There was a long time that the mechanical HDD was the standard in all laptops. It started with the PATA / IDE HDD and soon manufacturers move on to the SATA protocol, which allowed a much faster transfer and reading speeds.
Cheap storage with HDD
HDD was relatively cheap, you could easily buy budget laptops with 500GB or even 1TB storage capacity. Apple keep holding on to HDD for a very long time, while most other manufacturers moved on to SSD in 2017.
The prices of SSD are catching up with the prices of HDD. SSD has such a big impact on the performance and the customer experience of the laptop, that SSD has become the norm.
Disadvantages of HDD
Noise, heat and slow performance have been the biggest disadvantage of HDD. Even when your RAM memory and processor is capable, the HDD can easily pull down the performance of the laptop.
Other problem is the size and reliability of HDD. SSD’s can be much smaller and it allows laptops do be much smaller designed, like the Ultrabooks, while having a large storage capacity and also perform much better. like the M.2 SSD. HDD is vulnerable to shocks and falls. It is one of the biggest reliability of a laptop, since it is mechanical. When the mechanical part breaks, it is almost impossible to read the HDD without intervention of a professional data recovery expert.
SSD in 2020 and next
It’s now 2020. Almost 93.3% of the new laptops sold, don’t have a HDD anymore. This is also true for the cd/dvd drive which was already outphased by the small and thin laptops.
Luckily since SSD’s have become cheaper. You can also upgrade your older laptop with less costs. Replace your laptop HDD with a SSD, move your HDD to a HDD Caddy and your laptop is still very capable in 2020.