Apple offered an upgrade program earlier this year to enable PowerBook G4/550 and 667MHz owners to replace their optical drives with a CD-RW/DVD combo drive, but users of the original PowerBook G4s -- 400 and 500MHz models -- were left out in the cold. Now Mac peripheral maker MCE Technologies has come to the rescue with its own Combo Drive upgrade program aimed squarely at those older PowerBooks.
MCE is offering the upgrade program starting today. Users send their 400 or 500MHz PowerBook G4s either directly to MCE or bring them in to an authorized upgrade center. The upgrade replaces the existing CD-RW or DVD-ROM-based optical drive with a new slot-loading mechanism that can burn CDs and play DVDs.
The new drive writes to CD-R and CD-RW media at 8x speed, and read CD-ROMs at up to 24x. DVD-ROM discs are read at 8x speed. And if you're concerned about compatibility, you needn't be, according to MCE. The drive is ! bootable, works with both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X and is supported by Apple's iTunes, Disc Burner and DVD Player software. The drive has also been certified by Dantz as compatible with the company's popular Retrospect backup software.
Priced at US$299 (plus shipping and handling), the MCE PowerBook G4 CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive Upgrade takes about one or two business days to turn around, according to MCE. And if you're a repair or upgrade shop interested in becoming authorized by MCE to handle this upgrade, you're directed to call or e-mail them (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details.