Apple's Officially Over The CD/DVD Drive, For Better Or Worse

I don’t like it. Not one iota. But frankly, it doesn’t much matter — Apple’s officially done with the optical drive, and there’s no evidence more strikingly clear than the mid 2011 refresh of its Mac mini. Last year, that bantam box arrived with a $699 price tag, pep in its step and a personality that could charm even the most hardened desktop owner. This year, a $599 model showed up on my doorstep promising the same, but instead it delivered a noticeable drop in actual functionality. Pundits have argued that you could tether a USB SuperDrive to the new mini and save $20 in the process compared to last year’s rig, but does relying on a cabled accessory go hand-in-hand with beauty and simplicity? No, and I’ve every reason to believe that Apple would agree.

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