That said, the disadvantage that BOTH of them have (namely being a physical item requiring shipment)
That isn't necessarily a disadvantage. Games may take up to two or four years to develop. People anticipate a new game coming, and will pay and order it. The built in 'dongle' copy protection of a physical item being needed to play the game keeps the content paid for, and people don't mind having something to look forward to having arrive in the mail in a few days.
The instant gratification of online games has it's draw, but it's not a requirement for many customers.
This is a discussion of offline backup (notice all the "use tape" responses), harddrive copies can be kept in a offsite location just like tapes.
Any kind of realtime multi-site or off-site backup involves mega bandwidth.
Drobo is a proprietary solution, single vendor, single source.
Just because you had some problems with Samsung means nothing about their general reliability.
A few specific models have had problems, such as the IBM "Deathstar" models, or the recent Seagate firmware problems, but there is no evidence that whole brands are less reliable.
Read the Google report on drive brands, there are no clear winners or losers across brand lines in their exhaustive real world tests.
As far as I can see, there are no internal Maxtor branded 2TB drives.
Isn't the Maxtor brand fading away?
I would use RAID6 not RAID5, since 2 drive failures means data loss with RAID5, while it takes 3 drive failures to loose data on RAID6.
Linux MDADM has supported RAID6 for years, it's stable.
I would mix and match drives, not buying all the same model from one maker. One Samsung, One WD, One Hitachi, One Seagate.
That gets you 4TB in 4 drives, and unlike a RAID1, any 2 drives can fail with no dataloss.
You can further ensure no dataloss by making a second copy using different brand drives for each clone.
Eight 2TB drives is around $1500. Not bad for a very safe 4TB backup.
A small flash drive may be preferable in an extra toy computer. For for those who use a netbook as a primary, 8GB (or less) is a joke.
I have the Lenovo with 160GB, and the harddrive is acceptably quick.
In fact the whole machine feels faster than my top of the line Thinkpad from a few years before.
The only thing that really drags on the Lenovo S10 is the 1.6Ghz Atom processor. Given that the $199 AA battery machine uses a MUCH slower processor, I think it would be far less acceptable as a primary machine, even if it had the same 160GB harddrive.
And I do agree on AA batteries for cameras, I try to use them exclusively. But the power demands of a netbook make me less enthusiastic about them in that platform.
Except four things:
The $199 price does not include WinXP. The $250 Lenovo S10 price does.
The $199 price does not include 1GB of ram (only 512mb). The $250 Lenovo S10 price does.
The $199 price does not include 160GB harddrive (only small flash drive). The $250 Lenovo S10 price does.
The $199 price does not include batteries (AA or otherwise). The $250 Lenovo S10 price does.
What does the $199 unit cost with a copy of WinXP Home, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB harddrive, and a supply of AA batteries?
A lot closer to $250 than you imply.
(and you have the much slower CPU in the AA battery unit)
Never ask two questions in a business letter. The reply will discuss the one you are least interested, and say nothing about the other.