Numbered. I don't use these drives as much since we have so many other choices.
As to your other question. VOTE with your wallet.
I am considering buying a Dell Studio 14z because my requirements were light weight but good machine for most of my work. However, this doesn't have an optical drive. It's NOT a netbook, and I really do want a fully functioning computer because it is where I will do most of my real work (like running statistical programs) as well as play (like serious photo editing). Two friends of mine told me that there is a growing trend towards making laptops without optical drives because these drives are becoming obsolete. But this model is the ONLY regular laptop Dell makes without an optical drive, so I hardly see this as a trend. Any thoughts out there about this? Is there really a trend towards eliminating any need for CD/DVD drives? Is there much to miss, other than maybe watching DVDs on a long flight?
I need to decided ASAP between the Studio 14z and the Studio XPS 13, which has a slightly smaller screen and slightly heavier weight... and a heftier price tag! Is it worth the extra few hundred bucks to have an optical drive and still be lightweight?
Thanks to any advice in advance!