a disk man to a flash mp3 player. I dream of the day that I’ll move my laptop around like regular people do, without a care in the world.

    • IntelMole
    • 11 years ago

    I’ve only recently got a new laptop (Three to four months old), so I’m making some predictions into the murky realm of three to four years away.

    But I think mechanical drives have still got one more round in them. Just.

    At the moment SSDs are about four times more expensive for about five times the price (according to TR’s review anways), and there’s currently no great advantage for them other than for a web server. Given the relative price of storage in a laptop (i.e. not much), that’s probably three or four doublings in capacity and price/GB until they are close enough to the moving mechanical target that their performance (which will probably improve faster than mechanical) is the dominant decision maker.

    But if this current laptop lasts much longer than four years like my last one did, then it’ll probably be a flash based one.

    • odizzido
    • 11 years ago

    I have no idea. Depends on SSD’s when I happen to get my next laptop, which I also don’t know. I’d like to get SSD for durability reasons, so that’s what I will vote.

    • albundy
    • 11 years ago

    my p4 lappy with a gig of ram is still kicking. it wont be replaced for another couple of years. I still chose ssd tho.

    • packfan_dave
    • 11 years ago

    I think I’m going to manage to delay getting a new notebook until at least H2 next year (though due to some docking station oddness, I may end up getting a cheap desktop as main workstation in the interim; for some reason my notebook isn’t picking up an external keyboard…), and I think at that point the premium for SSDs won’t be quite as high. And since I’ve never kept lots of audio / video around, I don’t have quite the demand for storage that some do. So if I can fit a 60GB+ SSD into a $1500 upper-midrange notebook in H2 2009 / H1 2010, I’ll go that way; battery life and weight matter more to me than capacity.

    • Krogoth
    • 11 years ago

    SSDs are still too $$$$/GB even for laptops for most users to consider it yet.

    • cygnus1
    • 11 years ago

    i voted mechanical, mostly because of price. and it in the recent 2.5″ drive roundup i didn’t see performance improvements anywhere near the same as the price multiple you pay for a SSD

    • Hance
    • 11 years ago

    My laptop is only a year old so I dont really know what my next one will have. I have about another 3 maybe 4 years I will use this system unless it dies on me. In 3 or 4 years time who knows what SSD’s will cost and what the capacity will be. I play a few games and with game installs burning up the better part of 10 gigs sometimes more I actually need quite a lot of space on my laptop.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    I went with mechanical because that’s probably what I’ll be able to afford.

    • crazybus
    • 11 years ago

    My next (and first) notebook will most likely be of the ultra-mobile variety. I will be looking for the durability and low power consumption that a SSD can provide. If necessary, additional storage can be handled through external disk drives.

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    I’ll probably be getting a laptop and a nettop within the next year, but I’m not sure in which order (the nettop is going to be dependent on what shakes out in the next few months — I”m kind of hoping HP will refresh theirs with Isaiah or Atom). The laptop will get an HD, the nettop will be a small SSD.

    However, I’m probably going to experiment with adding an ExpressCard SSD to the laptop for temp files, ripped movies (for in-flight entertainment with the HD put to sleep) and personal/profile data.

    §[< http://www.crucial.com/store/listmodule/SOLID%20STATE%20DRIVE/~ExpressCard/34~/list.html<]§

      • cygnus1
      • 11 years ago

      what kind of performance do those have compared to a good speed thumb drive?

        • UberGerbil
        • 11 years ago

        That’s what I want to find out. 🙂

        I haven’t seen any published benchmarks, but my understanding is that their performance is in line with their price (ie, faster than a thumb drive, slower than an SSD). In any case, I’d rather have something flush inside the machine than sticking out like a thumb drive… not to mention making use of an otherwise underutilized ExpressCard slot.

          • cygnus1
          • 11 years ago

          i gotcha. it kind of sounds like they took a high speed CF card and slapped an expresscard interface on it… i agree, i’d rather have it flush, or nearly flush than having it stick out of a usb port, i like it!

    • data8504
    • 11 years ago

    _asm {

    xor ax, ax
    decision:
    inc ax
    mov bx, ax
    push ax
    and bx, 1h
    mov cx, ‘HD’
    cmp bx, 1h
    jne $+8
    mov cx, ‘SS’
    mov ax, 2h
    mov dl, ch
    int 21h
    mov dl, cl
    int 21h
    pop ax
    jmp decision

    }

    Ack! Can’t decide! Solid state! Hard disk! Solid state! Hard disk! Solid state! Hard disk! HLT.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      Boy, that’s some low level decision making.

    • SNM
    • 11 years ago

    I need a real laptop and am buying this fall…SSDs are still going to be way out of my price range.

    • Corrado
    • 11 years ago

    Well I’m buying a Wind and putting a 32gig SSD in it. I only need to VPN, RDP, Web, Mail, Office and IM anyway.

    • adisor19
    • 11 years ago

    I’ll wait for the Air v2 with a 128GB SSD. This is the sweet spot for me in terms of accepting to pay a premium for SSD storage.

    Adi

    • bowman
    • 11 years ago

    My laptop is going to last me so long that by the time I replace it, I’ll either buy another laptop (in which SSDs will be cheap and the industry standard) or an Atom-based MID (Moorestown) in which case there isn’t exactly a viable platter drive alternative available. 😛

    • srg86
    • 11 years ago

    I’d rather not pay the price premium for an SSD. At least not these massive differences.

    • jobodaho
    • 11 years ago

    Well, I was the first vote and first post. Nice.

    I voted mechanical, based on the fact that if I was to get a new laptop my work most likely will be providing it, and probably not willing to shell the extra cash.

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