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Posted by on February 10, 2021

In tech, the old adage “You Get What You Pay For” isn’t always true.   You can find great value closeouts right before a new model comes out and you can pay a high premium to be on the bleeding edge of some new feature that isn’t going to matter in a year or two.

That said, RAM and DISK SPACE rarely fall out of the YGWYPF category and haven’t for decades.   It’s pretty hard to get too much RAM or HD/SSD storage, but it’s very easy to get too little.

Case in point; we had a customer call a week ago about Dell Inspiron they purchased a year or so back.   They complained that it kept crashing and wouldn’t do Windows updates.   It took only a minute after login to find out why: it had only 32GB storage . . . TOTAL!   Being someone who often recommends systems and specifications for business clients, I was surprised that anyone was selling a Windows 10 PC with 32GB storage.   Microsoft states the BARE MINIMUM as “Hard disk space: 20 GB for 64-bit OS”, and that’s just to boot the system.   Anyone in the business understands 32GB has an extremely limited life span.   A bare-bones Windows 10 installation will use 16GB to 24GB disk space without any additional software and without storing any local documents or pictures.   That means Windows 10 may technically install to a 32GB drive, but what they don’t say in the specs is Windows 10 will immediately and without intervention begin installing updates (as it should) and those updates will nearly immediately render a 32GB system unusable.

See Do not buy a Dell laptop with 32G of solid state drive

Dell doesn’t sell these systems on their own web site with less than 128GB SSDs for good reason, but you can still buy them at Walmart and for well under $200.   Please don’t!   Yes, you may save $100/$200, but you definitely GWYPF and unless you are willing to tweak the OS to use external storage for virtually everything (documents, pictures, music, downloads, temporary files, etc), your system will very quickly be unusable.   And even if you DO tweak the OS to use external storage like this, don’t dare unplug that extra memory card or thumb drive. . . ever!

When you buy a Windows 10 system with 32GB storage, what you are paying is near-immediate obsolescence and/or the need to pay to upgrade the system (presuming that’s possible) in very short order.   Moral of this story: when you see a “super bargain laptop” at Walmart, please ask someone who actually works in tech before plunking down any cash!

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