Originally Posted by NeilM
I'd point out that hardly anyone can realistically live with only 128GB, and in an era when you can buy a normal SATA 256GB SSD for well under $200 retail, skimping on storage capacity makes no sense. Apple's current PCIe SSD's should be even more cost effective to make, since they're nothing more than bare circuit boards.
Cloud computing is here now. Not everybody has fully embraced it yet, but most people with smart phones already use it to some degree. Flickr now gives away 1000 Gigabytes of picture storage. Google Drive gives away 15 GB. Dropbox gives away 2 GB. Ubuntu One gives away 5 GB. Box.net gives away 10 GB and there are several others. Sugar Sync offers 100 GB storage for $9.99 per month.
All of these can be accessed not just from ones home computer but from all of ones mobile devices anywhere. Internal storage won't be necessary for average users. As internet connection speeds improve the lag time between uploading and downloading files won't be a big issue. My local internet service provider is doubling the basic speed from 15 Mbps to 30Mbps at the same price as before. This isn't impressive for some people but it will make a big difference in convenience.
Accessing these is becoming very easy with services like Jolicloud. It was at first a Linux OS. Now they have dropped that and made it an in-browser hub. Which means that anybody using Chromium can go to one page and access all of these services and more.
Chromebooks are doing the same thing. They have very little storage on board and use the cloud to store files. The Chromium browser has many plug-ins that allow access to online services that don't rely on internal programs. These can be used by anybody on any machine.
With these services your computing experience is totally enhanced. They don't depend solely on your computer. Any mobile device will work. If your computer is damaged or just dies, there will be zero problems just getting another one and logging in to your stuff. Nothing will be lost. If you're away from your machine you can borrow another and access everything.
I recently did an inventory of my files. All of my text files take up less than 2 GB. It is the image files, video presentations, and home movies that take up the rest of the space. By putting my non-essential images in the cloud I can keep my on board storage very small. I put my work stuff in the cloud and only keep my current work on the machine. With this setup I can live with a very small hard drive. Right now my entire HDD has just 16.9 GB used and that includes several recently recorded TV shows that have piled up over the last week due to not having the time to watch them. After I watch them they will be deleted. For those of you who love to record movies and keep them you probably are already using external hard drives. So having a small drive on your main machine doesn't matter.
Two years ago I would have thought owning a 60 GB SSD was just too small. Now I find that size is much bigger than I really need. A 30 GB SSD would work for me now. Would this work for everybody? I don't think so, but for many people storing their information in the cloud makes a lot of sense because of the convenience of accessing it from any device anywhere.
Would a Mac Mini really need a big SSD? Not if one embraces the cloud for storage. This also means that the Apple iPad 16 GB model used at home could be all that one needs. Buying the larger storage models would be a waste of money.