Every now and again we see a new patent from Apple that shows us a different way to do things…and this one is very interesting. As you can see from the illustration (click on it for a better view), the idea behind this is to put the Optical Disk Drive on the bottom of a notebook computer to decrease the computer’s over-all size.
This come from a report from Unwired View:
From the article:
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 wastes 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
Is this a good idea? eh…I’m not sold on it. What do you think?
Ah, but don’t be fooled by the illustration in the patent application. Instead, think MacTablet – thin, light, full-screen on reverse, sides all in use for buttons and ports. In this configuration it certainly makes sense to put the drive on the bottom and shave away every ounce of weight and millimeter of space.
Is it convenient? NO! Intuitive? NO!
Only Apple could get away with it.
On the other hand, who knows? The ultra portable might have other feature that make you overlook it.
Let’s not forget that the world is moving away from optical disk and using iPods and other flash memory devices to carry their data and software distributors are using the Internet to distribute their content more and more.
Who is the most incovenient for? The real power and professional users who most likely would prefer a Macbook Pro to do their work.
I sincerely hope that this never makes it into any *Book portable. What happens when you drag the disc icon to eject it? Quick, drag and drop and rush to slam the display to pick up the notebook to get out of the way of the opening door? I significant amount of the time my current Powerbook is on a stand on my desk with all sorts of wires connected. It would be a royal PIA to wrestle that around to put a disc in the bottom. If it has to be in the middle of a surface, I’d rather see it on the lid instead of the bottom, but that would really affect the overall balance of the machine.
Given the alternatives… I’d rather that they just keep in on the edge.
My first gut would be that I would never pick up my laptop to stick a disk in. This would be a horrible all day process. But MacIdiot has a point, if they were actually thinking tablet, then it might be simpler. You still face the problem of how to easily change disks when docked at your desk.
If the drive is only nested there at the bottom but will be withdrawn, placed and used alongside the laptop when necessary… otherwise, the idea of lifting the computer high enough to swing open a door is a bit weird.
I’m not buyin’ it. Picking up your MacBook to insert a cd or dvd? No way.
Calm down, calm down… Have you seen what the patent applications for iPhone features looked like? Yuck-o.
If this ever makes it into Apple portables, it will be very different in form.
It always amazes me when people go, “so what happens when I click the eject button?” Your laptop falls apart, of course. Because you’re the first person to think of that possibility.
By the way, what happens when you click eject on ANY tray/slot drive with something in the way of the exiting disc? Think about it.
Maybe they are going to place it behind the screen … or under the keyboard, when it turns into a touchscreen …
haha, Its the sort of idea I would have on impulse – totally plausable at the time but in hindsight – lame.
There will simply be no optical drive at all in the new range! Or least I hope so, I dunno – even blu ray discs already feel dated and they havent even taken off yet..
I say solid state all the way 😉 lighter, more power efficient, less breakable, and in the long run, cheaper.