They may well work for you, but when you are selling a $1200 car stereo, you dont want to have to be dealing with hard drive returns every day.
I kind of feel like the empeg guys picked the 2.5" drives because they know what they were doing. The hardware is pretty evident of that, as is most of the stuff sonicblue / rio has released since the empeg, and the motor manufacturers with whom they are working on OEM designs.
I run a laptop drive with a rubber grommit setup similar to the empeg/rio. The difference between the grommit setup and the elastic band/spring is that the latter has relatively low resonant frequency which can amplify any oscillations/shocks. The grommit is designed to take the edge off of any harsh shocks (which it does well).
Drives are particularly bad at dealing with resonant oscillations, if you hit the resonant frequency of the arm that the head rests upon you are in for a nasty shock...!
Speaking of personal experience, now Im back at home and just in front of me are 4 3.5" hard drives, reminders of why backups are a good idea :D
Two of these were dropped from about 1 metre on to carpet (whilst off) and are fragged. Ive dropped my IBM 2.5" drive's a fair few times, and the empeg has been launched 1 metre horizontally into bus seat very hard, on several occassions (ok, in a cheap rugsack as well with a laptop) and is fine.
"drivers who are taking hacksaws to their dashboards and tossing out their air bags. " -incorrect, i dont know many who take hacksaws to the dashboard...mabe dremel, but if involves more than that can do, they usually fiberglass a new unit for the dash
-also incorrect, other than pointless in-steering wheel displays, i dont know why the hell someone would remove the air bag...not only would u not have one...but ur head would go into the screen (ouch) in an accident
"Burton, who spent $3,000 and 40 hours installing a computer system in his truck" -why in the heck would he spend 3grand to put together that hunk in the back?...interesting...i realize it was 3yrs ago, and things always cost 2x what u expect, but jeeze
"Surprisingly little has changed since Burton put a computer in his trunk, bolted a monitor to his dash..." -lots has changed, not necessarily in content, but def in quality
"in-dash MP3 compact disc player, which plays MP3 files stored on a CD. Made by Sony Corp., Toshiba Corp., and other electronics companies, these products sell for $100 to $300, depending on features." -bs, the sony start at 250, and good brands run up to 700ish (alpine and eclipse come to mind)...tell me where i can get a new indash mp3cd player for 100...o ya, and i didn't know toshiba made head units? at least i've never seen one.
"And while a CD can hold about six times as many MP3 files as a regular album" -incorrect...let's do some math... 700mb/4mb per song ave/12songs per 'regular' album=14.58...lets throw out 7 songs for buffer room and to get a nice round number...14 'regular' albums per cd...the correct number is 233% that of what she said...
haha good times! this was otherwise a VERY interesting, captivating and informative article, especially compared to the inaccurate, mindless liberal puke propoganda put out by all media sources nowadays.
i enjoyed the article emensely, don't get me wrong...but i'm bored and felt like pointing out some errors just for kicks
if you read this Sarah, don't be offended...and everyone else, don't flame.