Necessary disclosure: I do not own this model. I have what used to be a 60GB model, recently upgraded to 320GB - the gold standard.
As compared to the 60GB model:
+ less expensive (I paid $599 for my 60GB PS3)
+ 33% more storage
+ needs less power
+ dual shock controller (rumble)
- no memory card interfaces
- 2 USB ports vs. 4 USB ports on the 60GB
- no PS2 compatibility
This model comes with an 80GB drive. This is nice because, most would agree, 80GB is more than 60GB. If you feel that the extra 20GB is a big deal, maybe you should think again. I upgraded my 60GB to 320GB because I was about to run out of space, with only 10GB or so left. One month or so later, I'm using more than 80GB already - just downloaded the Ratchet and Clank minigame from PSN and it alone needs about 3GB. My advice is to buy this model and upgrade it yourself. It's (relatively) easy and you can find a lot of advice if you Google for it.
If you are on the upgrade path, $80 would buy you a 320GB drive. I used the Western Digital WD3200BEVT 320 GB Scorpio Sata 5400 Rpm 8MB 2.5 inch myself but that was back in June/July and I paid about $150 then; you could get much larger drives for less now. 500GB drives are available for less than $100 and you should try to get one of those if you are planning to store lots of videos. One that I tested would be the 500GB 2.5" Sata Drive which replaced my laptop's 60GB little drive and I helped a friend upgrade his own PS3 HDMI with. The nice thing about upgrading your disk is that you are also going to be left with a perfectly good 80GB or $160GB drive which you can place into a cheap enclosure, and the StarTech AT2510U2 InfoSafe 2.5-Inch USB/SATA Hard Drive Enclosure worked for me. I am using the free leftover drive as a backup device for family photos.
Upgrading the disk is (relatively) easy and you can find a lot of advice on the Net. Search for " PS3 HDMI Hard Drive Upgrade (HOWTO)" for videos that should help you decide if you are comfortable with upgrading. If upgrading is the first thing you do (before installing games or uploading personal files), everything becomes very easy because you need not worry about backups or restores. I upgraded my box in a couple of hours WITH the backup/restore steps.
The lack of memory card interfaces is annoying but you can get around it. Copy your stuff to a USB drive or flash drive and... problem solved. You can then upload your things through the USB. It's somewhat inconvenient but it's no big deal.
My old (10 months) 60GB model has 4 USB slots and I am using all of them. One for the PS3 HDMI Eye (camera), a second has a wireless keyboard dongle, the third is where the racing wheel plugs in and the last one I use to charge controllers. Can you live with 2 slots? I suppose you can but there's going to be some plugging/unplugging if you begin adding peripherals. I suppose you could get one of those USB ports multiplexers. They're ugly but... it's doable.
PS2 compatibility... can't get it. Sorry. I don't play PS2 games but my kids do. In fact, they just bought some Sonic game a couple of days ago. I was surprised but... de gustibus. They're also playing Kingdom Hearts and Destroy All Humans.
This model comes with a couple of improvements over the gold standard. It burns less electricity, which is a good thing for the rain forests, keeping them cool and maybe you save a few dollars on your electric bill. And, of course you get the advanced controller.
- If you are planning to upgrade, the 80GB model is the way to go because it is selling for $100 less than the larger disk version and you can use the savings to pay for your disk upgrade
- Get yourself a USB port multiplexer if you need more than 2 ports
- Transfer your photos to flash drives to get around the missing memory card interfaces
- Or or, even better, to address both the USB and the memory card issues, get the Playstation 3 Media Hub+ for 2 extra USB ports AND a card reader
- Keep your PS2 if you have one and still wish to play PS2 games in the future.
- Enjoy your new PS3 HDMI.