I was walking around the show floor today and caught a glimpse of Antec's Solo II chassis with a slightly different optical drive bay.

It turns out that there's a new optical drive standard being worked on in the industry. The standard is for slot loading drives with a half-height profile. The drives are still 5.25" wide, but they just aren't as tall as the older drives.

Cases that have a fold down optical faceplate won't work with these new drives, forcing case makers to adopt. This Solo II is an example of what a slot loading solution may look like.
Expect to see these new slot load drives to hit the market by the end of this year, along with cases to match.
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  • Araemo - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    As others mentioned, is it really half the height of a standard CDROM?

    Second, isn't a standard CDROM already 'half height' (as opposed to full-height like this: http://www.ambry.com/hosted_images/242854-B21.jpg )

    I can understand the desire to refresh that form factor, but it doesn't look nearly as low profile as it could be, and would need to be to drive adoption.
  • Zap - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    Finally. Slot load drives are so much easier for casual use. Love it!
  • LordOfTheBoired - Thursday, June 2, 2011 - link

    Let's see... if this is about 2/3 the size of a current standard optical drive, that'd make it a 1/3 height device? Since current CD/DVD drives are technically half-height devices.

    I've got some old 1/3-height 5.25 floppy drives somewhere. I know why THEY weren't adopted, because they were unreliable. But a decade or two of techology advancement later...
    I always wondered why no one offered a CD-ROM in that size. And then ledges in the drive bay became common, and weird sizes became infeasable.

    But at this point... why is this not a laptop-sized drive?
  • ypsylon - Thursday, June 2, 2011 - link

    Have you ever tried to use 8cm CDs with slot-in CD/DVD drive? If not then probably because of that you are still alive. 8cm CD + slot-in optical drive = 8cmCD shotgun. No slot-in drive support 8cm discs which are still around.

    And frankly who need optical drives today anyway? Using them only to install OS [no other option] or some old games. Send CD/DVD/Blue-Ray into dustbin of history.
  • MamiyaOtaru - Thursday, June 2, 2011 - link

    about time. My ancient ~2001 tower (not my main rig) has slot load CD and DVD drives. I tried to get them for my new machine(s) but can't find them anywhere. Bring 'em back!
  • jjjacer - Saturday, June 4, 2011 - link

    current drives are already half height, original drives for the pc's back in the days of the XT and AT were 3 1/4 tall, now most drives are 1 5/8 tall. so if the new ones are half height to that, they should be called 1/4 height drives.

  • req7777 - Saturday, September 10, 2011 - link

    I was wondering if anyone knows where can I get one of those.
    I would fit perfectly in my moded media/gaming tower.
  • lmcd - Monday, March 25, 2013 - link

    could we just make slim half-height slot-loading the standard and call it? My SG09 is crying for this, so it can finally get a bluray drive for a reasonable price.

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