updated 03:10 pm EST, Fri February 29, 2008
Apple and Dell Blu-ray
Both Apple and Dell are planning to make significant inroads into Blu-ray over the coming months, according to both official and unofficial sources. Citing an unconfirmed source, AppleInsider claims that Apple has tapped Sony for slot-loading Blu-ray writers for its MacBook Pro systems. Development is said to have been progressing far enough that the drives may have appeared in the most recent update to the portables but were held back by quality issues with both the blue laser and slot-load mechanism, forcing Apple to postpone its plans. A combo drive, which could burn DVDs and CDs but only read Blu-ray discs, was reportedly offered to Apple but turned down.
A release date for any Blu-ray equipped systems remains unknown, though Intel is set to unveil its Centrino 2 and accompanying new Core 2 processors in early June, which provides the earliest opportunity for a new upgrade to the professional notebooks that could add the HD optical drive technology.
Separately, however, Dell plans to offer one of the least expensive Blu-ray notebooks yet, according to statements by technology strategist Brian Zucker. Without providing many details, the expert claims his company will have a portable below the $1,000 mark in March that can at least read Blu-ray media, setting a new point of entry for the format. Dell already offers Blu-ray on many notebooks but often reserves it as an option due to the typically high price for these drives.
It was unclear as to whether the Dell system would be a lower-cost version of an existing option or else a new model entirely, such as a reworked Inspiron line.