Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm.

Amazon’s $35 External DVD Drive Will Make You Feel Young Again

AmazonBasics USB DVD

The optical drive in my iMac is getting moody, and there have been a few times when I wished I’d had an external disc drive around to use with my MacBook Air. So I added the $35 AmazonBasics DVD drive to a recent order.

It works! And it’s $40 cheaper than Apple’s $75 USB SuperDrive. The downside: It’s moderately ugly, in an AmazonBasics kind of way. And it comes with a weird dual-headed USB cord that you don’t need with a Mac. But if it’s stashed in a cabinet most of the time, who cares.

The real reason I am writing this review, however, is to relay the strange but delightful experience of loading a DVD into a disc drawer for the first time in years.

I have only used self-loading, slot-based optical drives since about 2007, and rarely, at that. Pressing an actual button to eject a disc drawer, then carefully loading the disc — using that weird, round, crunchy-sounding thing in the middle that holds the disc in, which I haven’t seen since a Discman — felt positively ’90s. (At least it didn’t require a caddy, like my old Apple SCSI CD-ROM drives.)

It took me back to an era when CDs were expensive, precious objects to be treated with absolute care — not cheap plastic things you stacked in a spindle or left out for months, upside-down, on top of the DVD player.

Anyway, then I tucked the drawer in, fired up my app, and took care of business. But for a moment, today — and for the low price of $35 — I felt decades younger. Thank you, Amazon.

Note: Purchases made through these links help support SplatF. Thank you.

Also: Here’s What Apple Propaganda Looked Like 15 Years Ago