You've seen our musings on the continued relevance of optical drives and it seems Samsung agrees entirely: it's just announced two external spinners to keep pace with our "evolving mobile entertainment demands." Er, great Sammy, but how? First off, there's the USB-powered SE-506AB Blu-ray writer depicted above, which will give that awful Pacific boxset one last chance on your ODD-neutered Mac or netbook. But that's not nearly as interesting as the SE-208BW CD/DVD writer, which doubles as a WiFi media hub to stream music and movies to your smartphone, tablet or PC. It works the other way round too: letting you backup content from your mobile device direct to a disc. It even supports Dynamic DNS and can cooperate with a flash drive or HDD to become a "personal cloud server." Still not impressed? This wonder drive additionally functions as a WiFi extender, or it can create an access point from scratch when cabled up to your network. Man, that's ODD OD. The media hub will arrive at the beginning of 2012, while the new Blu-ray drive should be out any time now. No word on pricing, but check out the PR double-shot after the break for the full specs.

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Samsung Unveils Slim Portable Blu-ray Writer Drive for Mobile PC Market

SAN JOSE,Calif. – September 2, 2011: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a worldwide leader in digital
consumer electronics and information technology, announced today its new slim portable Blu-ray Writer, the SE-506AB optical disk drive (ODD).

SE-506AB features a slim and sleek design with a hi-glossy anti-scratch surface. It is 12 percent smaller than Samsung's conventional Blu-ray drive to accommodate today's hectic mobile lifestyle.The slim form factor is also supported with a USB power interface that eliminates the need for a separate electrical outlet.

The SE-506AB drive is compatible with all major operating systems, including Win7 and Mac OS. In addition, the drive features Buffer Under Run technology to prevent errors that may result from writing speeds that exceed data transfer speeds, while also enabling PC multitasking.

Samsung ODD's exclusive AV connectivity technology is featured on the new SE-506AB allowing users to easily connect and play content via AV connectivity function on multimedia TVs with an available USB port.

The drive also improves upon previous ODD models, which only recognize the first sub-directory and 1000 files. The new SE-506AB model now recognizes and allows access to the fifth sub-directory and more than 3000 files.

The external drive provides a variety of speeds across different data media types featuring BD Quadruple layering. Specific speeds include: 6X BD-ROM, 24X CD-ROM, 24X CD-RW reading and 6X BD-R, 6X BD-R Dual layer, 4X BD-R Quad layer, 8X DVD±R, 5X DVD-RAM, 6X DVD+R Dual Layer, 6X DVD-R Dual Layer, 8X DVD+RW, 6X DVD-RW recording.

As an eco-friendly product, the drive offers low-power consumption and lead-free soldering technology, a design that complies with international environmental regulations that limit the use of hazardous materials.

The SE-506AB will be available at the end of August 2011 at online retail outlets.