MacBook Air's SuperDrive requires special USB

Showing more links to Apple subnotebooks past, the MacBook Air apparently has its own special brand of USB port. According to Electronista, the Air's USB Superdrive has been designed to work only with the latest MacBook. It appears that Apple has boosted the power to the MacBook Air's USB port to support the Superdrive without requiring a power adapter.

Although a somewhat less dramatic approach than the special dock connectors used in the PowerBook Duo models of the early to mid-90s or the custom port for the PowerBook 2400c's external floppy drive in the late-90s, this approach still create a custom link between the MacBook Air and its external drive. This also raises the interesting question of whether or not the Superdrive can be used with a powered USB hub (though if I were to guess based on the information reported, I'd guess no). Although this probably isn't horribly limiting in the grand scheme of things, it is interesting to see the level to which Apple has customized not only the internals of the MacBook Air, but also its peripherals.

So far, no word on whether the Air's USB/Ethernet adapter is limited to use with the Air (though all other Macs ship with built-in Ethernet, so this probably isn't an issue) or whether the adapter will be able to be used via a USB hub, which could be a larger issue in a corporate setting where Ethernet access is required than the Superdrive as the drive is not likely to be used particularly often.

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