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Thin MacBook with Bottom Mounted Optical Drive?
The newest patent focuses on where to put the optical drive in a notebook computer.
The drive itself is a pretty bulky thing. With all the necessary EMI shielding and structural integrity elements it gets even bigger. It is the biggest component of ultraportable laptop apart from LCD and keyboard. And it [wastes] even more space because it has to be mounted along one side edge of the computer, usually in that precious space in front of the keyboard where a lot of other goodies might be stuffed in. Right? Right?
Not necessarily. Apple thinks that it has found a much better place to put the Optical Disc Drive: at the bottom of the MacBook
In the patent description, Apple addresses the challenges of making laptops even smaller, and how the available area on the perimeter of the computer diminishes as the laptops get thinner. They do admit there are challenges to moving the optical drive to a different location however, including user familiarity and access door issues with a bottom mount.