By Evan Ackerman
It’s probably pretty silly to try and stuff an optical drive (even a small optical drive) into a netbook. But, that doesn’t mean that sometimes, perhaps even frequently, it can be nice to have the option of playing a CD or a DVD. The most convenient way to do it is a slim drive about the size of a disc that operates off of USB bus power so that you only need the one cable. There are quite a few reasonably priced options out there, but this drive from FastMac manages to stuff CD-R/W, DVD±R/W DL, and a Blu-ray reader into one small USB drive for under $100. For $299, you can add a 1x Blu-ray burner, and $399 bumps that up to 4x.
Considering that an external slim USB DVD burner will probably cost you at least $60 or $70, the extra 20 bucks isn’t much at all to throw the additional option of Blu-ray into the mix.