Since Ultrabooks need to be very thin, they don't have integrated optical drives, as these components aren't thin enough to fit the guidelines. Samsung has an alternative though.
There isn't an easy way to make an optical drive very thin, Even slot-in models need enough room to accommodate the disk itself, the motor and the reading mechanism.
That is why owners of ultrabooks need to buy an external optical drive if they really want the ability to read optical media.
In this context, Samsung's SE-218CB isn't in any way novel or unique. It is just the latest USB-connected DVD writer.
Samsung did do its best to make it energy efficient though. In fact, the newcomer uses Smart Power Technology to minimize the amount of energy drawn from a laptop's battery via USB.
Physically, Samsung's invention measures 148 x 143 x 14 mm, or 5.82 x 5.62 x 0.55 inches. That’s 18 percent thinner than the company's low-end DVD writers.
All Windows 8 and Max OS operating system versions are supported, as is the Smart Archive Technology, which stores data safely and enhances the recording quality on DVDs.
Furthermore, the Buffer Under Run technology prevents errors that would otherwise result from writing speeds exceeding data transfer speeds. PC multi-tasking is a nice side benefit of this.
Finally, Samsung designed the SE-218CB with lead-free soldering technology (restricts the use of harmful materials) and various metallic finishes (to fit, visually, with the different ultrabook colors out there).
As a side note, there is nothing stopping prospective buyers from using the new DVD writer with tablets.
Samsung will exhibit the drive at CES 2013 and intends to strike deals with ultrabook makers, to ship it in a bundle with the ultraportable laptops. The price hasn't been revealed yet, unfortunately.
The company now has to see how it can persuade customers to actually consider buying an optical drive instead of a USB-connected flash, solid or hard disk drive.