What Chromebook has a CD drive?

Modified Nov. 3, 2023, 8:53 p.m.


CDs are disappearing and companies are not releasing many computers with a built-in CD drive today, let’s see which Chromebook has a built-in CD drive.

There is no Chromebook with a built-in CD drive available on the market today, and I don’t think one Chromebook with a CD drive will ever exist. There are many reasons why and I’ll explain them. But it does not mean you can’t use CDs on your Chromebook at all, you still can add an external CD drive to your Chromebook to be able to use CDs, I’ve made some research to help you choose the right external CD drive.

Why is there no Chromebook with a CD drive?

You can’t find any Chromebook with a built-in CD drive and that’s normal, there is no Chromebook with a CD drive available. There are different reasons why but I see three obvious ones.

A CD drive is taking up space

The big size of a CD drive is the main reason why Chromebook and other computers do not have built-in CD drives anymore, it takes up too much space. Space matters a lot as constructors are trying to reduce the size and weight of their computers.

Removing the CD drive allows the Chromebook to be lighter and smaller, it is important for every computer but especially for Chromebook ones in my opinion. Indeed Chromebooks are designed to be lightweight, to be small and fast computers that you can bring with you everywhere.

Chrome OS does not support CDs correctly

The choice of the different components in a computer like a CD drive is made by the constructor of the computer, they are trying to choose the right components and it will depend on the operating system they will install on the computer.

But Chrome OS, the operating system installed on Chromebooks, does not support CDs correctly. Indeed there are still many issues with CDs, therefore the constructors can’t take the risk of adding a CD drive that people won’t be able to use correctly anyway. With Linux now enabled on Chrome OS, the CDs can be supported properly after some configurations.

Chromebooks are mostly using cloud-based applications

Chrome OS is made in a way that the user has to be connected to the internet to use the full power of their Chromebook. Almost every application used on a Chromebook is a cloud-based application.

Therefore it does not make sense to add a CD drive as most applications can’t interact with CDs anyway, and it’s not what a Chromebook should be used for.

How to use a CD on Chromebook?

Buying a Chromebook with a built-in CD drive is not the only to be able to use CDs on a Chromebook hopefully. You can also use an external CD drive. An external CD drive allows using of CDs on every computer that has a USB port, once you plugged the external CD drive into your Chromebook it should appear in the control panel of your Chromebook.

But Chrome OS does not have all the codecs needed to play an audio CD or video DVD by default, to be able to use them with an external CD drive you will need to enable Linux on your Chromebook.

Once you enabled Linux on your Chromebook, you will need to download and install the VLC media player. It’s harder than just plugging the external CD drive and playing the CD but that is the only way, unfortunately.

Which external CD drive should I buy with my Chromebook?

Most of the external CD drives will work fine on your Chromebook. As Chrome OS allows now to use Linux, you want your external CD drive to be also compatible with Linux systems.

Here is one external CD drive that is compatible with Linux and therefore has more chance to be fully supported by your Chromebook.

Can you use a DVD on Chromebook?

If you can use CD on Chromebook, then yes you can also play DVDs on Chromebook. Be sure to use the Linux part of your Chromebook to be able to play every DVD, VLC is a great media player and supports all the codecs needed to play DVDs on Chromebook.



Maxime Levesque is a technical engineer with more than 5 years of professional experience. He is an expert in computer and phones, mostly on Apple products. Maxime is also the founder of TechBrowser.

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