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Get OS X Lion sans download...on a $69 stick

It's not necessary to download more than 3 gigabytes to upgrade to Lion. Apple will be making the upgrade available via USB, for more than twice the cost of the download.

Apple is making a big push away from old-school optical media, but it will still be possible to get your hands on a tangible copy of the latest Mac OS X upgrade, better know as Lion.

The new feline OS became available in the Mac App Store yesterday as a digital download costing $29.99 and weighing in at 3.49GB. But that wasn't all--Apple also went on a slash-and-burn campaign to do away with optical disc drives, dropping them from the new Mac Minis and MacBook Airs.

Apple seems to acknowledge that it's easier to love something you can actually hold on to, however. Perhaps that's why it will be making Lion available to purchase on a USB thumb drive in the coming weeks. The privilege of being able to actually touch and whisper sweet nothings to the newest OS around will cost you more than double. Plan to spend $69.99 for the Lion USB stick.

For that price it might make more sense to hit up your Mac's soon-to-be- retro DVD burner and create your own Lion installation disc. That way you can still get physical with your new OS.