Western Digital drive creates dilemma for laptop buyers

With Western Digital's new 1TB Scorpio Blue hard drive for notebooks, are solid state drives still the undisputed choice?

It's pretty much a given that solid state drives (SSDs) are the future of PC storage, and that hard drives are on the way out. But if you're buying a laptop today, which option is best?

The latest notebook drives, like Western Digital's Scorpio Blue 1-terabyte model, are astonishingly huge and relatively cheap. Priced at $250, the 1TB Scorpio Blue has more storage than most consumer laptop users will ever need. Amateur filmmakers shooting HD video may want a 1TB drive, but the rest of us could get by with a lot less space. Even the 750GB Scorpio Blue, which sells for a very reasonable $190, is probably overkill for the average user.

Smaller and less expensive hard drives are always an option, of course. But if you're shopping for a premium notebook in the $1500-and-up range, the SSD vs. HD debate may be the hardest part of configuring your system.

Which Is Best?

Solid state drives are faster than hard drives, at least most of the time. Microsoft recently announced it has fine-tuned Windows 7 to run faster on SSDs, although it hasn't worked out all the kinks yet. For instance, older and cheaper SSDs running the new OS may perform worse than conventional hard drives. But Windows 7 notebooks with the latest SSDs should have a performance edge.

Unlike whirring hard drives with their spinning platters, SSDs are silent and use less energy. Since they have no moving parts, they're far more rugged too. They're slimmer and lighter than hard drives, and manufacturers are finding ways to trim them even more. Samsung, for instance, recently launched a line of SSDs for netbooks that weight only 7.5 to 8.5 grams, considerably less than the 75 to 85 grams that 1.8- and 2.5-inch SSDs weigh.

But despite SSD's advantages, today's premium laptop buyer would likely choose a hard drive. Because even with recent price drops, solid state drives are still too expensive for mainstream, consumer use. Example: Intel recently touted the affordability of its new series of X25-M SSDs. The 160GB model costs roughly $AU1000. Compare that to Western Digital's 1TB Scorpio Blue at $US250.

Which would you buy?

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags intelstoragehard drivessolid state driveswestern digital

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeff Bertolucci

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?