If you need an optical drive for your MacBook Air or Mac Mini for whatever reason, Apple’s SuperDrive has been the main contender for the past few years. But along with the Apple design, you have to pay the Apple price—$79 in this case. What if you could get the equivalent of the SuperDrive, plus a four-port USB hub and 2.5” hard drive enclosure for ten bucks less? It’s called Aegis NetDock – Mac Edition ($69-$229), from Apricorn.
This docking station offers serious expandability in a reasonably small package, and it all connects over a single USB plug. The optical drive is a dual-layer recorder, supporting all of the CD and DVD formats you’d expect. Two of the USB ports are always on, so you can charge your iPhone or iPad even when your computer is not hooked up. And the design of the enclosure makes it really easy to install your own SATA hard drive. If you’d rather leave it up to the pros, you can get your NetDock shipped with a 500GB or 1TB drive preinstalled.