While my laptops have solid state HDs, I've collected quite a few external portable drives from WD, Toshiba, and Seagate. I've never had a mechanical failure: HDs continue to improve. They still offer size/price point advantages. When I have the drive connected to my laptop, I have it on a relatively flat surface. It's still safer to "eject" the USB drive from Windows taskbar to prevent any potential corruption. Once unplugged, there are safeguards for parking the drive's heads and I don't mind if my portable drive(s) get jostled in my carrying case.