Originally Posted by xlr8r
Smaller drive means less space to fit the same amount of data, could be more prone to errors? Smaller moving parts are generally more delicate but that's not always true either.
I don't have any real factual evidence, have not done any research into it. I just have a gut feeling that laptop component designs may sacrifice durability to save space.
To some degree this is true, but it depends on how the mini drive is deployed and how new it is. Eight years ago, they were none too reliable and I typically had unsalvageable corruptions develop within a year or two. I'm ruthless with my newer laptops: they run video encodes practically 24/7, and I've been rather surprised by the ruggedness of recent laptop HDDs.
I might be a little more concerned about laptop drives being used in a standalone video recorder: they aren't particularly optimized for video recording, and there is no (non-destructive) user-accessible utility to maintain or repair the drives on the fly. Recorder operating systems are crude and limited: they don't have much ability to roll with bad sectors or corruption.
The thing is, you don't exactly have a choice. This is what Funai decided to do, either to economize on the power supply or because current spot pricing / availability in the commodity HDD market is better for laptop drives than full size. If you want a new DVD/HDD recorder, this is your only option (unless you think you're a candidate for the tunerless import-model Panasonic EH59). While our "gut feeling" and past experience with 2.5" drives may be negative, their use in the Magnavox is probably a non-issue.
The only person at risk would be the foolish user who buys the 1TB MDR537 model, fills it to 99% with unwatched recordings, then runs the clock down awaiting the Murphy's Law HDD crash which will destroy their 400 hours of recordings. If you use common sense, don't overload the HDD, and dub important recordings to DVD in a timely manner, you shouldn't encounter a problem.
Originally Posted by wajo
Laptop drives have to be more "robust" to survive the typical abuse by teenyboppers who usually don't pay for their devices.
Teenyboppers carrying a 2003 iPod or MacBook for "vintage cool " kicks, perhaps, but not the smartphones, tablets and games kids are bankrupting us to buy today. Those are all solid state storage (which of course has its own issues vs full size HDDs- everything in life is a compromise).