Has Apple killed the DVD drive?

How much do you love your little silvery disks with the hole in the middle? If you still love them lots and lots, Apple may be breaking your heart. The news their updated Mac Mini will be DVD-less touched off a number of stories ranging from "about time" to "how dare they." See "Apple bids goodbye to the DVD" from the Telegraph and "R.I.P DVD: Six Reasons It's Time for Disks to Die" from PCWorld.com.

Of course, skinny laptops like the Mac Air don't have optical drives because there's no room in the slim chassis, and these units are built to be uber-portable. My Dell Vostro V130 is the same way, since it's Dell's Mac Air-type laptop for small business users. And I'm fine with that, since I have no reason to install new software or burn a mix CD while traveling. And, of course, networks are available just about anywhere to download an application if needed.

But the Mac Mini, pitched as a server for some uses, is a different story. So let's look at reaction to the DVD-less Mini, and whether that's ringing in the distance are funeral bells for built-in optical drives for computers going forward.

This is stupid

I might agree, if only Apple would make it possible to import the DVD movies I already own into itunes like I can do for music CDs. Until then it is way too early to be ditching optical drives, especially on a non-portable such as the Mac Mini.

Fatcat on pcworld.com

This is probably the dumbest article I've ever read. Data caps, poor DVD streaming from netflix, not to mention half of the geographic continental US does not have access to DSL or high speed internet that is not capped to 200mb a day.

ScottStewart on pcworld.com

I don't want to see Optical Discs disappear. I have a 60GB bandwidth cap a month with my high speed internet

RyanHousejnrn on pcworld.com

Lion is OS X ME/Vista and now El Jobs thinks we don't need/want DVD drives. FU Apple Both my Macs will stay with Snow Leopard and I am not buying another Mac. It's back to Ubuntu when I need a new computer.

Reggie on telegraph.co.uk

The optical drive is done

Writeable DVDs are nothing but trouble: slow, unreliable, and bulky to store.

tom_edinburgh on telegraph.co.uk

The digital downloads of games from Steam, Games for Windows Live, Good Old Games, Direct2Drives, GamersGate, etc. vastly outnumbers the sales from traditional retail of optical discs. I haven't bought a PC game on disc in years, but me and millions of others have purchased huge volumes of titles at £40 or more.

Vanillacide on telegraph.co.uk

An external drive is smarter today

You're complaining that the Laptop wouldn't have an internalo ptical drive, right? Get a USB external optical drive for these situations.

Clint Willard on telegraph.co.uk

Btw…External drives (which can be shared) cost $35. Hmmmm… Carry the extra cost and style destroying weight around daily or simply buy an external.

Reality on laptopmag.com

I think it makes more sense to look at it the other way round. Do you think Apple (or any computer company, for that matter) should put optical drives in all their computers just because you need one in your office? You have a specialist need and, as curmudgeon555 has written, Apple is making computers for the mass market.

shanerichmond on telegraph.co.uk

Do you think optical drives should be left off computers now? (Yes/No). If that happens, how many times next year do you think you'll curse your computer that doesn't have a drive when you need to reinstall some software? (1 – 2 – 3+).

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