Only years after the first MacBook Air shipped without an optical drive, there’s now only one computer in Apple’s entire lineup that comes with one built-in, and there are rumors that the classic 13” MacBook Pro is going to be cut sooner rather than later. Of course, there’s the standalone SuperDrive for those who need access to CDs and DVDs, but Apple never resolved its licensing issues with the “bag of hurt” known as Blu-ray. A few companies have taken up the mantle, however, including OWC with its new Mercury Pro External 16X Blu-ray Optical Drive ($168). The new drive promises up to 16X write speeds for DVDs and Blu-rays.
This drive is of course capable of reading and recording CDs and DVDs, but it can also read and burn Blu-ray discs—on your Mac, you’ll need dedicated third-party software to do so. Thanks to support for BDXL-R, it can burn up to 128GB of data onto a single quad-layer optical disc, and supports the M-DISC format for backward DVD+R/RW compatibility. You can connect the drive to your Mac over USB 3, FireWire 400, or FireWire 800, and in addition to cables, two pieces of blank 25GB Blu-ray media are included.