Fastmac on Friday announced
a Blu-ray optical disk upgrade
for Apple PowerBooks, iBooks and MacBook Pros. The upgrade costs $799.95. The low-profile drive also works in Mac minis. Fastmac estimates delivery within 10 days.
The drive replaces the existing optical drives on these machines with a Blu-ray model. Blu-ray is a high definition optical disc format that can store up to 50GB of data on a single disk, compared to 8.5GB for a double-layer DVD.
The drive supports reading, writing and re-writing to single (25GB) and dual layer (50GB) Blu-ray media at 1x speeds. It also works with DVD and CD media, able to write to DVD-R and DVD+R discs at 8x in single layer and 2x in dual/double layer mode; it can rewrite to DVD-R and DVD+R media at 4x speeds. The Fastmac drive also supports DVD-RAW reading and writing and up to 5x speeds and CD-R and CD-RW discs at 8x speed.
System requirements call for Mac OS X v10.2.8 or later. The drive is compatible with the following Mac models, according to Fastmac:
MacBook Pro (17-inch)
PowerBook G3 Pismo
PowerBook G4 Titanium (667 Mhz or higher)
PowerBook G4 Aluminum
Fastmac notes that the disc requires Roxio’s Toast 8 Titanium or other third-party software compatible with Blu-ray disc drives in order to add support in the Mac OS X Finder.
“Native support for Blu-ray burning within iLife & iTunes is expected in the future via Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, but cannot be guaranteed at this time,” said the company in a statement.