The Optiarc mashup between Sony and NEC has spawned a new brood of DVD and Blu-ray Disc drives. For HD DVD lovin' NEC already seen dabbling in dual-format underpinnings, the addition of Blu-ray Disc drives to their product roster is a notable development in the format war and yet another possible sign of Blu-ray's emerging dominance. No less than four new Blu-ray devices for laptops were launched at CeBIT: the BD-5710S, the BD-5600S, the BD-5500S, and the BD-5500A. The BD-5500A (pictured above) writes at 2x to both single- and dual-layer BD-R, 2x BD-RE DL, 4x DVD-R DL and reads BD at 2x. Also notable is the AD-7191A 20x DVD burner which is also capable of 12x DVD-RAM, 8x DVD±R DL/+RW and 6x DVD-RW. With Sony owning 55% of the joint venture, we're not holding our breath for Optiarc HD DVD drives anytime soon. All the drives are expected to hit in the July timeframe.

Finally, the cigarette pack phone