From almost always use a password on disk (IBM T61) I plan to change soon on Lenovo T520 powerful machine and I wonder if instead of using the password again to disk (set in the BIOS) to use TrueCrypt (encrypt system partitions) I have heard many favorable reviews on the safety od TT. In both cases, immediately after you start your computer, you are prompted for a password, but does hardware encryption drives in laptops is just as safe as TrueCrypt software?
Hardware encryption is almost always well-implemented, so it should be just as safe. I have two warning against using even an excellent tool like TrueCrypt: First, they should not be used with SSDs, where they cause write amplification and can leave the unencrypted data around on the drive. Second, our office uses PGP for whole-disk encryption, and people see a speed hit.
If I had a choice, I would check out hardware encryption. No idea if the mobo has to support something like Trusted Computing Platform, though. I omit the usual link to Wikipedia because they are running another fundraiser.