Fastmac today announced the first & only Blu-ray optical drive upgrade for Apple’s PowerBook, iBook & MacBook Pro computers. The new slimline, slot loading drive uses one of the fastest & most compatible Blu-ray mechanisms to provide up to 50 Gb of storage on 1 disk, without sacrificing compatibility with standard DVD & CD recordable media. Fastmac’s Blu-Ray optical drive upgrade is scheduled to ship within 10 days and is available for pre-order for a special introductory price of $799.95. Each drive carries a 1 year warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee .

Fastmac’s new Blu-ray slot loading drive gives photographers, videographers & musicians the ability to save anything, anywhere- in the field, on location, in the studio, at work or at home. System administrators and database administrators can archive and retrieve large amounts of data on 1 convenient disk. And consumers can now watch today’s latest HD content in true high definition with surround sound anytime & anywhere they happen to be. Blu-ray is the next generation of storage technology & entertainment and it’s available today, only from Fastmac

“This new optical drive gives me the freedom to save anything, anywhere I happen to be with my new MacBook Pro,” said Edward Savio, President of Fastmac Performance Upgrades, Inc., in the press release “With this much storage capability, I was able to sort and backup my work on a per project basis.”

Blu-ray, also known as Blu-ray Disk (BD), is the name of a next generation optical disk format developed by a consortium of electronics and computer manufacturers including Apple, Dell, HP, JVC, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony & TDK. The format was designed to enable the recording and playback of High Definition (HD) content and to allow storage of large amounts (up to 200 Gb) of data. While current optical drive technologies rely on a red laser to read and write data, the new format uses a blue-violet laser (hence the name, Blu-ray). The blue-violet laser has a 38% shorter wavelength (405nm) than a red laser (650nm), allowing the drive’s optical pickup unit to focus more precisely than ever before. Data can then be packed more densely on standard sized disks. Despite using a new type of laser, Blu-ray drives are compatible with standard DVD and CD media through the use of a combined red, blue & violet optical reader and writer.

In addition to broad support from the electronics, music, computer & video game industry, 7 out of 8 of the major Hollywood film studios support Blu-ray media and 5 out of those 7 (Disney, Fox, Lionsgate, MGM & Sony) have decided to release their movies exclusively in the Blu-ray format. With its forward and backward integration with new and old media, Blu-ray is destined to become the successor to today’s DVD format.

Fastmac’s slimline Blu-ray slot loading optical drive supports reading, writing and re-writing to single and dual layer Blu-ray media at 1x speeds. The drive is also compatible with standard DVD and CD media and can write to DVD-R and DVD+R media at 8x speed in single layer and 2x speed in dual/ double layer mode. It can rewrite to DVD-R and DVD+R media at 4x speeds. The drive also supports DVD-RAM reading and writing at up to 5x speeds and standard CD-R and CD-RW burning at 8x speeds.

Fastmac’s slimline Blu-ray slot loading optical drive upgrade requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or higher and is compatible with the following Apple computers:

• iBook G4
• iMac G5
• iMac Intel
• MacBook Pro (17-inch)
• Mac mini
• PowerBook G3 Pismo
• PowerBook G4 Titanium (667 Mhz or higher)
• PowerBook G4 Aluminum

Blu-ray burning requires 3rd-party software such as Roxio’s Toast 8 Titanium, which enables Blu-ray disk support in the Mac OS Finder. Native support for Blu-ray burning within iLife & iTunes is expected in the future via Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, but cannot be guaranteed at this time.

More information about Fastmac is available via http://fastmac.com/slim_bluray.php

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