There are a many different things to consider when purchasing your next refrigerator, but one of the main decisions may be whether or not you want to have an interior dispenser or an external dispenser for your ice and water.
Most modern kitchen designs call for counter depth refrigeration, which is a shallow unit (typically a 24” deep case as opposed to a 28” case on a full depth). When I have a customer that is interested in a counter depth model, one thing I strongly recommend is an internal dispenser. The reason being is because an internal water dispenser takes up minimal, if any, room inside the refrigerator compartment. Since you are giving up some cubic footage in a counter depth model to begin with, this will save some internal space and allow for more food storage.
The main benefit to having an external dispenser is convenience. It is much easier for the consumer to simply walk up to the refrigerator and get ice and chilled water without having to open the door. It is also beneficial because you are not opening the door and letting out the cool air so that the unit has to work harder to maintain temperature. Some cons to the external dispenser are that they do take up more internal space, limiting cubic footage. They are also one of the more common service calls in the appliance industry, as there are a lot of moving parts involved with an external dispenser. For consumers that are interested in counter depth models with external dispensers, but may be concerned about the cubic footage, I recommend that they take a look at GE Profile model PYD22KSLSS. In my opinion, GE has the best design for an exterior dispenser refrigerator, as they take up the least amount of internal space.
All in all, internal and external dispensers are completely based on consumer preference, but knowing the pros and cons of both styles can he helpful when making a decision on your next refrigerator purchase.