Do We Still Need Optical Drives?

A few leaks have indicated that the next 15-Inch MacBook Pro will not include an optical drive. Just like the MacBook Air and Mac Mini, the 15-Inch MacBook Pro will be shedding some extra weight in order to feature a flatter profile. But is ditching the optical drive the right move?

I get it. I really do. Some people buy laptops because their slimmer, lighter, and all around more portable. However, there are those who need a laptop that’s as powerful as a desktop. The reality here is that there will always have to be some kind of trade off, and I’m not sure if it’s one I’d be willing to make.

Most industries understand this. As a result, laptops, more or less, come in predefined teared sets. For example, there are Notebooks, Ultra-books, Netbooks, and so on. Each of these sets has their own distinction. Someone who purchases a netbook will do so knowing that they are paying for portability and not for power and usability.

The MacBook Pro series has always been designated as the prime choice for gamers, media suppliers, and those who want a laptop that can continue the basic function of a desktop. What’s more basic than copying and burning DVDs?

I am satisfied with the MacBook Air because, if I were to own one, it would not be to commit myself to heavy processing task. That’s because it was not built for that, whereas the MacBook Pro series is.

The response from Apple is somewhat settling, but does not completely have me swayed. For those of you with a MacBook Air or a Mac Mini, and need an optical drive, Apple has taken it on themselves to sell an attachable one on their website. Clearly, Apple understand that people will need to use it even if they bought a laptop that has been optimized for portability. Those numbers, however, are far and few.

In addition to buying an attachable optical drive, one can assume that Apple is making this move to boost the Mac App Store. With content distributors aware that MacBooks will no longer support a built in optical drive, they would be more willing to offer their software through the Mac App Store. The problem here is that there are still those who prefer the purchasing of disk. Not because it’s something tangible, but because, often times, buying the disk package offers more.

Take the Diablo 3 Limited Edition for example: if one were to but the limited edition, in order to play it on their Mac, they would have to go out and buy an optical drive.

This will make Macs less gamer friendly than they already are. Most games have and continue to come out on Windows first, and in some cases only because of complications for developing for Macintosh ecosystem.

In all fairness, there is only one thing that could get me to shut up about this. That would be if Apple was to subtract the cost of the optical drive from the cost of the 15-inch Macbook Pro. I see no reason why I should pay the same amount for a laptop when my previous laptop can do more. The less you put into something is the less I’d be willing to pay.

What are your thoughts? Do you think optical drivers are still needed?

About the author

Tristan Thomas

Currently studying Information Technology at Georgia Southern University, Tristan uses Tech Analyzer as a venting outlet for how he interprets the technological world around him.

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