July 20, 2011

MacBook Air Replaces White MacBook, Despite the Lack of an Optical Drive

David Moody, Apple:

We found that the majority of customers don’t use the optical drive on a regular basis,” said Moody. “Things are changing. The Primary use for the optical drive was to install software, but the mac app store provides a more efficient method for doing that.

(Via Jim Dalrymple, writing for The Loop.)

One of the reasons I went for a new MacBook Pro, rather than a MacBook Air, was that I could remove the optical drive and replace it with a second hard drive for on-board backups. So I’m not using the optical drive, despite having an external model laying around. Its main duty is ripping Netflix DVDs, a task that will end here real soon now.

The only remaining Mac machines possessing an optical drive are the recently updated iMacs and MacBook Pros. iMacs can double as media centers, retaining the need to play DVD titles (no Mac possesses BluRay technology). We might see one more generation of iMacs with those drives. MacBook Pros, on the other hand, may have reached the end of their run with this year's updates. As soon as Apple can deliver reasonably priced MacBook Air models (in larger screen sizes) with 1TB SSD technology, the venerable Pro line will end. Next year?