Apple USB SuperDrive Explained

MacBook Air USB SuperDrive
Source: – MacBook Air USB SuperDrive

The Apple USB SuperDrive, initially sold as the “MacBook Air SuperDrive”, is an external CD & DVD drive developed, produced, and marketed by Apple from 2008 to the present day. Introduced on January 15, 2008, alongside the first MacBook Air, it was originally priced at $99.

The USB SuperDrive boasts a sleek and compact design, making it a versatile optical drive solution for various purposes. Whether you’re in the office or on the go, this device allows you to play and burn both CDs and DVDs with ease. Its functionality extends to watching DVDs, installing software, creating backup discs, and more.

Portability is a key feature of the USB SuperDrive, as it is only slightly larger than a standard CD case. This compact size enables effortless transport in your travel bag, ensuring minimal space usage on your desk or tray table during work sessions.

The device is designed for simplicity, featuring a single USB-A cable for connection to your Mac. This cable is integrated into the SuperDrive, eliminating concerns about lost cables. For Mac systems with USB-C ports, compatibility is maintained through the use of a USB-C to USB-A adapter, sold separately. Additionally, the USB SuperDrive operates without the need for a separate power adapter, functioning seamlessly whether your Mac is plugged in or running on battery power.

Compatible with Mac models from 2008 onwards that lack a built-in optical drive, the USB SuperDrive provides flexibility across various Apple product lines. For MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac models equipped with USB-C ports, compatibility is achieved with the use of a USB-C to USB adapter (sold separately).

On June 11, 2012, the product underwent a name change to Apple USB SuperDrive, which remains available on the market today at a reduced price of $79.

Functionally, the MacBook Air SuperDrive / USB SuperDrive is a slot-loading external CD & DVD drive capable of reading and burning CD / CD-R / CD-RW / DVD / DVD±R DL / DVD±RW discs via a USB connection with a supported Mac.

As of today, the Apple USB SuperDrive celebrates 17 years since its introduction, highlighting its enduring presence and utility in the realm of external optical drives.

Apple USB SuperDrive
Source: – Apple USB SuperDrive

Apple USB SuperDrive Details

IntroducedJanuary 15, 2008 (MacBook Air SuperDrive) – 17 years ago
June 11, 2012 (USB SuperDrive) – 11 years ago
DiscontinuedJune 11, 2012 (MacBook Air SuperDrive) – 11 years ago
Time on the MarketAvailable continuously for 17 years
Model IdentifierUnknown
Model NumberA1270 (MacBook Air SuperDrive)
A1379 (USB SuperDrive)
Order NumberMB397G/A (MacBook Air SuperDrive)
MC684ZM/A (MacBook Air SuperDrive)
MD564LL/A (USB SuperDrive)
Original Price$99 (MacBook Air SuperDrive)
(USB SuperDrive)
Weight11 oz.
311 Grams
Dimensions0.67” H x 5.47” W x 5.47” D
1.7 cm H x 13.9 cm W x 13.9 cm D

System Requirements

  • MacBook Air or Mac mini Server (MacBook Air SuperDrive)
  • Mac models from 2008 and later that don’t have a built-in optical drive (USB SuperDrive)

Storage Specs

TypeSlot-loading 8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Capacity650 – 700 MB (CD / CD-R / CD-RW)
4.7 GB (DVD / DVD±R / DVD±RW)
8.5 GB (DVD±R DL)
Data Transfer Rate24x (CD / CD-R)
16x (CD-RW)
8x (DVD / DVD±R / DVD+RW)
6x (DVD-RW / DVD±R DL)


ConnectionUSB 2.0



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Further Reading and References

Disclaimer: The data presented in this article is under continuous development and has been manually collected from various sources based on their availability. The author of this article may revise this dataset as additional research is conducted and reviewed. Please note that the information is provided “as is” and “as available” without express or implied warranties. The author cannot be held responsible for any omissions, inaccuracies, or errors in the published information. Any warranties relating to this information are hereby disclaimed.