Whether a good thing or not, they will make it happen
One of the tricky parts about making ultrabooks is adding an optical drive, as there simply aren't many such products that fit the very thin form factor.In fact, even the slot-in, slim versions are unsatisfying for some product makers, especially when factoring in the prices.
After all, slimming down any PC component leads to a higher price most of the time.
In their quest to somehow solve this problem, ASUS, Dell and HP have decided to do away with ODDs altogether.
At least, this is what a recent report from Digitimes claims, referring to models whose screens have 15-inch or longer diagonals.
Apple's assumed decision to skip on the optical drive when making the new MacBook Pro is mentioned as the cause behind this turn of events.
The Q2-bound laptop is treated as a benchmark, the report says, meaning that if the MacBook Pro fails to gain popularity, notebook makers will reconsider their choice to gloss over DVD and Blu-ray.
We aren't sure if this is such a good idea, given the propensity of Apple fans to buy newly launched products without much internal debate.
Not that there aren't other motives, such as the fact that leaving the ODD out of the blueprints allows for frames 1mm thinner.
The price will also fall by around $20 / 15 Euro. Not a whole lot, but still a small step towards the coveted $700 / 530 Euro.
Acer was going to drop the ODD too, on its 15-inch and larger models, but it is still attached to the design that includes an internal optical unit.
It demanded manufacturers to provide a reference design too, but those plans have been put on hold, pending consumer reaction.
Notebook makers, and Intel, repeatedly promised that 2012 would be the year when ultrabooks finally became affordable. We still hope they'll manage it without eliminating any components.