Apple patent app shows optical disk drive on bottom of ultra thin MacBook Pro

“As notebook computers become increasingly smaller and thinner, Apple in its design labs is turning to new methods of placement for optical disk drives (ODD) in an effort to optimize the rapidly diminishing real estate of the portable systems, a pair of company filings has revealed,” Prince McLean reports for AppleInsider.

McLean reports, “In two separate July 2005 filings with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, published for the first time on Thursday, the Cupertino-based Mac maker a discloses ongoing development of a ‘disk drive media access system’ mounted on the undercarriage of a MacBook Pro that ‘opens a media access door to the interior of a disk drive sufficiently for ejection of disk media from the disk drive but insufficiently for manually engaging and removing disk media that is operationally positioned within the disk drive.'”

McLean reports, “Existing notebook system contain ODD modules that are self-contained units having their own enclosures and their own electromagnetic interference shielding. When placed within a notebook, the ODD modules have traditionally been mounted along one side or perimeter edge in order to provide user access for inserting and removing a optical discs (CDs or DVDs). But as notebook computers continue to become thinner and thinner, placement of the ODD is becoming increasingly problematic, the filing notes.”

Full article with many more illustrations from the patent application here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “MacademiaNut” for the heads up.]


  1. This is FUD. Steve’s fooling with you. Apple has an entire team of Sat Nite Live rejects who sit around and dream up phony patent filings to keep everyone like MDN from being able to figure out what they are really doing.

    Move on. Nothing to see here.

  2. It looks to me as if the hinges of this device are along the narrow side. I believe it is a design for a tablet or similar sized device. Perhaps this that “jaw-dropping” device to be introduced next year?

  3. There is an ultralight Sony Vaio that doesn’t have an optical drive at all. I’m assuming some people still buy it if the need for small size outweighs everything else. If Apple is able to come up with a form factor that’s small enough, I think people will get over the inconvenience of putting the machine to sleep, flipping it over, and ejecting the disc. Macs are so good at sleeping/waking, would this really be that big a deal anyway?

    Personally, I’d rather have the drive on the bottom. A flip-top keyboard seems a bit dorky and distinctly un-Mac-like to me.

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