updated 09:25 am EDT, Fri June 3, 2011
PC Blu-ray and DVDs moving to thin slot-loaders
The computer industry is moving broadly to a new standard for full-size optical drives, according to a discovery at Computex. The drives would still have the same width but would be half as thick, allowing either more drive bays or more free space inside. AnandTech's questioning on the Taipei show floor also revealed that the drives would also move to slot-loading drives and drop the long-term preference for tray-loaders.
Drives based around the format would be ready by the end of 2011. Generic PC case manufacturers like Antec would be some of the first to adopt the format.
The move would be primarily helpful for small form factor computers but could also help computer makers like Apple that are regularly space-conscious. Notebook-sized, slot-loading optical drives have been available for a decade or more, but these have usually had to sacrifice speed or carry a higher price. A new format could allow a system like a Mac Pro to fit more hard drives or other storage without having to cut into expansion for the rest of the case.