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August 15th 2011 10:42 am

Decent external blu ray drive for laptop?

My wife is looking into buying a Macbook Air 13", but one of the key concerns is the lack of disc drive. I don't think it's a big concern, but I think having access to a disc could be important.

Buying the Apple Superdrive is $80, so that's somewhat pricey considering it doesn't play blu rays, but I don't know how much better it is than the $45 LG external player I saw in this week's Best Buy weekly ad. I have been trying to find a decent blu ray external drive on ebay/amazon but it seems that some of them don't come with software, which is pretty messed up.

Should we make the drastic change to the Macbook Pro the if she thinks she absolutely needs a disc drive considering the 13" models are virtually the same cost with education pricing?

Any tips? Experiences with external disc drives or the Apple Superdrive? If you know of a quality blu ray external drive for less than $100 please send me the link.
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Are you looking for Blu-Ray capabilities or just DVD? It sounds like there's a little confusion, as the Apple Superdrive and all Apple internal drives are DVD only. You need to decide, first, if you need blu-ray capability or just DVD. If you need Blu-Ray, the Apple superdrive or the MacBook Pro will not help you.

To make things more complex. there is no way (to my knowledge) to watch a Blu-Ray disc with Mac OS X regardless of software. However, I use makemkv to *rip* blu-ray discs with a Plextor PX-B310U on OS X and that works great. The files produced, while gigantic, are readily playable with VLC, and also easy to re-encode with handbrake. I've had no problems with the drive, but I have run into some films I was unable to rip.

I'll also just point out that the Apple drive doesn't require an external power supply. For an external drive, I find that pretty awesome.
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I bought this 2 years ago. It's USB powered (comes with a y-cable, 1 for power, 1 for transfer). I'm sure it's been replaced in model, but ASUS is a reputable brand.­/HfakjW6

Keep in mind that OSX does not natively play Blu-ray regardless of getting a drive - there's just no software for it. If you are set on reading BD on a Mac, you're looking at running Windows on it, which is what I do anyway for ripping. So you're whole price cap thing is irrelevant since you'd have to put money/effort into it just to read Blu-ray.
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I don't see anything under $100. One of the cheapest I could find is this one on sale for about $134­/item­/OWC­/MRSSBD6X/ but at least it is verified to be Mac compatible.
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In order to play Blu-ray disc, the first thing you’ll need is an external Blu-ray drive. There are several available including models from Buffalo, Samsung, LG, ASUS and Sony. Here is a detailed introduction on this.­/reviews­/the­-best­-external­-blu­-ra...
Mine is an external LG Blu-ray drive, pluged in my Mac-Mini 2.5 Ghz Intel Core i5
Software is Macgo Mac Blu-ray Player­/features.htm
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