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HP, Dell and Asus Consider Ultrabooks without Optical Drives

By - Source: Digitimes | B 25 comments

Notebook makers are anticipating the launch of the next generation of MacBook Pros and apparently are planning their product strategy around Apple's success or failure.

Rumors suggest that Apple will eliminate optical disc drives from the standard feature set and offer external drives as an option. Digitimes reports that notebook manufacturers such as Dell, HP and Asustek will follow Apple's lead, but only if Apple sees a positive reaction from customers.

Digitimes noted that notebooks without an optical drive could be manufactured for $20 less and could enable shell designs that are about 1 mm thinner than notebooks with an optical drive.

There is some credibility to the rumor that Apple will drop optical drives as the company is moving toward iCloud and content streaming. Back in 1998, Apple was first to drop the 1.44 MB floppy drive when it launched the original iMac. The initial iMacs only had CD-ROM drives and forced users to use Apple's (online) iDrive as a storage alternative to write data.

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    mrpijey , April 25, 2012 11:03 AM
    Then get them a USB drive for the occasional moments you need an optical drive... or teach them how to use an USB stick...

    And I thought ultrabooks were by default without optical drives to save space and weight...
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    joytech22 , April 25, 2012 10:57 AM
    It would suck if your boss uses CD's to give you presentations on.

    I know a few people that still rely on CD's for mass distribution (of WORK files) because they are too scared to make the change over to servers..
  • 2 Hide
    molo9000 , April 25, 2012 11:02 AM
    *applause*
    Only a minority of users need optical drives these days. The majority of laptop users carry an optical drive with them every single day even though they've never even used it once.
    The space&weight of the optical drive could be put to much better use.


    Weren't ultrabooks always supposed to be without optical drives anyway? How else are you going to stay within the size, weight and battery life limitations of the "Ultrabook"?
    (lol @ OS X spellchecker not recognizing the word "ultrabook" :D )
  • Display all 25 comments.
  • 15 Hide
    mrpijey , April 25, 2012 11:03 AM
    Then get them a USB drive for the occasional moments you need an optical drive... or teach them how to use an USB stick...

    And I thought ultrabooks were by default without optical drives to save space and weight...
  • 5 Hide
    gilbertfh , April 25, 2012 11:20 AM
    ^+1 to all those who commented about ultrabooks already being designed without optical drives.
  • 1 Hide
    Pyree , April 25, 2012 11:25 AM
    Please don't let Apple to popularise laptop without a DVD drive first or they will patent it.
  • 7 Hide
    ProDigit10 , April 25, 2012 11:38 AM
    seems legit,
    After all, flash drives are way more portable, reliable, and speedy.
  • 2 Hide
    Pyree , April 25, 2012 12:00 PM
    molo9000*applause*Only a minority of users need optical drives these days. The majority of laptop users carry an optical drive with them every single day even though they've never even used it once.The space&weight of the optical drive could be put to much better use.Weren't ultrabooks always supposed to be without optical drives anyway? How else are you going to stay within the size, weight and battery life limitations of the "Ultrabook"?(lol @ OS X spellchecker not recognizing the word "ultrabook" )

    This is not a move to get rid of DVD drive for ultrabook but for full size laptop (Macbook Pro). I hate to see users loose the option to put a caddy in the DVD bay for anther HDD. I hope the manufacturer will use that space wisely (2 HDD bay for laptop below 16 inch) and not just waste the free space.
  • 2 Hide
    alterecho , April 25, 2012 12:08 PM
    But is there a cheap physical replacement for discs? I love buying boxed games with the manual and all.
    I don't want to be reliant on the internet for downloading games since the internet is erratic in my place.
  • 5 Hide
    alidan , April 25, 2012 12:15 PM
    PyreeThis is not a move to get rid of DVD drive for ultrabook but for full size laptop (Macbook Pro). I hate to see users loose the option to put a caddy in the DVD bay for anther HDD. I hope the manufacturer will use that space wisely (2 HDD bay for laptop below 16 inch) and not just waste the free space.


    they wont waste it... see... 1mm thinner... they are eliminateing it...

    thanks again apple for the thin war
  • 1 Hide
    eddieroolz , April 25, 2012 1:33 PM
    I personally don't use disc drives too often any more, aside from installing Call of Duty 4 - but I'd rather have them offer these at $5 apiece, not $20 option.
  • 4 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , April 25, 2012 2:57 PM
    In the near future everything will be based on either Thumb drives or SD Cards. Thumb Drives and SD Cards can not only hold a lot more data then your standard optical CD- or DVD disc but are also a lot more smaller and alot more durable. In the next 10 years optical drives will be almost non existant.
  • 3 Hide
    fulle , April 25, 2012 3:36 PM
    Lightweight laptops have released without optical drives for many years now. Manufacturers are "watching" Apple on this one, my ass. To suggest Apple is leading the way on this, is nothing short of absurd. Especially with ultrabooks.

    Lookup some current ultrabooks for a moment. Dell XPS 13, ASUS Zenbook UX31, and so on. Find me a single ultrabook that has a freaking internal optical drive.

    "Notebook manufacturers such as Dell, HP and Asustek will follow Apple's lead"... what kind of uninformed BS is this?

  • 1 Hide
    Nakal , April 25, 2012 4:42 PM
    Our Lenovo x2xx series do not come with optical drives, and only come in the base as an option where I work. Generally we have had people who have needed optical drives to simply get a nice external USB slim line for about $40 bucks. Otherwise they don't use them. So it is not like Apple was the first in this case...
  • -1 Hide
    ap3x , April 25, 2012 4:48 PM
    fulleLightweight laptops have released without optical drives for many years now. Manufacturers are "watching" Apple on this one, my ass. To suggest Apple is leading the way on this, is nothing short of absurd. Especially with ultrabooks.Lookup some current ultrabooks for a moment. Dell XPS 13, ASUS Zenbook UX31, and so on. Find me a single ultrabook that has a freaking internal optical drive."Notebook manufacturers such as Dell, HP and Asustek will follow Apple's lead"... what kind of uninformed BS is this?


    Look at the release dates of the units you mentioned.
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , April 25, 2012 5:47 PM
    fulleLightweight laptops have released without optical drives for many years now. Manufacturers are "watching" Apple on this one, my ass. To suggest Apple is leading the way on this, is nothing short of absurd. Especially with ultrabooks.Lookup some current ultrabooks for a moment. Dell XPS 13, ASUS Zenbook UX31, and so on. Find me a single ultrabook that has a freaking internal optical drive."Notebook manufacturers such as Dell, HP and Asustek will follow Apple's lead"... what kind of uninformed BS is this?

    Convincing the world that Apple didn't invent the "Ultrabook"-type form-factor with the MacBook Air is going to be an uphill battle. Your time is likely better spent elsewhere me thinks.

  • -1 Hide
    maestintaolius , April 25, 2012 7:02 PM
    I dunno. Maybe for some users it'll be fine but I still need to use my optical drives pretty regularly on my work laptop and I get really irritated when I need one on a machine that doesn't have one. I'm sure optical drives will eventually go the way of the floppy but it might be a little too early yet to do away with them just to gain a 1mm.
  • 1 Hide
    halcyon , April 25, 2012 7:47 PM
    For those few that want them (with an Ultrabook mind you) the external USB variety is waiting.
  • 0 Hide
    Vladislaus , April 25, 2012 10:40 PM
    HalcyonConvincing the world that Apple didn't invent the "Ultrabook"-type form-factor with the MacBook Air is going to be an uphill battle. Your time is likely better spent elsewhere me thinks.

    How about when Mitsubishi and HP joined forces an released the Pedion in 97? Not only that this laptop was thinner than the original macbook air.
  • 0 Hide
    Vladislaus , April 25, 2012 10:45 PM
    ap3xLook at the release dates of the units you mentioned.

    I don't think he's stating that those laptops were launched earlier than the air, but commenting on the title of the news, correctly stating that ultra-books sold from these companies already come without optical drives.

    The news is about these manufacturers thinking of dropping the optical drive on their more normal laptops not on ultra-books since these laptops already don't have it.
  • 0 Hide
    dreadlokz , April 25, 2012 10:51 PM
    finnaly! no need for discs any more!!
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