Nov 9, 2009

SSD or Hard Drive on Your New Notebook or Netbook?

Many of the netbooks and notebooks that are being offered today are available with the option of a hard drive or a Solid State Drive (SSD) for storage. Each storage method has its pros and cons and many people wonder what they should get when looking for a new computer.

The biggest issues for many consumers to consider with a SSD is that they cost much more than traditional hard drives do currently and they offer less storage space typically. In the netbook realm, you are usually looking at smallish 4GB and 8GA SSDs in most systems. Asus commonly makes netbooks with these size SSDs.

That is a paltry amount of storage by most standards and you will be hard pressed to get applications like Microsoft Office, Outlook, and photo editing apps installed on the system and have any room left for documents and such. If all you are looking for is a netbook for surfing the net, 4GB may be plenty for you though.

Netbooks with SSDs usually carry price premiums that make systems with only 8GB of storage cost the same or more than netbooks using HDDs with 160GB or more of storage. In the netbook world, 160GB is about standard for storage space today, though some netbooks will soon be offering 250GB HDDs inside.

In small portable systems like notebooks and netbooks, the biggest benefit of the SSD is that it usually needs less power than a HDD meaning longer battery life. In fack, to get the longest battery life you need a SSD in most machines. Some netbooks like the new MSI Wind U115 you can get both a SSD and a HDD.

The hybrid setup allows all the benefits of a SSD for longer battery life and performance while still offering a larger HDD for gross storage needs. This is the ideal situation as far as storage goes, but the price primium could be a deal breaker for some.

For the vast majority of users the standard HDD is still the way to go in the notebook and netbook realm. The HDD offers lots of storage space for little money and you can still get very workable battery life when using a normal HDD.

As time goes by SSDs will gain capacity and drop in price, but until then my suggestion is to go with the HDD unless you can live small amounts of storage and the extra battery life offered by SSDs really makes a difference in your usage.

By Shane McGlaun,

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