The Official "Help Apoplectic Mac Mini Owners Find An External Optical Drive" Thread

As some of you may know, with the latest iteration of Apple’s Mac Mini computer, they removed the previously included internal optical drive:

For people that are CDFreaks or MyCE, this is no big deal, since most of us feel that laptop size optical drives usually suck monkey balls anyway.

However, in the Appleverse, this has caused an innumerable number of near-fatal heart attacks, as people have become paralyzed and unable to decide what they should do in the wake of this decision.

Apple does sell an external portable burner for $80, but I’m wondering if the great minds here at CDFreaks/MyCE can pool their collective wisdom, and think of the perfect companion burner for the Mac Mini, that doesn’t carry the standard Apple Tax. Note that, a lot of Apple lovers tend to value external aesthetics and design over functionality, so if you can suggest something that looks good when paired with the Mac Mini case, that would be appreciated.

Full disclosure: I personally am a die hard fan of the OS X operating system, so that is why I use Apple products. I don’t care much for Apple’s design fascism, or it’s more recent emphasis on the iPhone and iPad, but I tolerate that stuff as long as Apple continues to make sure that OS X is the best desktop OS in the universe.

If I had to buy an external dvd burner right now, I’d get the LG GE24LU20. Considering just the esthetics, it is a complete failure, but I personally wouldn’t waste money on a slim drive.

Samsung makes a silver slim drive, so that might be a possibility if form is going to override function:

I actually love the look of my LG external burner (same case, though it uses the much older GSA-H42L–it is the GSA-E40L) when paired with my MBP. I figure it would look quite nice beside the Mini.

A perfectly silver drive might look better, but I’d say a piano black drive looks nice, too. The black/white combo of older LiteOn external drives doesn’t necessarily look the best, for sure. But the glossy/piano black of my Pioneer DVR-216R seems to match well, so I’d think that a recent Pioneer drive would be equally nice.

Personal preference: I don’t believe in getting a slim drive for a desktop. If I had something like an ultraportable with no optical drive, I’d consider it, but it’s not worth the extra cost and decreased performance for me.