PowerBooks burn dual-layer DVDs with new MCE drive

Irvine, Calif.-based MCE Technologies LLC on Wednesday announced it is shipping the 8X SuperDrive, a replacement for the optical drive in Apple Computer Inc.'s PowerBook G4 laptop. The new drive is capable of burning dual-layer DVD discs, capable of storing up to 8.5GB of information. The same drive also fits in Apple's Power Mac G4 Cube.

Compatible with all of Apple's 12-, 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks, the 8X SuperDrive's price varies depending on which optical drive is currently in place: It costs US$299 if your machine now has a DVD-R SuperDrive or DVD-ROM/CD-RW "Combo" drive, or $349 if you have a DVD-ROM or CD-ROM drive. The difference in price is because of the different internal cabling and bracketing needed to install the drive, according to MCE spokesman Ben Perez. The drive is user-installable, however such actions may void your Apple warranty.

In addition to burning dual-layer media at 2.4x speed, the 8X SuperDrive also supports DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW media at up to 8x speed. It's bootable, according to MCE, and is fully compatible with iTunes, iDVD, Finder-based burning, iPhoto and DVD player. It's also natively supported by Mac OS X v10.3.6 or later, and is compatible with earlier operating systems using drivers provided by the company. MCE said the new 8X SuperDrive will ship in quantity starting December 20, 2004.

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