By Alexandra Burlacu | Dec 19, 2012 03:25 PM EST
Asus has unveiled a new product called the Asus VariDrive DVD Drive Dock, a device designed to provide DVD support to Ultrabooks and laptops.
Many Ultrabooks, including the Asus Zenbook line of ultraportable notebooks, have sacrificed a few features in order to be thin and light. As ultrabooks and laptops have become increasingly slimmer, many of them no longer feature built-in DVD drives, as they took up too much space. Also for the sake of an ultrathin form factor, such devices only have a handful of input and output ports.
With the new Asus VariDrive, the company aims to provide a convenient solution for users who want the portability of an Ultrabook without having to give up the features of a full-sized laptop.
The VariDrive docking station is designed to match the aesthetics of the Asus Zenbook line of Ultrabooks, and comes in the same brushed aluminum finish.
"VariDrive has the same treated metal texture with neat concentric circles and a premium, durable finish," touts Asus Tech In Style. "This accessory has a brilliant transformable design which uses a swivel base dock on which a slot-loading DVD combo drive is mounted."
The external DVD drive can read at up to 8X and write at a maximum 24X, and comes with three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and VAG ports, as well as gigabit Ethernet. Although the VariDrive is designed to match the Asus Zenbook line of Ultrabooks, it can be attached to any laptop or Ultrabook via a single USB connection.
This means that users can hook up the VariDrive dock to a display and other accessories such as hard drive, mouse, keyboard, or camera, and connect or disconnect their laptop with a single USB cable.
Meanwhile, the device features a rather unusual design, allowing users to twist and fold the entire dock. Users can lay it flat on their desk, or simply tilt up the disk drive so that the VariDrive dock is L-shaped, with the ports at the bottom and the disk drive facing up.
Asus said the VariDrive docking station should be available for purchase soon, but offered no precise launch date or pricing details so far. The company also made no mention of worldwide availability yet.