Users hoping to buy a MacBook Air USB Superdrive accessory for use with another Mac or PC other than the MacBook Air may be disappointed to find out that the accessory requires a MacBook Air to run.
Electronista explains that the requirement is due to the drive's higher power consumption.
While external optical drives have existed that rely on the USB port alone, the particular power demands of the Apple-made drive should prevent it being used elsewhere; the sole USB port has been boosted past its specifications to supply enough power to use the drive with just the data cable rather than a direct power connection, say contacts [familiar with the internal design of the system].
The drive does not include any way to connect it to AC power for use with standard USB ports found on other Macs and PCs. Indeed, Apple has listed the MacBook Air as the only compatible computer for use with the unit.