updated 10:30 am EST, Wed January 23, 2008
MacBook Air USB Details
The MacBook Air's special processor is not the only example of the ultraportable veering away from Intel's reference designs, Electronista has discovered. People familiar with the internal design of the system have explained that the external Superdrive DVD burner available for the notebook should only be recognized by the Air rather than any computer due to custom requirements from both the subnotebook and its peripheral.
While external optical drives have existed that rely on the USB port alone, the particular power demands of the Apple-made drive should prevent it being used elsewhere; the sole USB port has been boosted past its specifications to supply enough power to use the drive with just the data cable rather than a direct power connection, say contacts.
The computer's port should allow other optical drives; however, the design choice essentially limits the $99 add-on drive to the Air alone. No external AC power connector exists on the external burner to support systems that more closely follow Intel's official power requirements.