Updated 21 May, 2013, 8:08 pm IST
2TB drives offer best value for money
| by Rossi Fernandes
Notebook and external portable hard drive price trends
Used in notebooks and external drives
Hard drives aren’t just for PCs. Notebook users and those looking for portable hard drives would’ve also felt the pinch due to the increased price. Those too have been affected but we’re noticing a drop in prices since the end of last year. Manufacturers always charged a premium for large capacity on small format drives. 500GB drives have been most popular when it comes to notebooks and netbooks. Let’s take a 500GB 2.5-inch drive for example. A drive of this capacity sells for roughly Rs. 4,500. That’s not too expensive, considering the price of a 500GB 3.5-inch drive is roughly the same. Of course, you’re going to get more performance on a desktop drive, but that’s a different argument altogether. Still, the same drive back in late 2010, sold for a mere Rs. 2,300. Like the 1TB drives for desktops, this too is close to twice as expensive as it used to be. The prices of 2.5-inch portable drives haven’t dropped, so it’s still a bad idea to go out and get one.
Portable drives prices are influenced by 2.5-inch drive prices
External portable drives rates are also dependent on the prices of internal 2.5-inch hard drives. Unless those drop, you’re not going to get affordable portable hard drives. It was easy to buy a 500GB external portable hard drive for a mere Rs. 3,200. The current price of a drive like this is Rs. 4,300 for a USB 3.0 model. That’s some 34 percent more than you’d have paid back in 2010.
Market hasn't normalized, yet
While we’re seeing prices drop, it’s not to say that things will go back completely to normal. There’s still some residual effect of the hiked prices, there’s also the increased demand due to lacking supply and let’s not forget, increasing prices across the board. Components are more expensive and inflation doesn’t really help either. Experts say that the current prices could be assumed to be the new norm, but going by the trends over the past few months, we think it’s safe to assume that there’s still some room for improvement.
Prices haven’t come down to previous levels just yet. But if you compare how much they cost soon after the Thailand floods with how much they cost now, there is some improvement. Prices were more than double back then. All we can say is that one needs to be smart when it comes to buying drives. Lower capacity doesn’t mean cheaper, all the time.
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