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MS Surface Pro 3 - do I need an optical drive?


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I just purchased a MS Surface Pro 3 computer to replace my 17" laptop for use when we travel with our 5th-wheel. As is the case with most, if not all, small laptop and notebook computers the Surface Pro 3 DOES NOT have an optical drive (CD/DVD). Do I need one? Come to think of it I really don't often use the CD/DVD drive on either my home PC or the old laptop. The portable drives aren't expensive, it is just the question of do I want or need one to have around.

What about you folks?

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Glenn

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Congratulations on your new 'Pooter!

I had a big bulky one I used maybe twice for my old school netbook years ago. Now I have a slim one that has two USB cables in case it needs more power. To be honest I have used it only a couple of times to burn emergency boot disks for my tablets. But now with Windows 8 it is easier to make a USB recovery stick (Min 16GB) and use it than to use CDs. Having said that I would not get rid of it for decades as old CDs and DVDs, despite the naysayers saying that CDs won't last more than ten to 20 years, they do. I was a professional DJ on weekends while I was active duty and more fulltime after I retired from active duty. But after I turned 55 I decided that lugging around the big speakers and 3000 CDs I had accumulated since 1983 (more than 35,000 cuts as I bought 98% best of and greatest hits CDs along with many of the Billboard series and Time Life etc. I pretty much have the greatest hits from 1933 to 1998 in rock, big band, crooners, pop, country, rap, jazz. Swing, classical, new age and the old punk and New Wave) I can tell you that the CDs I bought in 1983 when I started my transition to them for DJing professionally are still in great shape. They are kept in big 250 some a bit more some a bit less CD storage books with the covers folded up opposite them. I only decided to rip my collection about five years ago and that took eight hours a day for a month just putting one in, then replacing it with another after checking that it had the cover and track info correct. I now have all my tunes on three separate hard drives, that get replaced and backed up every few years anyway. I never want to have to do that again. My kids know better but some "friends" were upset that I won't share my purchased music with them by burning them CDs. That not just for public statement but I still buy CDs. Cheapest way to get music is to buy CDs for a buck-buck ninety nine at Pawn shops and Goodwill stores to fill out our pre and post digital age source music. Yes I download from Amazon but only use Windows Media Player not iTunes or other third party software.

 

So despite having Bose radios with CD players, I still want my ability to rip to a tablet later as I replace our desktops with them in the next few years. Twenty years from now the blue dyed home made CDs and DVDs might deteriorate but the "burned" retail CDs and DVDs I have, have not had a single failure. Many are 32 years old now and play fine.

 

So unlike floppys and albums, I expect to have CDs floating around for a long time and I want to rip the ones I buy. I just sold my last 3.5" floppy reader because those mostly are done by now, though there are always some exceptions.

 

They are cheap enough to get for under thirty bucks later should you ever need one. Or if you do have a full HD 1080 p TV and no BluRay Player you could order one of the new slim ones that also do archival quality M-Disc 200 year BluRays that need a special burner but store 25GB per disk. If you value your photos and writing these are the heat and my next purchase once they come down a bit in price. Here are the M-Discs as an example: http://www.amazon.com/M-DISC-Blu-ray-Permanent-Archival-Backup/dp/B00LWBCV80/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1430859210&sr=8-4&keywords=archival+discs

 

The burner I have my eye on is this one: http://www.amazon.com/LG-External-Portable-Compatibility-Playback/dp/B00L4FW7O2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1430859417&sr=8-2&keywords=M-+disc+portable+burner

 

If you read the reviews on it you'll see it can supports 100GB discs.

 

If you don't already have a BluRay player this would allow you to play them for full fidelity on any 1080P TV.

 

So if your discretionary budget allows a bit more you could kill six birds with one stone. BluRay/M-Disc/MultiLayer up to 100GB per disc/DVD/CD/and 3D capability in one unit.

 

Disregard the two USB comment. Your tablet has a full size USB slot so when home you can connect a 4-7 port USB3 powered hub to your tablet and connect both USBs and even wired full size keyboards/mice and hard drives to your tablet. Just plug them all into the powered hub and the hub to your Surface. I already have and use tablet stands too. I will have a desktop station with a tablet holder at closer to eye level, my powered hub which I already use with my Windows tablets, and a full size keyboard with touchpad to the side or mouse wireless and both connecting the same Logitech USB receiver plugged into the powered hub. Don't waste money on expensive custom docks. I don't.

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I have a Surface Pro 3 as my primary laptop. My wife uses a Sony Vaios running Linus as hers. I have a desktop computer that is mounted behind the main TV in the living room. The desktop PC is the only one with an optical drive. It is mounted at the top of the case and I cannot reach it where it is mounted. My thought was to buy a USB CD device if I needed it. I have used this setup for neearly 2 years and haven't gotten around to getting an optical drive. I suppose if if I need one, I can find a computer room in an RV park somewhere and copy the data to a USB drive. Haven't needed to yet, though.

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You can get external USB-connected (and powered) drives at Costco, Walmart, and many other stores. They are no longer expensive. RV mentioned that in his post. They will connect and work with both Linux and Windows for saving data. Just create a folder for each of you and you can save photos and documents on one pretty easily.

 

Under $100. Just search for "backup USB drive". Most of them now are 1TB or larger.

 

WDR

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I bought an external USB connected cd/dvd drive for mhy Surface Pro. Not much money. Mostly stays in an overhead cabinet. I only get it out when I want to create an audio CD for my car or rv radio and on extremely rare ocassions to access program disks. Buy an inexpensive one and hide it away someplace. I still use the original box that mine came in; makes it easier to store.

 

pete

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