The latest Apple notebooks do not have any built-in DVD drive, and Apple only sells a DVD drive.

Is there any external drive which is similar to the external SuperDrive for the MacBook Pro, but is able to read (and possibly write too) Blu-ray discs?

I found several Blu-ray drives, but they do not look so "portable" as you need a separate power adapter.

I am wondering if it would be possible to have a drive like the Apple External SuperDrive DVD which is powered just by a USB cable.

UPDATE: I found few drives in USB 2.0 (like the answerers), but I would prefer to have USB3 or Thunderbolt interface. I am surprised there is not such devices with a faster interface than USB 2.0. I found only the Asus BW-16D1H-U PRO but it needs an external power adapter (and 1kg could not be considered so portable).

  • Newegg's got a few USB-powered drives, but the ones I looked at used two USB ports to draw enough power. No idea if they're compatible with the Apple notebooks you're looking at -- dual-port powering can be hit-or-miss with laptops.
    – Mark
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 9:37
  • In fact the new Retina notebook have only one USB 3 on each side, which make it impossible to use a Y adaptor (in general they work only with two usb port on the same side)
    – рüффп
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 13:33

2 Answers 2


I recommend the Pioneer 6x Silver External Slim Portable USB 3.0 BD/DVD/CD Burner Model BDR-XD05S, currently $85 + $2 shipping at newegg.com.

It is compatible with USB 3 Super Speed mode, which virtually guarantees the burner will work at full, rated speed. It does, however, require a second USB port if the drive is connected via USB 2.

If price is a issue, the SAMSUNG USB 2.0 Slim Portable Blu-ray Writer ($70 + $2 shipping at newegg.com) is a cheaper option that lacks support for quad layer Blu-ray (according to newegg anyway) and amd USB Super Speed.

It's a single port model, which means that you won't have any trouble with compatibility. Unfortunately, it only supports USB 2.0 (High Speed), so if you were burning a movie, it could take a while.

  • @ruffp I'll go look for thunderbolt / USB3 ones later if you want. They're a bit more expensive though.
    – timuzhti
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 11:00
  • Seem the Pioneer is the best option: slim, USB3, easy to find and not to expensive.
    – рüффп
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 19:29

Yes, OWC does in fact make such Blu-ray drives for Macs.

If you just want read (not write) support for Blu-ray disks, there’s the OWC Slim 6X Portable USB 2.0 Blu-ray Reader.

If you want both read and write support for Blu-ray disks, there’s the OWC Slim 6X Portable USB 2.0 Blu-ray Burner.

Keep in mind they use a USB 'Y'-type cable, so you’ll need two available USB ports if you want to power the drives without a separate power adapter.

EDIT: After checking around a bit, it seems like while the above drives include a USB 'Y'-type cable, it doesn’t necessarily mean they actually require a USB 'Y'-type cable:

most give you the option for 2 incase you have a low power USB port, with newer macs you probably don't need to use the second port.

i've got an older asus external, and it works fine on one port on my retina mpb


I chatted with OWC about this one tonight and they said that it should work fine on one plug in most situations. Unfortunately, they also confirmed my fear that if it did need the second plug for some reason, you'd be SOL because the Y-split only provides a short length of chord for each plug.

Of course, as you noted, the issue of the Y-cable’s length can be solved with an extension cable. The only remaining issue (well, not including your USB 3 requirement) would be if the USB ports on your Retina MacBook Pro provide enough power so that you’d only need one of them. According to this page, the OWCMRSSBD6X-series (the two Slim drives I mentioned above) have a power draw of 6.3 W.

Apple has an extremely useful and detailed page here detailing how much power is provided by a Mac’s USB ports:

Apple computers and displays with USB 1.1 or USB 2 ports provide:

  • Up to 500 mA (Milliamps) at 5 V (Volts) (that’s 2.5 W of power per port (5 V × 0.5 A = 2.5 W)) to most Apple USB peripherals and all USB peripherals not made by Apple in compliance with USB specifications.

Apple computers with USB 3 ports (using USB 3 cables) provide:

  • Up to 900 mA (milliamps) at 5 V (Volts) (that’s 4.5 W of power per port (5 V × 0.9 A = 4.5 W)) to most Apple USB peripherals and all USB peripherals not made by Apple in compliance with USB specifications.

Note: Some USB peripheral devices not manufactured by Apple may have unique power requirements. These may exceed the power allotment on an individual USB port. Those devices may require you connect them to multiple USB ports or may have external power sources that must be present for them to function.

Apple peripheral devices may request more than 500 mA (Milliamps) at 5 V (Volts) from a port to function or to allow for faster charging. Such Apple peripheral devices include:

  • Apple MacBook Air SuperDrive (when connected to supported computers)
  • Aluminum Wired Keyboard*
  • iPod
  • iPhone
  • iPad

To meet requests for additional power from these Apple peripherals and devices, some Apple computers and displays can provide up to 1100 mA at 5 V (that’s 5.5 W of power (5 V × 1.1 A = 5.5 W)) through the port to which the Apple peripheral or device is connected.

(That certainly explains why Apple’s External SuperDrive can be easily powered by just one port!)

Based on that, it seems like it would be impossible to power OWC’s Slim drives with just one USB port. In fact, I’m kind of curious how it can even be powered with two! Considering it’s supposed to be a USB 2.0 device, it should only come with a USB 2.0 cable (as mentioned in this Apple FAQ, you need to be using USB 3 cables (with USB 3 peripherals) to get the 400 mA increase in current over USB 2.0 cables). Considering that using two USB 2.0 ports will only provide 5 W of power (2.5 W from each port) while the OWC drives mentioned above require 6.3 W, I don’t see how they can be bus-powered (at least under USB 2.0).

I’ll contact OWC to find out what the discrepancy is (could be as simple as having a typo on their knowledge base page showing the power draw), but hopefully, the rest of the information here can help narrow your search down considerably.

  • The problem is the new Retina (2015) have one USB port on each side, but not two on the same side, which would make the setup more complex (usb extender + Y cable + drive).
    – рüффп
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 10:57

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