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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > External SuperDrive Opinions?

External SuperDrive Opinions?
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Dedicated MacNNer
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Dec 27, 2012, 07:01 PM
 
I'm wondering if anyone has used Apple's USB SuperDrive, or a third-party equivalent. I need one for a MacBook Air, so if you know of one- especially one that travels well- please share your experience.
     
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Dec 28, 2012, 03:46 AM
 
Might as well, for the same price as Apple's Superdrive, get yourself a slim, portable Blu-ray burner.

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-SE-506AB-TSBD-External-Blu-ray/dp/B006B7R9QE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356702264&sr=8-1&keywords=external+blu-ray

And yes, it will work for burning Blu-ray disks on the Mac.
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raleur  (op)
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Dec 28, 2012, 04:08 AM
 
That's cool. Do you have one?

My main concern is travel- I haven't used an external CD/DVD in about ten years, and the few I did were very finicky.
     
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Dec 28, 2012, 09:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by raleur View Post
That's cool. Do you have one?
My main concern is travel- I haven't used an external CD/DVD in about ten years, and the few I did were very finicky.

No, I don't actually have one but was looking into getting an Apple Superdrive and ran across that Blu-ray burner for the same price. It's received pretty good reviews on Amazon too.

If I ultimately decide to get an external burner, I would get that Samsung Blu-ray burner over the Apple Superdrive.
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Dec 29, 2012, 01:23 AM
 
If I may, what do you plan to do with it?
     
raleur  (op)
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Dec 29, 2012, 07:07 AM
 
Not much at all, really. Occasionally I get cds or dvds of photo shoots from a client, and a few clients want "hard copies" of their finished projects. So I simply need something that will read and burn cds/dvds, and I'm hoping to find one that doesn't get uppity after a day of jostling at an airport.
     
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Dec 29, 2012, 07:18 AM
 
Gotcha. If you were actually going to watch DVDs, I was going to suggest ripping. Much easier on the battery.

Unfortunately, I have no travel experience with my SuperDrive. From an armchair perspective...

The good: typical Apple single aluminum billet on five sides.

The bad: USB cable is built in, so you have this tail poking out of what would otherwise be a nicely space optimized rectangular solid.
     
raleur  (op)
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Dec 29, 2012, 08:43 AM
 
Thanks Sub!
     
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Dec 29, 2012, 10:28 AM
 
My pleasure.

Sorry I don't have better info.
     
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Dec 29, 2012, 12:42 PM
 
I'd get a non-Apple one with a tray instead of the slot-loading Apple one.
     
raleur  (op)
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Dec 29, 2012, 04:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
I'd get a non-Apple one with a tray instead of the slot-loading Apple one.
I wish I had read this earlier- why?

Anyway, I went ahead and picked one up today, and I'm giving it a workout now. So far, it's doing all right- doesn't mind being jostled, or uneven surfaces.
     
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Dec 30, 2012, 08:07 PM
 
I've anecdotally observed slot loading drives to be more failure prone, particularly in the disk loading mechanism. Also crap from your bag can fall/slide inside the slot, which is less likely with a tray loading drive.
     
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Dec 31, 2012, 07:47 AM
 
I bought one of these when I realized that blank dual-layer DVDs cost literally the same as blank BD-Rs. If you have specific questions, I may be able to help.

Blu-Rays work just as well as DVDs for archiving files under OS X. My experience has been that that Finder will let you put up to 25 GB on one (single-layer) BD-R, but for me at least, failure rates are very high if you put more than about 24.85 GB - so unless you have amazing success rates, I wouldn't recommend filling the discs "to the brim."

Provided that I keep the size under about 24.85 GB, though, success rates are at least as good as DVDs. They burn reliably and work fine. Unsurprisingly, it takes longer to burn a BD-R than a DVD, but it is bearable.

Sometimes it is kind of hard to close the tray, but it isn't significant enough to be bothersome.

Yeah, I know, it's a Samsung - I bought it before they became controversial.
     
raleur  (op)
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Jan 6, 2013, 10:42 PM
 
Thanks for the good advice, guys.
     
raleur  (op)
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Jan 12, 2013, 03:20 PM
 
Just an update for anyone who's interested- after two weeks and about 15K miles on plane and train, the Superdrive worked like a champ- no problems whatsoever.
     
   
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