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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Unwiredview posts a report and photos from Apple's latest patent application.

The newest patent focuses on where to put the optical drive in a notebook computer.

The drive itself is a pretty bulky thing. With all the necessary EMI shielding and structural integrity elements it gets even bigger. It is the biggest component of ultraportable laptop apart from LCD and keyboard. And it waists even more space because it has to be mounted along one side edge of the computer, usually in that precious space in front of the keyboard where a lot of other goodies might be stuffed in. Right? Right?

Not necessarily. Apple thinks that it has found a much better place to put the Optical Disc Drive: at the bottom of the MacBook

In the patent description, Apple addresses the challenges of making laptops even smaller, and how the available area on the perimeter of the computer diminishes as the laptops get thinner. They do admit there are challenges to moving the optical drive to a different location however, including user familiarity and access door issues with a bottom mount.


macrumors 68020
Apr 1, 2005
Can't see that working myself. If you want to pop in a CD you have to shut the laptop, turn it over insert disk, turn in back the right way, open the lid, oh balls its the wrong CD....


macrumors 68000
Oct 4, 2004
Oslo, Norway
I wouldn´t mind having to turn the laptop over to insert a disk as long as it´s small.
Great idea me thinks
It´s not that often I need the optical drive on my laptop, but for others it might be a pain.


macrumors 68000
Jan 23, 2006
Where I live
Although the smaller the better except the screen and keyboard. I wouldn't want to import my CD collection to iTunes like this.

On the other hand, it is already imported in my case. :)


macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2006
Chesapeake, VA
ehh, i prefer the drives the way they are. i can deal with a laptop being 1 or 2 pounds heavier for an easily accessible drive.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2004
London, UK
Note the position of the hinges in some of the images and then cast your mind back to a few patents we saw that we didn't know how they could be implemented, then we met the iPhone.

The point is, this could potentially be implemented in a tablet, where it would work.


macrumors 68000
Apr 15, 2005
Houston, Texas
I guess it could work in an ultra-portable computer, but in general it seems like a bad idea to have the drive on the bottom like that...


macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2003
Tampere, Finland
I would prefer a laptop without any moving parts whatsoever. Not counting electrons, mind you. Hard drive is already bad enough and optical drives make it even worse. Could they eliminate those two, the future laptops would be insanely great!


macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
Seems like an OK solution. I don't see the inconvience of having to turn the laptop upside down too bad - how many times do you use CDs?

( personally: i hardly ever use CDs - but that ofc differs from person to person )


macrumors 6502a
Aug 3, 2004
Don't like it

So, I have to pick up my laptop to put in a CD? Seems like a hassel. Weird :rolleyes:


macrumors 65816
Jan 6, 2004
I would prefer a laptop without any moving parts whatsoever. Not counting electrons, mind you. Hard drive is already bad enough and optical drives make it even worse. Could they eliminate those two, the future laptops would be insanely great!

Electrons don't move too fast. We did calculations in my 2nd physics class showing how an electron at the socket will take something like 3+ days to reach the lamp through a 6 foot cord. Neat stuff.


macrumors 65816
Jun 28, 2004
Why not have it under the keyboard? Just imagine the MBP keyboard popping up like a trunk and then inserting the dvd and slamming the trunk shut. I suppose it might feel awkward when typing? I kind of like the idea of slot loading drive that is on a slant going down in front of the space bar. Guess the whole slot loading thing would probably take up more space. How about just axing the internal drive and having a second battery bay that can either hold an extra battery for 10 hrs. of total battery life or hold the optical drive with 5 hrs. of total battery life.

Edit: Zelmo beat me to it.


macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2004
Mac since 7.5
Like the ToughBooks? Or do you mean actually under the keyboard proper rather than under the palm rests?

Under the keyboard proper. Of course, I basically only use my CD drive to rip songs or watch a movie, so I'm not likely to use the keyboard while a disk is in there spinning away.


macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2004
Is it April 1 today?

LOL - This is soooo stupid.:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
I can't wait to get my "flip-book."

Geeze, just take the optical drive out of the ultra portable!

And then make a really nice, thin add-on drive available.
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