A combo drive refers to optical drives that are capable of recording and/or reading two or more types of optical media. As DVD drives were introduced, combo drives referred to those optical disk drives that combined CD media read and write capabilities with the capability to read DVD media. As the popularity of DVD media grew, the definition of what makes a drive a combo drive also changed. In CD and DVD media, the term now usually describes a DVD drive that also includes CD media read and write capabilities. Before combo drives, consumers needed to choose between a CD burner or a DVD-ROM drive.
Combo drive is also a term which can be used to describe disc players capable of playing one or more media formats. For example, a combo drive that is capable of playing both HD-DVD and Blu-ray discs would be a combo drive.