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Reader question: Can you use the MBA Superdrive with other Macs?

Several readers have asked about using the MacBook Air's DVD SuperDrive on machines other than the MBA. As Engadget noted yesterday, the power draw on USB for the SuperDrive may be prohibitively high for standard ports to handle, and the MBA is engineered specifically to support the high-demand drive. An Apple support rep at the booth had only one comment: the drive is designed for the MacBook Air and supports the MacBook Air, full stop.

If you absolutely have to try out the drive on a different machine, best bet is to bring your laptop to an Apple Store in a couple of weeks, plug in the DVD and see what happens (there aren't drives out on the show floor for me to test with, unfortunately). There are other USB-powered options for disc burning, including the Plextor portable -- it does use 2 USB ports to guarantee adequate wattage for the power-hungry burn process, and it looks pretty awful, but it should get the job done.

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