Cloud computing and online storage have become increasingly popular as a way to cut back the requirement for physical storage devices for lawyers laptops, but a large hard drive is still a good feature for any laptop. Optical drives, once a standard feature on many laptops, are now treated as an optional storage device especially for the ultraportable laptops or netbooks which sport a much smaller display, a mere 13 inches or even smaller.
The classic hard drive (HDD) is a simple and relatively cheap way to provide space for programs and key files for as long as you need them, or at least until the hard drive dies. This type of “spinning platter” drive is commonly found on both desktops and laptops, with enough space to hold up to 500GB worth of files in the largest drives. A good hard drive is more than just storage space, however. Check the rotational speed as well; a higher rotational speed, say 7,200 rpm, will give you a much faster performance rate though it will also probably reduce the lifespan of your battery.
Another type of hard drive, SSD (solid-state drives) has no moving parts as you have with an HDD that might be damaged by constant motion. Also, SSD generates relatively less heat compared to HDD. You’re probably already familiar with this type of drive since it’s closely related to the SD cards for digital cameras and the internal memory for devices like the iPhone and PSP Go. The disadvantages of the SSD drives are the price, which is usually higher than the HDD, and the capacity, generally less than the HDD. SDD’s would seem to offer many advantages on paper but the results are more mixed in a head-to-head comparison.
Whichever hard drive you select, you should always install more capacity than you think you’ll really need.
Optical drives like DVD or Blu-ray were once common features on laptops and most models even came with a CD/DVD-burning drive. Many of the computers today like netbooks and thin-and-light laptops however do not include optical drives. The ability to download various media from the internet has largely eliminated the need for optical drives, as they are largely used for activities like installing software, burning backups, creating music CD’s or just playing DVDs.
Blu-ray drives are still very popular for their high-def capabilities and are often included in the more exclusive multimedia notebooks. But keep in mind that you must have a screen that has a 1080p (1,900 x 1,080) resolution or you won’t be able to enjoy your high def at its best.
All of those devices for storing media or burning discs that you connect to your laptop using FireWire, USB, or eSATA are considered external drives. They come in many shapes and sizes and can be the traditional spinning platter type drive, a solid-state drive, or an optical drive.
The USB flash drive is one of the most popular external drives, thanks to its low price and small size that makes it easy for anyone to pick one up whenever they visit the local electronic store. It’s also a handy way to store data — you can attach it to your keychain so that you will be able to access your data wherever you are.
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