Over the years we've seen a lot of peculiar bits of hardware launch, but Samsung's new SE-208BW optical drive with Wi-Fi interface is among the strangest we've ever seen. Samsung calls it the Smart Media Hub rather than an optical drive, as beyond being able to connect to a PC over Wi-Fi, it also works with tablets and smartphones.

Over the years we've seen a lot of peculiar bits of hardware launch, but Samsung's new SE-208BW optical drive with Wi-Fi interface is among the strangest we've ever seen. Samsung calls it the Smart Media Hub rather than an optical drive, as beyond being able to connect to a PC over Wi-Fi, it also works with tablets and smartphones.

The SE-208BW looks just like a regular external slim-line optical drive with the exception of the small Wi-Fi logo on it. Interestingly, the SE-208BW has an Ethernet port and USB connectivity and it will also work as either a Wi-Fi access point or a Wi-Fi repeater, although as to how useful the repeater mode will be depends on where your Wi-Fi router is located. Delving deeper into the networking features of the SE-208BW we find a Dynamic DNS server and thanks to a spare USB port, it can thus share data on a USB storage device over the network.

The optical drive can be used for backing up data straight from your Wi-Fi devices, although we're not quite sure as to exactly how this process would work. If you happen to own a DLNA compatible TV or media player, then the SE-208BW can stream media to it thanks to Samsung's Allshare software. The optical drive will read and write CDs and DVDs, with CD speeds of up to 24x for both read and write, while DVDs will be read at 8x with single layer write once discs written at 8x, dual layer discs at 6x, DVD-RAM discs at 5x, +RW discs at 8x and finally –RW discs at 6x speed.

Samsung didn't mention a price in the press release and you'll have to wait until early next year to get your hands on the SE-208BW. Despite the slightly bizarre nature of the SE-208BW, we have to applaud Samsung for creating a truely unique convergence device, the question is, is there a market for it?

Source: Samsung ODD