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on June 27, 2012
This "Apple USB Superdrive" is basically the exact same thing as "Apple Macbook Air USB Superdrive", except with the new Macbook pro's shipping out without an internal disc drive, they just decided to drop the "Air" from the Superdrive.

What is wonderful about this drive is that it only requires one USB Port. Often you'll find external drives requiring 2 USB ports, one for Power, and one for data. On a laptop with as few USB Ports as Apple ships with, this is borderline unacceptable. As a computer Engineer, I need at least 1 port free for various interfaces, so an external drive that requires both my usb ports just wont work.

Design: While I have my gripes about Apple, build quality is not one of them. This thing is sturdy, thin, and requires a minimal amount of desk space. I actually fashioned a "bookstand" like enclosure which makes it vertical, which means it takes up even less desk real estate.

Speed: I didn't notice any major difference in speed between a medium quality laptop internal disc drive and this one.

The one thing I wish it had: Blu-ray support. I can dream can't I? That said, discs are on their way out. Which is why I'm okay with the superdrive being seperate from my laptop. I only use it when I'm at my desk anyways.

All Said and done: If you already have the superdrive for the air, don't get this one, its not any different, at least not enough to notice. If your computer does not have a disc drive like the air and retina pro, this is the drive to get, if you plan on using it for anything besides emergency purposes. If you plan on using an external drive 1-2 times a year, there are cheaper options out there. That said, this one is a great blend of build quality, ease of use, and not using a ton of my valuable ports.

Update: I had a chance to look at an air superdrive again, the USB Cord does appear to be a couple inches longer on the new superdrive. This is actually a much appreciated addition, I had forgotten how short the old USB cord was. I wouldn't have had room to plug it in from the back of the desk with the old cord length, I do now.
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VINE VOICEon March 20, 2014
I knew when I bought my MacBook that it did not come with a DVD drive. I wasn't too bothered by this as I already had most of my software and was just going to migrate it over from my other Mac. Unfortunately I had people coming in wanting to use my computer to show presentations to our staff. Often times they had it on DVD. Why they couldn't have brought a flash drive or E-mailed it to me I don't know.

But here they come DVD in hand. So, I purchased this external drive.

It is small, compact, lightweight yet sturdy. It doesn't need it's own power source as you plug it in to your USB port and the computer provides all the power it needs. It works like a charm and hasn't missed a beat since I hooked it up.

If you travel and want to take it with you it is small enough and light enough that it isn't going to cost you any concern in packing.

Again, I don't use it often and really I only use it for people who are so 'old school' that they bring me a CD or DVD. But it was a great solution.

Enjoy!
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on April 7, 2015
Experience: 1-2 weeks, around 40 CDs read (less than 40 read successfully)

Pros:
- It works (sometimes)
- It's quiet
- It has a decent appearance (superficially appealing)

Cons:
- It doesn't always work, even with CDs that are barely scratched. I had several CDs that didn't have many scratches, eject prematurely without importing completely to iTunes (and yes, I tried importing them with and without error protection enabled...I also tried "dd," a lower-level command-line program, and it still didn't work, so it's pretty clear that the issue is with the drive's capacity to read disks).
- It sometimes gives issues ejecting disks successfully, and as there is no emergency ejection button like that little hole on desktop CD/DVD drives, if the disk doesn't eventually eject, you've lost both the drive and the disk -- which is a high cost and inconvenience.
- The cord is extremely short. The MacBook Air I use it with is essentially a laptop and I can't use this drive while I have the MacBook on my lap because the cord really is that short. I've also read that you can't use a hub/extension to the cord because it won't work.

Overall:
My honest rating is 2 1/3 out of 5, but that's not an option, so I gave it a 2/5. The truth is, it does work some of the time and that's useful for CD/DVD media when you're on the go and away from a desktop. That said, there are certain CDs that could be read by a 10 year old CD/DVD drive in an old desktop, that this drive wouldn't read. In my mind, that is simply unacceptable. This is a new drive and it should read disks at least as well as a 10 year old CD/DVD drive. It seems to me that they spent all their time and effort making this drive look pretty, without much concern for its functionality. If it weren't for the fact that I purchased AppleCare protection for my MacBook Air, and this device is covered as well, I would've returned it already. I don't have much experience with Apple products in general, but this is certainly the worst device of theirs that I've encountered, thus far.

Recommendation:
I wouldn't recommend this to a family member or friend unless they had the AppleCare protection and were well aware of the issues in quality, and even then, deciding to get this should be their own decision, and done at their own risk. If they did not have AppleCare protection to use this with, I wouldn't recommend to get this drive at all. After my AppleCare protection expires, if this drive breaks, I would not get another one of these -- without question, I would go with another manufacturer.
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on March 28, 2013
PRO's:
--Very quiet operation
--Familiar slot-load mechanism if you've been using Apple stuff for the past years
--With your optical drive-less Mac, it Just Works. No compatibility issues.

CON's:
--USB 2.0 cable might be a tad short for some
--Joint connecting cable to rear of drive seems rather under-engineered for something from Apple; concerns with long-term durability
--Pricey when compared to some external CD/DVD drives
--It Just Works -- until a warped or damaged disc gets stuck. See next con...
--No forcible eject (paperclip-accessible) hole. If you can't get a disc out, disassembly of the drive might be necessary (ugh)

BOTTOM LINE:
--Not my favorite product from Apple. For the price, it should have a standard USB 2.0 connector--or at least *some* kind of replaceable cable on the rear of the drive's external case. This might not be too big an issue for me and not carrying with me while I travel (it's dedicated to home use with a Mac Mini or 2013 MBA), but I would be nervous about long-term wear on the cable if moved around a lot. A forcible eject button/pinhole would be appreciated. Beyond that, it's quiet, relatively fast, and it Just Works.
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on January 17, 2015
It gets only 2 stars not because of it's performance but because of a problem with compatibility. I ordered this because the CD/DVD drive in my MacBook Pro ( 10.6.8 ) went out. I got it and found that it was not compatible with my computer because my laptop ( which I got in 2011 ) was too old and the drive, when hooked up would not work. I wish I'd known this before I ordered it because it was really what I wanted. Otherwise, I was impressed with it's sleekness and that you can push the disc in and eject it without the use of a tray which is what most other models seem to have. It's slim and the cable is attached not plugged in so there is no problem with losing the cable. The cable is not very long, that might be an issue with some people. The silver matches the housing on the laptop. Just wish they'd made it compatible with any MacBook Pro. Be sure to check before you order it. I did plug it in and it would not take a DVD under any circumstance. Again, I wish it was a Universal external drive or at least functional for any Mac, no matter the age. No alternatives from Apple are available. I got a Samsung after this and I'll be sending it back. Still looking for a good external drive.
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on March 6, 2014
So, the product looks great, arrived in record time, was packaged wonderfully, but does not work on my MacbookPro or any one of my older iMacs.

Purchased to be used instead of the internal CD/DVD drive on the Macbook Pro that is not working. Thought it would be easier than swapping out the old CD/DVD internal drive. Wrong assumption - get that now.

Anyway, I spoke with Apple support and this only works on apple products that do not have an internal drive.

I gave it the 4 stars because I am sure it would have performed fabulously had I understood from the get-go where it was going to work and where it wasn't.

Don't make the same mistake I made.
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on April 19, 2014
Like with so many other older-iMac users, I "replaced" or swapped out my older iMac (2009) internal factory apple super DVD drive with an internal SSD drive. Then, naturally I needed an "external" APPLE SUPER drive. Bought this "Apple brand" external USB DVD drive.
Now... as some already know, your iDVD program WILL NOT see or recognize this the now "external" drive UNLESS you FIRST make some alterations or tweaks to the iDVD data file by your using a HEX editor program. I will not explain that process here, but with an easy search on the net you can easily find the "full-How-To" process. You will use a HEX editing program and find-load the correct iDVD data file that must be edited, then replacing ALL occurrences of the word "internal" with "external" within that iDVD data file. Then save it. Then you must also follow the finalize steps exactly as described. From that point on, iDVD will see this external super drive and work with it. Precise details are available on the web. This is also for anyone who's factory internal Apple Super Drive broke and you thus need an external Super drive. And don't want to pay the high cost to repair-replace your broken factory internal DVD drive on your older version iMac that comes with the internal super drives. This will work with ANY iMac that comes with the factory internal DVD drive. But ONLY use the APPLE-BRAND SUPER DRIVE as is this USB Apple Super Drive sold on Amazon. Nuff said. Do NOT settle for imitations brands.
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on December 22, 2014
As a drive, it's OK but surely not exceptional.

BUT, it get's points off for being designed with a short connector; in fact, that wouldn't be bad but that for the premium price Apple should have included a 3 ft. extension cord at no extra charge. Frankly, I've lost track of the number of times my drive has fallen off the table because of a slight shift in the position of my Mac.
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on November 27, 2013
I'm over generously giving it five stars, just because it's Apple, and it's [Apple] BIOS will treat it as though it's an internal drive IF it's plugged directly into USB port of an Apple Computer (that does NOT come with internal SuperDrive) It's my understanding it WILL NOT BE RECOGNIZED IF you plug it into a MAC Computer that ALREADY has internal DVD drive! I've gotten one of these for every model of Apple computer I have, that DID NOT come with internal DVD drive (which now days, is EVERY model of Apple Computer) Other reviewers have commented on it's annoyingly short USB cable (shown in illustration) I had to get a USB Extension Cable for each one, to make it practical! On Apple computers with 4 USB ports, it works okay plugged into one of the 4 ports. It wasn't until I got late model MacBook Pro (no internal DVD drive) with only two USB ports, and attached USB hub, that I discovered the Apple USB SuperDrive will NOT work when plugged into USB hub! iI MUST be plugged DIRECTLY into one of the Computers USB ports, which ties up one of the only two USB ports! On OS X Mavericks, it even generated an on screen error message, saying it HAD to be plugged DIRECTLY into computers USB port (even though it was a POWERED USB Hub!) This is a big issue for me and anyone else attempting to install Windows 7 on a Mac Computer (which I've done numerous times) using Mac OS X BootCamp Utility. I discovered that during the Install process, with the Windows 7 install DVD in a second party NON Apple DVD drive in USB port, you will end up looking at a Black Screen with a flashing white cursor! It wasn't until I put the Windows 7 install DVD in the Apple USB SuperDrive (which apparently IS recognized as though it were an INTERNAL DVD!) that the Windows 7 install completed properly! It's a problem, because this Apple Computers ONLY remaining free USB port must then be occupied by a USB Keyboard and Mouse (mouse plugged into keyboards port) so Windows will recognized the USB Keyboard and Mouse to complete the Windows 7 install process (the drivers for the internal Apple Keyboard and Trackpad have NOT been installed yet, so they probably won't work!) I can't confirm this, but O.W.C.'s Website reported some Apple DVD Software programs might not work properly if you aren't using an Apple SuperDrive. But I found that non-Apple branded External USB DVD drive plugged into a powered USB Hub was recognized and seemed to work okay for some routine activities (but not when you're trying to install Windows!)
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on May 14, 2015
Is exactly what it seems. A basic drive, aluminum, attached USB cable that plugs into (in my case) a recent vintage iMac, works with media software and controls, and is doing fine with old DVDs and music CDs. Commonly described nits are true: short USB cable, must use a precious USB port on computer (can't plug into basic USB 3.0 hub, and no ability to add blu-ray and no upgrade model/software from Apple. And is a bit pricey. But I knew these when making a purchase decision. I have not found additional nits based on my use.

I like the disk insert and eject distances ... push a disc mostly in before drive grabs disc, and eject pushes disc out far enough to handle but no farther. So no chance of disc moving mostly outside the drive without your hand on the disc. This is an issue with most slot entry drives. Not this one.

It makes the spinning sound when spinning up, and insert and eject make sounds. Nothing unusual. When the disc is playing I don't have the drive, even when I must the sound.

It's a keeper until Apple gets more serious about media players (blu-ray, 4K video, ...) or a comparable quality drive is getting 5 stars when used with Apple computer, has fully Apple-ecosystem-integrated software, and supports the higher quality media forms.
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