As long as you have an external one handy. I dunno if anyone would remember em but I used to own one of Sony's ultraslim notebooks. It was the r505. The laptop was too thin for an optical drive so it came with a dock that contained some extra ports and the drive. I only used it when I needed to install stuff really. Otherwise it tended to languish in my laptop bag. It was a great thin and light machine but WAYYYYYY underpowered. Whats important here is how much you rely on the optical drive and if you feel you need it built in. Apple isn't the first to do this, they are just the first to make it part of the product spin (vs leaving the fact out of the promotions and offering an external drive like sony does).