I love my 2011 MacBook pro, it’s as quick as my old mac pro, with a decent enough battery life. It has enabled me to do proper work on my commute (proper work means not word processing people), which is a life saver. However, I had bought it as an apple refurb (the only way to buy a macand not feel totally ripped off), which meant I had no choice with the harddrive, which while big at 750gb was 5400rpm and therefore becoming stuck, especially when I was doing any kind of video work.
So I needed a new drive, and after a couple of months of research, I went with the wd 750gb scorpion black. To be honest for the size of drive I need, spending money on an ssd isn’t cost effective. The hybrid ssd/platter seagate momentus combo drive looked interesting, but reliability on the mac side is questionable. The other option is to swap out the cd drive for a drive caddy, and get a small ssd and use the platter drive for data, this is a great option, but I would have still been looking at a couple of hundred quid, and invalidating my warranty, which I wasn’t massively keen on doing. The only logical option in my case then was the black, it’s cheap £80 or so, has the same low power draw as a 5400rpm drive, and with my unscientific testing, I suddenly had a drive that could do more than one thing at once. I heartily recommend the wd for anyone who wants a faster drive, but needs the capacity, and is on a budget.
One quick note, if you haven’t changed a drive on a newer MacBook pro, make sure you have the right tools. Apple has gone back to making it slightly awkward to get access to the drive. You need exactly the right screwdrivers, check the ifixit guide for your mac, and budget for an extra £10 or so for a decent set of tools.