Slim laptop usage increases need for external optical disk drives

The PC's days as the unquestioned consumer computer market leader are quickly fading away, with tablets, laptops, smartphones and netbooks becoming more popular. While PCs can never offer the mobility that these options do, they do provide consumers with an unparalleled comprehensive set of features. The ease with which users can upgrade their machine's internal components has always been one of the PC's strong points. Not only do mobile options usually lack this capability, but they typically are devoid of such accessories as optical disk drives to upgrade. As the laptop market moves toward slimmer models, these longstanding features are being dumped in favor of sleek and lightweight designs.

However, there are moments where that lack of functionality can adversely affect consumers. For instance, an individual who recently purchased a newer model laptop may, like many other users, find that he or she has difficulty using the Windows 8 operating system. According to ZDNet, the OS has demonstrated a lower adoption rate than even Windows Vista at this point in its lifespan. The unwieldiness of Windows 8 has driven consumers to consider alternative options as drastic as switching to Mac products or downgrading to the OS's predecessor, Windows 7. However, as PCWorld recently explained, this is no easy task and may not even be possible on some systems without a boot disc.

For users who have invested in a slim laptop lacking an internal optical drive, this presents even further challenges. Without the capacity to read a boot disc, they will be stuck using Windows 8's interface. However, consumers can connect an external DVD drive through the USB port to add disc-reading capabilities to their machine. This way, users can install their Windows-based operating system of choice without purchasing an entirely new solution.

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