Poll: Does your primary portable have an optical drive?

This week’s poll comes to us courtesy of TR reader Ben, who wonders just how many folks have an optical drive in their primary portable PCs. Optical drives are largely absent from netbooks and ultraportables, and some larger laptops give users the option of swapping them out for an additional battery or hard drive. I haven’t had an optical drive in my primary portable for a couple of years now, and I certainly haven’t missed its absence.

So, what about your primary portable? Does it have an optical drive? You can cast your vote over on the right column on the front page or after clicking on the comment link below.

Our last poll explored SSD use on the desktop. An impressive 29% of voters are already running a solid-state drive in their primary desktops. 9% plan to add one in the next six months, and an additional 17% figure they’ll upgrade within the next year. 13% have no plans for an SSD upgrade in the near term, and 32% are waiting until SSDs have cost per gigabyte more comparable to mechanical hard drives. Those folks will probably be waiting a while.

Comments closed
    • Blazex
    • 9 years ago

    ye its used quite often, mostly ripping cd’s and playing the occasional cd/dvd, every now and then it gets some burning time as slow as it can be, atleast it works and is there when i need it and dont have to lug it in a seperate case with a usb cable and all 🙂

    • HiggsBoson
    • 9 years ago

    Since my current “portable” is an iPod Touch 2G, the answer is no. But the desire to have or not have an optical drive is then irrelevant in this instance…

    • Hattig
    • 9 years ago

    My portable at the moment is a netbook, and I have no need of an optical drive, getting stuff from the internet or the home network. It hasn’t been a problem. I didn’t use the optical drive much on the previous iBook, apart from ripping CDs.

      • Waco
      • 9 years ago

      This.

      No optical drive and haven’t missed it one bit. Hell, I don’t think I’ve used the ones in my desktop in the past few years more than once or twice either…

    • PeterD
    • 9 years ago

    My prefered answer would have been: “Yes, how could it not have one?”
    My notebook dates from 2001. How old does a notebook have to be not to have an optical drive as a standard piece in it?
    By the way: I don’t use it often, because I don’t use my notebook very often.
    So, the two “yes” options are both wrong for me.

      • bthylafh
      • 9 years ago

      I’d wager that by the late ’90s they were standard parts on laptops. You’d still see some from that period that relied on an external drive with a proprietary cable connection, USB not being a viable choice back then.

      • paulWTAMU
      • 9 years ago

      They’re getting phased out again as more stuff is cloud based, and SD cards/thumb drives have become the primary way of moving files.

    • stdRaichu
    • 9 years ago

    My main laptop, a timeline 1810TZ, doesn’t have an optical drive and I’m glad to be shut of the things – all they ever seem to do is make alot of noise when you push the power button.

    My older more workhorsey 14″ HP still gets occasional use from its optical drive for ripping DVD’s.

    I’m quite surprised at the number of people saying they use their optical drives to watch films whilst on the move; learn to rip your DVD’s and you’ll be able to stuff a hundred on your hard drive or a few of SD cards and not have to deal with the constant hum of a DVD drive. You’ll get longer battery life too.

    • jackbomb
    • 9 years ago

    Yep, ripping CD and DVDs.

    • Voldenuit
    • 9 years ago

    Well, technically my X300 has a DVDR drive, but since I never use it, I replaced it with a spare battery instead.

    The only time I’ve had to use it was to restore the factory image, but since I can install Windows 7 over a thumb drive (and did on my desktop), I don’t even see the need for that anymore.

    Maybe I should have bought the X200/201 instead and saved some cash, and gotten a faster CPU in the bargain.

      • crose
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah, if only you were as smart as me. 😛

      I have an X201 but X300 still has some advantages like bigger screen and it’s not 16:9.

    • kizzmequik_74
    • 9 years ago

    Yes, but it’s next to useless. The optical drive on my laptop has only been used five times in the past four months, most of which were just OS installs.

    I’ll probably just swap it out for a second hard drive once I fill up the current drive.

    But then, backing up to optical media is a pain, mix CDs are out of vogue and there are alternate (and better) means of installing operating systems and games now. I could probably get by with just a single external optical drive for all my systems these days, just in case.

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 9 years ago

    I use mine for watching Blu-ray movies.

    • balzi
    • 9 years ago

    I know its a waste of time to complain about poll options – but I can’t help myself – what are the people who don’t have a portable computer supposed to choose? (I’m not counting my phone like some others might).
    silly biased poll options… <grumble grumble fading out>

      • Austin
      • 9 years ago

      l[<;o)<]l LOL

      • 5150
      • 9 years ago

      Agreed, where is the “gouda” option!?

    • Lianna
    • 9 years ago

    I’m not for the cloud storage, but if my portable’s HDD is too small, DVD’s are much too small, too. The only time I have to use DVD/CD is for installation of certain programs, or playing things not from Steam… and both of these things have to be done at home, ’cause it’s where my DVDs/CDs are. I used external optical drive for two years and while my current notebook has a built-in one, I have a long standing plan I will unmount it (just a few screws) someday to save weight.

    • Loch Ness Monster
    • 9 years ago

    My primary portable would be my phone so no.

    • moose17145
    • 9 years ago

    Yep, and I am glad it does… but then again i also use it to install games which i dot not have on steam… which is most of my game collection…

    • riquee
    • 9 years ago

    Nope, no optical drive on the ZuneHD.

    • ostiguy
    • 9 years ago

    Poll needs a no,but the docking slice has one option.

    • clark_b
    • 9 years ago

    My Droid isn’t big enough…..

    • PrecambrianRabbit
    • 9 years ago

    Seems like there should be a “Yes, and I use it once in a while” option, but I guess that “reasonably often” is a good enough match. My laptop is my primary computer (really my only computer since I don’t count the P4 and P3 desktops gathering dust in the corner of my bedroom 🙂 ), and even though I only occasionally need the optical drive it’s nice to have it there.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 9 years ago

    If nothing else, I used to think it was silly to not have a DVD drive because then you couldn’t watch movies, but netbooks and el cheapo laptops are starting to have much more capacity than I’ve ever needed on a desktop.

    Even flash memory is getting up there pretty quickly and thumb drives are down into the $5 range, wich really isn’t much more than I used to pay per dual layer DVD.

    Now my desktop doesn’t even have a DVD drive. Once I’d recopied most of my CDs, it became pretty pointless.

    • TaBoVilla
    • 9 years ago

    yes but recently found out it’s not working properly. It brakes down dvds while trying to write and now it won’t even read regular cds. =(

    do I miss it? hell no… untill the day I’ll have to reinstall OS.. that’ll be a sad day…

    • wira020
    • 9 years ago

    I remember having to send my old compaq laptop for warranty twice and have the optical disc replaced.. when i first bought it, it had dvd-rom (cd burn but not dvd burn).. it was actually broken because it fell off over 1.5m from a top shelf.. not much scratches btw, so they cant say i was responsible for it and replaced it for free lol… when i got it back ( 3 days ), somehow it became a Sony DVD-RW drive… i guess they were out of stock for the original…

    The 2nd time was when my mobo burned out because i blocked the v3000’s ventilation under the laptop… most of the time I use it on my bed so it got hotter than usual… after i took it back i noticed the dvd-rw was once again replaced.. the older drive started failing a bit so i guess they replaced just in case.. the hardware might not last very long but they sure are generous…

      • TaBoVilla
      • 9 years ago

      damn you need a toughbook

    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 9 years ago

    i have one and I use it fairly often

    laptop = portable blu-ray player

    • Veerappan
    • 9 years ago

    I most definitely have an optical drive in my laptop. It’s useful for watching DVDs while travelling, playing/installing games with CD checks, and ripping CDs.

    Yes, most of those activities could be done with data that is downloaded from the web, but I prefer to be able to keep playing my collection of older games instead of just throwing them all away (or ripping them all for Daemon Tools use).

    • nagashi
    • 9 years ago

    I bought an msi xslim a month ago and haven’t needed an optical drive yet. Unetbootin is much more convenient than burning, and that’s really the only situation I can think of where I might need one.

    My old machine was a dell inspiron and its cd rom was dead for most of its life. So I really haven’t had an optical drive in years.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    I only use optical for installing stuff, witch I do when stationary at my desk at home with my DVD drive that plugs in and I’m happy to not have that extra weight with me the rest of the time.

    • ludi
    • 9 years ago

    What should I vote for if my Timeline 1810TZ has no built-in optical drive, but a Sumsung USB DVD-RW rides around in the bag full-time for those occasional DVD viewings and CD-R backups?

    • bthylafh
    • 9 years ago

    My Acer 1410 doesn’t have one, and I really don’t miss it. The CD/DVD-R’s niche has been effectively taken by the far-smaller USB stick.

    It’d be a different story if I wanted to play games with copy-protected CDs on it, but the laptop’s too wimpy for most games, and there’s Steam anyway.

    • glynor
    • 9 years ago

    My current laptop is a 13″ Macbook (the strange non-pro aluminum one they sold for a year). It has an optical drive of course, but I don’t know if I’ve ever used it (and if so, an external drive would have been absolutely fine).

    My next laptop won’t, pretty much for sure. I also helped choose laptops for my wife and a good friend, the ASUS UL30V which doesn’t have an optical drive, of course, and neither of them have minded at all.

    Not worth the weight, battery drain, complexity, or propensity to break at all.

      • jpostel
      • 9 years ago

      I just got a 15″ MBP for work, and it has a DVD drive. My old HP had a removable DVD that I swapped for a 2nd HD.

    • ShadowTiger
    • 9 years ago

    I remember the first laptop my dad got for us when I was younger, the optical drive broke after a year.

    Honestly anything with moving parts does not deserve to be in a portable computer, even if they have improved the stability over the years.

      • PeterD
      • 9 years ago

      Well, “moving parts” is a bit of a no-go in computerland. They idea is that it’s easier broke.
      However, it turns out that usb thumbs don’t have eternal life either;
      So, whether that’s really a solution…

    • KarateBob
    • 9 years ago

    My only “portable” is my MSI Wind U100 netbook, which doesn’t have an optical drive. But my other portable, my PSP, has an optical drive, which rarely gets use.

      • jdaven
      • 9 years ago

      I hardly count the UMD slot in the PSP an optical drive of much relevance.

    • adisor19
    • 9 years ago

    Sadly it does. I wish that space would have been taken by a beefier battery.

    Adi

    • jdaven
    • 9 years ago

    Optical drives are so yesteryear. Long live the Cloud!

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 9 years ago

    yep. Si, señor!

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