Optical drive question

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Camps23, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2011
    Hi all I am in the market for a new laptop and have been looking at the macbook air. I know the main purk is the size for travel and such. The big question is how is it getting by without an optical drive ? If you watch movies and such are you watching them off a usb drive ? What about loading new software ? Main question is how do macbook air users get around not having the optical drive ?
    Thanks !
  2. macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2011
    Very little software today comes on CDs or DVDs - its largely purchased online from places like the Apple App Store. If I want to watch a movie, I just use the Remote Disc functionality and rip it to the Air - Remote Disk (I think thats what its called) lets you use the DVD drive in another nearby Mac as if it was in the Air.
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2011
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2008
    You can always buy an optical drive if you need one of course.. but I am guessing for the majority of people with macbook airs don't regularly use one at all.

    I have had my 11" air for a couple of weeks now and haven't missed it once.
    Most things are downloadable nowadays, and If I ever have the need for a drive I can always use a neighboring mac.

    Don't miss it at all really..
  5. macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2011
    Bel Air, CA
    Ive had my MBA for 3 months now, never once felt like I needed an optical drive or that something was missing. A lot of programs are downloadable. I think you'll only have a small handful of programs that you buy that require a disc to install.. As the other poster said, you can use remote Disc, which let's you use the optical drive of any computer (PC or Mac) on the same network. if you find yourself watching DVDs or listening to CDs on your laptop, or burning a lot of discs, you can get an external drive to connect by USB (apple's SuperDrive or one by other brands- make sure you read reviews first tho, as not all are compatible with the MBA). that way you can get the functionality of the optical drive just when you need it without affecting the look or weight of the air.

    overall, it's not a big deal (if you consider buying the external drive).. I wouldn't let that be a main deciding factor for buying the MBA. just my 2 cents :)

    Edit: Also, I use the MBA as my primary machine.
  6. hfg
    macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    On the rare occasion I need to install software which is on an optical disk, I usually just use my regular MacPro with Disk Utility to create a disk image on a usb flash drive. I then install to the Air from the flash drive. Even though I do have the Apple Optical Drive available, it seems quicker and I have the bonus of a backup copy of the disk to do it this way.
  7. macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    I haven't been bothered by the lack of an optical drive on my Air pretty much ever. Even with my old PowerBook, I never used the optical drive at all. The rare time that I need one, such as to burn a CD for my car or something, I just just my mini. Not having one in the Air is no real issue.

Share This Page