I’m about to order a new XPS laptop from Dell. Even a premium build where no corners seem to be cut in any other area comes with a 256 GB SSD. That seems awfully small these days. I have a 512 GB SSD in my now 7 year old XPS and am constanly moving stuff to an external backup in order to make space. Yeah, there is the option to choose a larger drive but it’s way overpriced. Be cheaper to just get it with the 256 GB and immediately order a larger one somewhere else and replace it.
Any idea why manufacturer’s are going this route lately? Are people commonly paying for cloud storage for terrabytes worth of data nowadays? Am I that far behind the times?
But I believe you have it right: more and more, computer users are moving their data to cloud storage. I prefer to keep mine local (the closest thing to the cloud is an external drive attached to my router that I refer to as a “half-NAS”), but the trend appears to be in the other direction.
“Yeah, there is the option to choose a larger drive but it’s way overpriced. Be cheaper to just get it with the 256 GB and immediately order a larger one somewhere else and replace it.”
This is the answer right here. Dell does it because they’re a premium brand and can demand premium prices. They include a smaller drive to stay competitive with prices of non-premium brands, but offer upgrades at a premium where they make their real money.
Also, replacing the SSD/HDD is a new laptop is often much more difficult than it was it the past where you just took off one screw and slid it out. Now it may require removing the entire top of the laptop because it’s below the keyboard.
As for Cloud storage, it’s just that, storage, not intended for practical live software use. While there are apps that operate on the cloud, it’s impractical if you don’t have internet access. And even if you do have access, it can be significantly slower.
A lot of people do use Cloud storage as a backup, but it’s only one part of a proper 3-2-1 Backup strategy. 3 copies of your data, 2 on different media (HDD*, optical discs, tape or cloud), 1 stored offsite, either in a physical location or cloud.
*SSD, flash drive, SD card, any flash RAM based media is not a backup storage option. Not only do they tend to fail without notice, data recovery is near impossible, with recovery cost when it is possible in $$$$'s.
True, SSD’s are more expensive. But in the laptop i’m looking at, Dell wants $245.00 to upgrade from 256 GB M.2 PCIe SSD to a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD. I’ve found the same SSD available for $129 - $149 at bestbuy and other online computer parts places.
Dell’s upgrades on other components, such as RAM are pretty much in line with standard retail cost. It’s just the HDD’s that has this strange policy. It seems like a calculated strategy to push people into cloud storage whether they want to or not.
Thirteen years ago, when I bought an Apple Macbook the RAM was expensive compared to aftermarket prices so I ordered with the minimum and added some later. It’s slightly harder to do with the drive, since you have to reinstall everything, so they’re hoping lazy people decide to pay for the increased storage.
Cloud storage is practical, both access and storagewise to a limited extent of ~low mulitples of TBs. Beyond that, upload and download retrieval can take weeks or months and cost can be more than HDDs or optical discs.
Those free or low cost providers have very low capacity (in the low tens of GBs) and while the subscription cost may seem low, it’s perpetual per month/year as long as you store your data there. Adding up to multiples of what you pay for local storage.
Just checked Dell and another cost cutting measure is that even the highest priced laptops come with Windows Home standard. While it’s sufficient for most home users, I would expect Windows Pro for the price.
Dell sells desktops and notebook systems “for home” users and “for business” users. My guess is the former systems come with Windows Home (although you can upgrade to Windows Pro), while the latter default to Windows Pro.
Assuming it’s removable. Some models solder it all in, so replacing the SSD means either soldering skills or replacing the entire board. And not just laptops. Over the past few years, some models of iMac, particularly the 21" ones, are impossible to upgrade RAM or the SSD due to it all being soldered in place and no sockets for swapping or adding.
I had the battery replaced in my approximately 2 1/2 year old iPhone X at an Apple Store for $69 plus tax. I had the option of having it replaced at a long list of non-Apple stores listed on the Apple website as well, and presumably there were other, unofficial stores that could technically do it. I’m OK with what it cost me.
I ran into the same thing when I got my last laptop. The easy solution was to get a SanDisk and slide it in the slot. Easy peasy. I don’t have to haul around an external drive, or mess with the cloud - which can be an issue when I’m flying.
“I had the battery replaced in my approximately 2 1/2 year old iPhone X at an Apple Store for $69 plus tax. I had the option of having it replaced at a long list of non-Apple stores listed on the Apple website as well, and presumably there were other, unofficial stores that could technically do it. I’m OK with what it cost me.”
Doesn’t sound like a bad deal until I compare it to paying $20 for a genuine battery for my Android phone.
Not everyone needs more than 256 GB. If you just use your laptop for web browsing and Office documents as opposed to games and video editing and storing every photo you took for the last 20 years you should be fine with 256 GB. If you need more, then you get bit by product differentiation.
All I’ve done is get an external enclosure that plugs into a USB connector and then drop the best SSD I could find in there (where “best” is a personally arbitrary combination of price and size). All data goes on the external drives, plus regular backups. Speed-critical things stay on my computer’s internal drive.
It’s an acceptable, economical compromise, I feel.
You’re making me feel old. When I was in college in 1973 Ed Fredkin came to my architecture class and boldly predicted that some day memory would be a penny a bit. I know, that was memory, not disk, but disk today is a lot faster.