Image by Reuters

Kim Komando answers some pressing consumer tech questions on USA  Take for instance the first one out of the gate: “I’m shopping for a laptop. It seems like the amount of hard drive storage goes up with the price. How much do I really need?”

Kim’s answer:  “Most non-professional users will be fine with 250 to 320GBs of storage. For example, 250GB can hold more than 30,000 average size photos or songs. If you’re planning on storing movies, then you definitely want to upgrade to at least 500GB, maybe even 1TB. If you want to buy a laptop with an SSD, buy as big as you can afford and then consider investing in cloud storage like Google Drive or an external hard drive.”

Interesting response, and I don’t totally disagree, but I wonder if 250GB or 320GB is really enough for the long haul. In July of this year, IHS iSuppli found that over 50% of the market is demanding notebooks with 320GB to 500GB worth of storage, and let’s face it, what drives (no pun intended) notebook sales is price point, so maybe a better answer would be to consider your priorities. Do you want a notebook that is extremely fast or one that you don’t have to worry about running out of space for photos, music, videos, etc.?

Simple advice: For those that crave performance:  buy the fastest notebook in your price range. For those that crave space to save files: buy a notebook in your price range with the highest possible storage capacity…or there is another option…

First, what to consider when looking at a notebook’s storage specs? I did some basic Amazon searching and filtering and found that if…

You want high capacity: Go with Hard Disk Drive (HDD) – For a 15 inch laptop with a 750GB hard disk drive, you’re looking at a majority (23 of the 39) of the offerings between $599 and $799.

You want high performance: Solid State Drive (SSD) – the fastest performance, but limiting in terms of storage space. The more storage you need, the faster drives with SSD will skyrocket in price. Assuming you need 256GB considering the IHS iSuppli research, a majority of 15 inch laptops with 256GB of SSD (16 of the 25) start at $999 and go up from there.

You want high capacity and high performance: Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD) – nearly as fast as SSD but with triple the storage capacity.  The most cost effective solution…upgrade. Pick a decent 15-inch laptop for anywhere between $500 and $700 and replace the HDD with 750GB SSHD drive for about $129. Total price $629 to $829.  (At least that is what I plan to do)

When I line the above up, I see the SSHD option as a no brainer.  High performance and storage space, and the price point is just about right, but then again, that’s why I’m going that route. Oh, and by the way, the upgrade is simple…

What do you look at first when narrowing down the options when shopping for a notebook: performance, capacity, or price?

Related Posts:

Does storage capacity still trump performance in notebooks? 

Wintel defined the PC for 2 decades…were we all wrong?

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5 reasons Ultrabooks should include hybrid drives

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