Road warriors will soon be able to have their cake and eat it too. South Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics has unveiled plans at Comdex to ship a combination CD-RW and DVD-ROM optical disc drive for notebooks in the first quarter of next year.
Such drives promise to change the face of the notebook PC removable storage market by allowing manufacturers to do away with the floppy drive altogether, offering rewritable media through the CD-RW disc drive, while also providing DVD-ROM support. Disposing with the floppy drive will make the notebook PC smaller or, in the case of an external unit, mean users on the road have one less component they need to carry.
Weighing in at 280 grammes, the slim-sized Samsung drive aimed at notebooks measures 128-x-12.7-x-129 mm.
The Samsung offering is one of the first such models for notebook PCs but is not the first CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive on the market - Ricoh, Samsung and a few other companies already released first generation models for desktop PCs earlier this year.
Samsung was also showing a second-generation combo drive for desktop PCs. With read/write performance of 12x 8x 32x 12x (CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM), the drive is due in the second quarter of 2001, a company spokesman said. LG Electronics also showed off a similar drive, which is expected to hit the market a the end of the second quarter 2001 and features 12x 8x 32x 8x read/write performance.
Acer was also showing a prototype of its forthcoming CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive for desktops. The drive, which is expected to ship sometime in the second or third quarter of 2001, will feature read/write performance of 12x 8x 40x 12x, said Jennifer Ho, account manager at Acer.
"When prices for these drives start coming down sometime in the middle of 2001, we expect them to become hot sellers," said Ho.
While it did not show any drives on its stand, a spokeswoman for HP said the company's first CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive will be available in the first quarter of 2001.