Yes, one of the reasons for using acrylic instead of glass for the top panel was to allow the flex to be used to operate the eject button. Pressing anywhere in the middle of the panel will operate the eject button.
Yes, it’s identical, just with an additional cutout for the optical media to pass.
The optical drive bracket has been designed specifically for use with 12.7mm thick drives, so whilst it might be possible to attach it in some way, officially it is not supported.
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