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Why Can’t I Find a Laptop With An Optical Drive?

Posted By cynthia On August 28, 2013 @ 11:00 AM In Hardware & Peripherals | 2 Comments

Mary writes:

I have been trying to find a laptop with Windows 7 and CD on it. I will need to install my programs and they are all on CD, but the computer do not have one. are CD going the way of a floppy disc? What about pictures and records we have saved?

Mary, it is getting harder and harder to find a laptop with a CD/DVD drive (an optical drive) these days.  In fact, Windows 8 doesn’t even come with a built-in DVD player/burner program. I recently purchased a Microsoft Surface Pro, my first computer in many, many, many years without an optical drive and it’s taking some getting used to.

You are right about CDs/DVDs as storage devices for computers, they are going the way of the floppy disc. Partly because they really don’t hold much information when you compare them to many USB flash drives. Also, computers are just getting smaller and lighter. There’s really no room on a tablet computer for an optical drive if you want the device to be small enough to be portable.

Another reason is that many providers of software are switching to digital downloads only or a subscription-based model [1]instead of a one-time only purchase.  Also, there is a shift towards cloud-based storage of files. That way you can access your files anytime from any device and don’t have to worry about transferring files when you change to a new computer. Or if your computer fails, important files are not lost.

Since you already have discs that you need to access, my suggestion would be to purchase an external optical drive to plug into your new computer when you need to access discs or burn a DVD or CD.  You should be able to find one for under $50.

I would suggest backing up files in the future to USB drives, an external hard drive or to cloud storage for ease of access. Cloud accounts like Google Drive or Microsoft SkyDrive are great options for sharing your files with others and for ease of access. DVDs are fine for putting information and files into the system, but not your

Also, I was able to look around online and find some options for a Windows 7 laptop with an optical with a CD/DVD drive, like this Dell model show below:

Many online sellers will allow you to first check off the operating system and features you want in a device to narrow the search. On the Dell site, I chose Laptops, then checked Windows 7 as the operating system.

Then I narrowed the search to only those laptops with a CD/DVD Drive.

I hope one of these solutions works for you.

~ Cynthia


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[1] subscription-based model : http://www.worldstart.com/why-is-software-being-sold-as-a-subscription/