Originally Posted by solipsism
That will be a happy day, just like when Apple shocked the world by removing the floppy drive. I haven't used the ODD for years, except to restore the OS, but we have other, better options for that. The ODD is taking up 25% of the case and 5" of port-side real-estate in the 13" MB/MBP. If not for the MBA being so thin that only a small capacity 1.8" HDD or SSD can be used I'd have gone with that. The HP Envys already go that route in their 13" and 15" models, but with sufficient performance, ports and storage capacity. It's the wave and way of the future.
I've posted so many times so I'll only put up a link this time to an xray of the MacBook. Check out that huge, slow, power-consuming component that rarely gets used these days: http://mikepk.com/wp-content/uploads...ok-xray-01.jpg
There's nothing more useful that the optical drive's space could be used for in a laptop. More ports for what?
More storage space than the TB you can already get with a single drive? More battery life than the 7hrs you can already get? Professionals exchange GBs of data every day, and it has to be done in a manner that's 1.) cheap enough you can send a disc away and not care if you never get it back, 2.) reliable, and 3.) shelve-able. Even if they were cheap, you can't shelve a flash drive, because you can't label it. Posting 4GB of data on the internet sucks, let alone 50GB; too many people work daily off slow, unreliable wi-fi connections to post files that large.
To eliminate the optical drive would be an extremely foolish thing to do. It's nothing like the floppy drive, whose demise was a no brainer given it's 1.3MB storage capacity and terrible reliability. People never had floppy drive players in their living rooms, game consoles, and SUVs like they do DVDs. When the floppy drive died, you could already email it's maximum storage quickly and without issue; we're nowhere near being able to easily share 4GB of data quickly and electronically — And if Apple would get with the times, we could be using optical drives whose storage is 6-12 times that which Apple offers its customers now. When you can attach 4GB of data to an email and send it in less than 3 minutes, we can talk about getting rid of the optical drive.
But hey, what am I talking about? Doing work with a Macintosh? That's so 2001. People shouldn't be doing anything with their computers these days besides buying movies, music, books and tv shows from the iTunes Store.