So you have one of those new-fangled netbooks, and you are happy. But what is this? Where is the CD drive and how are you going to install software!?
With the move towards smaller machines the bulky machinery for reading and writing CD’s and DVD’s is too large to fit inside modern laptops. What you really need is a portable CD drive that will let you read and burn files by connecting it to the side of your laptop or home computer.
Listed below we have selected 3 drives based on value, performance, and portability that we think are the best deals on the net.
1) Samsung S084D USB 2.0 CD and DVD Rewriter | Our Rating:
One of the thinnest and lightest drives on the market and winner of an iF design award. If you are going to be on the move a lot and portability is important to you then it is hard to find a better choice. Being a combo drive, it can read and write DVD’s as well as CD’s, which can hold a lot more stuff. It’s powered off of the USB port so you don’t need an external adapter, and it is one of the few portable drives that can handle the smaller mini DVD format. Did we mention that it is also available in a variety of colors? A stunning effort that is hard to beat, and surprisingly it is still affordable to those on a budget.
Quick Specs: 8x DVD write speed, 24x CD write speed, Bundled software: Nero
2) Toshiba PA3834U-1DV2 Combo Writer | Our Rating:
Not far behind the Samsung, this is a tiny bit more expensive, ever so slightly bulkier, and it weighs 1.1 lbs to the Samsungs 0.7 lbs. Apart from that it pretty much does the same thing. We like the curved look of the drive and Toshiba have a reputation for producing extremely robust products. The mechanism is tray loading, which some people prefer over a slot loading model like the Samsung. The BurnNow software that is bundled with it is not the most intuitive, but the built in writing capabilities of modern operating systems mean that this is not a big deal. Finally this drive has all the technical McGubbins that you could ask for with an ABS system that keeps the drive quiet and buffer under run technology which results in less problems when burning. A good second choice.
Quick Specs: 8x DVD write speed, 24x CD write speed, Bundled software: BurnNow!
3) CD/DVD USB 2.0 Drive | Our Rating:
While the above combo drives are all well and good, some people just want a cheap drive to install software with. And they don’t need nor want all this “burning” shenanigans. This budget drive reads CD’s at 24x speed and DVD’s at 8x – and that’s all you need to know. It looks sharp, it’s fractionally lighter than the Toshiba drive, and it could be just what you are after if you want a no-frills device that just works.
Quick Specs: 8x DVD read speed, 24x CD read speed.