Most notebook optical drives I've ever seen have a friction-lock spindle that you have to "snap" the disc onto or off of. I would expect you could turn the notebook right upside down while a disc is spinning and not scratch it. But again, as already noted, they are designed to be portable.
An XBox 360 on the other hand, is not. I have no idea why anyone would move it around while in use - I mean, the TV isn't coming along with it, why would you suddenly have the need to move the console while in use? There are always little one-off situations I suppose, but that's hardly the manufacturer's concern.
This story is instead about how the thing is poorly engineered so that a normally-spinning disc is able to wobble in some way that allows it to get scratched regardless of what the user does with it, so a lawsuit seems to have merit.