If you’re anything like us, then you know the best computing device is a laptop with an optical drive.
Remember when floppy discs ruled the world, and storing information any other way seemed unimaginable.
Then came shiny, 5-inch CDs and DVDs giving us the ability to store even more information in disc form.
But, as weight reduction gave way to slimmer/sleeker form-factors. The need and desire for laptops with an optical drive has all but vanished.
Graciously, there are still a few laptop models with CD/DVD drives for fans of physical media.
Laptop With an Optical Drive
- Laptop With an Optical Drive
- The Best Laptop With an Optical Drive-Comparison
- The Run Down
- Obsolescence of the Laptop with an Optical Drive
- 2 Major Reasons Why the Laptop with an Optical Drive Is Slowly Becoming Extinct
- Why You Might Still Need a Laptop with an Optical Drive (Even If You Think You Don’t)
- Here’s Exactly What to Look for in a Laptop with An Optical Drive
- The Research Method
- Best Laptop With an Optical Drive-Reviews
- 1. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-inch
- 2. Apple MacBook Pro (MD101LL/A) 13.3-inch
- 3. HP Notebook (15-ay011nr) 15.6-inch
- 4. Asus GL752VW-DH74 (Metallic) 17.3-inch
- 5. Dell Inspiron i5559-4682SLV Flagship (Touchscreen) 15.6-inch
- 6. HP (15-ay191ms) Touchscreen Signature Edition 15.6-inch
- 7. Asus ROG Strix (GL553VD) 15.6-inch
- 8. Lenovo IdeaPad 300 17.3-inch
- 9. Lenovo IdeaPad G505 15.6-inch
If you already know what you’re looking for in the perfect laptop with an optical drive. Here are the top picks:
The Best Laptop With an Optical Drive-Comparison
|Laptop||Optical Drive Type||RAM/ Storage||Processor||Price|
|Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-inch||DVD-Super Multi Double-Layer Drive||8GB/ 256GB SSD||2.5GHz Dual-Core i5-7200U||Check|
|Apple MacBook Pro (MD101LL/A) 13.3-inch||DVD-RW||4GB/ 500GB HDD||2.5GHz Dual-Core i53021M||Check|
|HP Notebook (15-ay011nr) 15.6-inch||DVD-Writer||8GB/ 128GB SSD||2.3GHz Dual-Core i5-6200U||Check|
|Asus ROG GL752VW-DH71 17.3-inch||DL DVD+/-RW/CD-RW||16GB/ 128GB SSD||2.6GHz Quad-Core i7-6700HQ||Check|
|Dell Inspiron i5559-4682SLV Flagship (Touchscreen) 15.6-inch||DVD+/-RW||8GB/ 1TB HDD||2.3GHz Dual-Core i5-6200U||Check|
|HP (15-ay191ms) Touchscreen Signature Edition 15.6-inch||SuperMulti DVD Burner||8GB/ 1TB HDD||2.4GHz Dual-Core i3-7100U||Check|
|Asus ROG Strix (GL553VD) 15.6-inch||DVD +RW||16GB/ 1TB HDD||2.8GHz Quad-Core i7-7700HQ||Check|
|Lenovo IdeaPad 300 17.3-inch||DVD-RW||8GB/ 1TB HDD||2.3GHz Dual-Core i5-6200U||Check|
|Lenovo IdeaPad G505 15.6-inch||DVDRW||4GB/ 320GB HDD||1GHz AMD E1-2100||Check|
The Run Down
If you still require an optical drive (like us) to load software for operating systems, games, applications for work, and school. How do you know what to look for?
To help you find the best laptop with a CD/DVD drive. Along with all the other components you’ll be needing for a solid system. We’ve put together a list of 9 laptops with an optical drive currently available. And we’ve whipped up an informative guide to help you decide which components are worth the investment.
Throughout this guide. You’ll see a detailed rundown of the most important specs, benefits and perks to help you buy the best laptop with an optical drive.
If you want actionable tips about:
- the 3 basic types of optical storage
- speed ratings of different types of optical drives
- and information about the 2 major optical drives you’ll find
We’d love to help you answer these questions in this guide.
Not exactly what you’re looking for? No worries. You’ll find links along the way to articles that feature less expensive laptops. With the best options for your budget: like this one below.
(Keep an eye out for our helpful PRO TIPS along the way.)
Obsolescence of the Laptop with an Optical Drive
Tech Quickie explains this phenomenon in better detail.
2 Major Reasons Why the Laptop with an Optical Drive Is Slowly Becoming Extinct
- Consumer demand as demonstrated by the sales figures of Ultrabooks and MacBooks-to compete with the push for slimmer and faster laptops. Manufacturers are incorporating slot-loading drives, which are easier to fit into a smaller chassis than tray loading ones.
- Many users find it more convenient to download and stream their entertainment-and thanks to online games, Spotify, Netflix and cloud computing. Soon laptop manufacturers may assume optical drives are a relic of the past users can easily do without.
Why You Might Still Need a Laptop with an Optical Drive (Even If You Think You Don’t)
For one thing, Read only formats like CDs and DVDs are great for archiving. So, a device that can access them is still required.
Furthermore, as of the writing of this article. Optical drives can still hold more information than SSD (Solid-State Drives). Especially when they have Blu-Ray functionality, which means there’s still a commercial need for a CD/DVD drive.
Here’s Exactly What to Look for in a Laptop with An Optical Drive
The three most important things to consider are the type of drive, it’s ability to Read and Write, and the speed.
Optical Drive Types
Laptops use 3 basic types of optical storage: compact disc (CD), digital versatile disc (DVD) and Blu-ray (BD).
- CDs, are good for audio and smaller data transfers. They can store 650-800MB (Mega Bytes) of data.
- DVDs, are designed for the compact digital video format. They offer enough storage for most games and applications. And, they’re backwards compatible with the CD format. A standard DVD holds 4700MB of data. (Dual-layer DVDs are the standard for the movie industry. They hold up to 8500 MB DVD).
- Blu-Rays are perfect for storing high definition videos. And archiving large amounts of data. You can store 25GB of data on a single-layer (50GB on a dual-layer).
PRO TIP #2: Optical drives are backward compatible, which means a DVD drive can play DVDs and CDs. And Blu-Ray drives can play Blu-Ray, DVDs, and CD’s.
Read, Write or Both
There are a few different drives available in the laptop landscape.
They are designated as: read-only (ROM). Or as Writers/Burners (designated with either an R, RW, RE or RAM). Writers/Burners will let you Read and Write onto CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray formats.
Here are the 2 major optical drives your sure to come across:
- CD-ROM and DVD-ROM: ROM (Read Only Memory). These drives can only read data. But can’t record it.
- DL DVD ±RW/CD-RW drive: This is where things get interesting. Let’s unpack it.
Ifixit.com provides a great resource for understanding more about “Optical Drive Types”.
PRO TIP #3: The great news for gamers is most often, the best laptop with an optical drive is a gaming spec notebook.
Laptop With An Optical Drive and Speed
Optical drives are rated by a number referring to the maximum speed the drive operates compared to the original standard of the CD, DVD or Blu-ray.
Many laptop manufacturers no longer list the speed. Or there can be more than one speed listed.
- CD-ROM Drive: Typically, only one number is listed, which is the maximum speed at which data is read. A second number refers to the speed at which audio data can be converted into digital format.
- DVD-ROM Drive: Usually lists two or three speeds. The first is the maximum speed at which DVD data can be read. The second refers to the maximum CD data read speed. An additional number refers to the ripping speed from audio CD.
- Blu-ray Burners: List their fastest recording speed for BD-R media. The drive may have a faster speed for handling DVD media than the BD-R. Get a drive that hast fast speeds for both types of media to burn media for both formats.
- Optical Burners: Can list over ten different speeds for different media types. Laptop manufacturers usually list a single number for the media that it can record the fastest.
PRO TIP#4: For compatibility sake, be sure the Read/Write speeds of the laptop drive matches that of the media type you intend to work with most often.
The Research Method
As old technology gives way to new innovations. Laptops with optical drives are fading away. But that’s not to say that the best laptop with an optical drive is completely wiped out from the portable computing market.
Every laptop on the list has comes with an optical drive. These picks are based on best all-round performance. User experience. At least 3.5 out of 5 stars at the time of this review.
Now, from among the most progressive brands we bring you amazing laptops from: Acer, Apple, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo.
Best Laptop With an Optical Drive-Reviews
This latest Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G has been updated with new components. Like the 7th Generation i5 processor to push it to the head of the class. It’s still a 10.2 x 15 x 1.2-inch midrange, desktop-replacement. With a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card. And Full HD (1080p) screen featuring ColorBlast Technology. A backlit keyboard. And about a 10-hour battery life. Though it has a sharp picture quality. It lacks IPS display for wide viewing angles. But photo/video editors, gamers and anyone who works from a laptop for hours will appreciate Acer’s BluelightShield technology. Which minimizes blue light emissions form the screen to reduce eye strain.
Yes. It’s old. But it’s still an Amazon best-seller with an Intel i5 processor. And here’s why. Though, it came to the market in mid-2012. And therefore, lacks the Force Touch trackpad. And Retina display of its newer brothers. Upgradable components make it a DIY dream. For instance, the 8.9 x 12.8 x 1-inch, aluminum, unibody chassis has two standard RAM slots that use SATA drives for storage. Instead of being attached to the motherboard like new models. As for ports. It’s the last of its kind to feature a full-sized gigabit Ethernet port. And optical drive.
For $80 more. Amazon has another version with the same specifications. With a 128GB SSD, instead of the 1TB HDD here. If productivity is what you’re after. Look no further than this 10 x 15 x 1-inch mid-range, desktop-replacement. You get 1080p resolution delivers sharp pictures. A feature you’ll find on mostly pricier units. You get 8GB of RAM. Which is upgradable to 16GB. The ‘Skylake’ 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6200U processor will deliver on most tasks. But unlike the Acer above. Here you only get an integrated Intel HD 520 graphics card. While a 1TB hard disk drive is generous. At 5400RPM, it’s slow.
On the surface, this 10.6 x 16.3 x 1.3-inch gaming machine doesn’t bear much difference to the Asus GL752VW-DH71 (which is about $250 cheaper). Among other things they share the same 17.3-inch design. NVIDIA’s 960M graphics card. Processor. And 6.6-pounds. But a closer look reveals 4GB of VRAM, instead of 2. A future-proofing hybrid storage solution, with a 128GB SSD. And 1TB HDD. All of which add up to a big difference when playing AAA titles.
If a touchscreen is a feature you’re really angling for. This 15 x 10.2 x 0.9-inch laptop delivers a multi-touch display. With Full HD resolution. And even more with a backlit keyboard. You get the standard 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 processors that’s popular in this price-bracket. And Intel’s HD 520 integrated graphics. Perfect for daily computing. But you won’t be able to do more than casual gaming-League of Legends. Minecraft. Counter Strike. That sort of faire. 8GB of RAM means you can open multiple browsers with no problem. You can expect around 5-hours of endurance from a single charge.
Are you a user in the hunt for value? Look no further than this insanely inexpensive budget, desktop replacement. The 7th gen processor. Multi-touch display supporting 10-finger gestures (a feature once exclusive to premium laptops). And 8GB of RAM. With a 1TB hard drive. Are just some of the highlights that serve as a clarion as top brands battle it out in this category. Some features we’re willing to overlook in this 15 x 10 x 1-inch laptop is a low resolution 1366 x 768-pixels display. Though it’s common in the budget category. The glossy coating makes a bad situation worse.
The discrete GTX 1050 graphics card will let you play most modern titles on medium settings. The 1080p display reproduces images sharply. Though there are sometimes issues with color accuracy. And the 10 x 15.1 x 0.8-inch body makes jamming the system into your backpack a synch. You get a deep, crisp feel from the keyboard. Making for an extremely comfortable typing experience. But the trackpad can be finicky, forcing you to be very precise when pressing the left and right buttons.
You get a basic 16.5 x 11.5 x 1-inch office laptop with solid performance. And a slightly textured design that can double for home use. The 17.3-inch display is glossy. And the color contrast could be better. But the 6th Gen 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6200U processor. With 8GB of RAM. And a 1TB hard disk drive. Gets every day work can done with ease. The keyboard deck gives in the middle as you type. And we wish the keys delivered a more satisfying click. But the touchpad supports multi-touch functions. You can expect an impressive 6-hours of battery life.
A value-focused laptop that delivers on a bargain hunter’s dream. This offering from Lenovo is perfect for surfing the web, and performing a few tasks on the go. They’ve even managed to squeeze in an optical drive in the 15 x 10 x 1-inch. But the 5.7-pounds makes it heavy to be a very mobile platform. To keep costs low. It’s kitted with an AMD APU, though it’s de-tuned to be more power efficient. That along with the low impact Radeon HD 8330 GPU. And 1366 x 768 resolution display. The system returns a battery life of about 4-hours. Gameplay won’t be exceptional. But you can get normal work done.
Thank you for making it this far. There was a lot of information to cover. But we hope you can use this guide to assist you as you shop for the perfect laptop with an optical drive.
As the CD/DVD drive becomes less common than as it used to be. The desire for a them has all but vanished. As you can see, several laptop manufacturers still support Optical Drives.
We’d love to continue this conversation with you about what make the best laptop with an optical drive in the comments section below.