Apple has published (updated) a table that helps customers determine if their computer is supported by the Apple USB SuperDrive or the MacBook Air SuperDrive.
Apple markets the external SuperDrive as a useful piece of hardware which will “allow you to install software, play, and burn both CDs and DVDs.”
The technology is dead and buried as far as Apple is concerned, as all Macintosh computers – excepting the Mac Pro – have completely phased out the optical unit in favor of portability and thinner designs.
The Cupertino giant continues to sell the “Apple USB SuperDrive” for $79/€79 through its online store.
The SuperDrive compatibility chart specifically notes that certain Macintosh models are not supported by the optical unit.
Such systems include the non-Retina MacBook Pro line released at the end of 2012, the older 2011 models (including the 17-inch version), several Mac mini variations, and even a lot of iMacs.
Apple specifically outlines that “MacBook and MacPro computers are not compatible with either the Apple USB SuperDrive or the MacBook Air SuperDrive,” and that the company’s Cinema/Thunderbolt displays will support the SuperDrive via their USB connections but only when connected to a compatible computer.