The end of the optical drive? Optical drive-less Mac mini in the pipeline…

The new Mac mini recently received a major upgrade in the form of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple’s new Thunderbolt port, Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge CPUs and optional ATI Radeon 6630M video. One thing was missed off in all of these upgrades though… The Optical Drive.

This isn’t the first time that Apple has tried to change the industry standard by removing oldĀ featuresĀ from their computers. All the way back in 1998, Apple shocked the industry by removing floppy disc support from iMac G3 – later proven to be a bit of an early move.

The soon end of optical media isn’t really a surprise to us here at thetechvoid. USB pen drives are getting cheaper and faster by the minute, hard disks are getting bigger and SSDs are getting (slowly) more affordable.

What do we think people? Is Apple jumping the gun by removing Optical drive support? Or, is Apple leading the industry in removing redundant technology and contributing to the inevitable end of the optical drive. Post your opinion in the forums here.

The 2011 Mac mini

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