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363 of 385 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT, INEXPENSIVE DVD DRIVE FOR MACS AND PCs
First, let me admit my biases: I love gadgets, Amazon, AmazonBasics products, Macs and giving opinions.

Second, let's look at this DVD drive: It works and it's simple. While it comes with one of those double-pronged USB cables, Macs do not need to plug in both of the USB connectors; one is enough.

The drive is a tray loader which at first I was...
Published on July 26, 2011 by Christopher

versus
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazon Basics vs ASUS vs Samsung
Whilst scanning Amazon for a USB CD/DVD writer, I spotted an ASUS unit -a well established and highly reputable brand- and the price and review ratings were good, so I bought it. Upon receiving the drive and copying some files off a CD to a solid state hard drive (SSD) it seemed the drive was a bit pokey on the transfer rate. So I ordered two other USB writers from...
Published 13 months ago by Everyone's_a_critic


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363 of 385 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT, INEXPENSIVE DVD DRIVE FOR MACS AND PCs, July 26, 2011
By 
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This review is from: AmazonBasics USB 2.0 Portable External DVD Optical Drive (Personal Computers)
First, let me admit my biases: I love gadgets, Amazon, AmazonBasics products, Macs and giving opinions.

Second, let's look at this DVD drive: It works and it's simple. While it comes with one of those double-pronged USB cables, Macs do not need to plug in both of the USB connectors; one is enough.

The drive is a tray loader which at first I was going to deduct one star for, then decided against it as I thought I should review on what the product is rather than grade it against a wish list. Tray loaders in this day seem almost antiquated, but I decided that to balance cost and power efficiency that it was actually a decent choice. The same judgement goes to the 8x speed of the drive, which for most people is perfectly fine. DVDs are fast becoming a thing of the past and having this sort of device to plug in on the rare occasions when they are needed I think is much more practical than getting a heavier laptop with a drive built in - I have been a MacBook Air user since they were first released and have only been in a situation where I *needed* a drive maybe 5 or 6 times... not bad for three+ years.

This is NOT a drive that is intended to use every day for hours. This is a utility drive and for $36 it is hard to imagine a better bargain. It is half the cost of the MacBook Air SuperDrive, and the AmazonBasics drive works on every computer I plugged it into (Windows Vista, 7 and a variety of Mac OSs). The SuperDrive does not. I will soon have one of these in every kit I have for my IT business.

As an experiment, I made a Mac OS 10.7 Lion installer disc and installed it using this drive just fine on a MacBook Air. I played a Disney DVD for my niece, and then made a backup copy using Toast 10. There were no issues at all. The drive spins itself down quickly when not in use, so there is a second or two when you need to get it to come back up to speed. You also cannot use the front eject button to eject once media is inserted in the drive - you have to use your on-screen controls to wake up the drive and spit the disc out. It's not that unusual.

My only wish is that this came with a case, or there was a cheap AmazonBasic case available for it. As it is, the small cardboard frustration-free packaging is great and should be durable enough to use for a while to transport the drive in.

I think this is a great addition to the AmazonBasics line, after their high-quality cases, cabling and media. I hope this is a harbinger of more electronics to come with the Amazon brand on it.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazon Basics vs ASUS vs Samsung, December 27, 2013
This review is from: AmazonBasics USB 2.0 Portable External DVD Optical Drive (Personal Computers)
Whilst scanning Amazon for a USB CD/DVD writer, I spotted an ASUS unit -a well established and highly reputable brand- and the price and review ratings were good, so I bought it. Upon receiving the drive and copying some files off a CD to a solid state hard drive (SSD) it seemed the drive was a bit pokey on the transfer rate. So I ordered two other USB writers from Amazon; a Samsung unit and this Amazon Basics unit. After timing the transfer rate on all three drives, as well as measuring the transfer rate on my four year old HP DV6 laptop for reference, I realized that the ASUS was not so pokey after all... but I also stumbled on the fact the Samsung unit was three times faster than any of the other drives, including my laptop! All told I think the Samsung is a better deal. Here is a mini-review:

Drive models tested:
ASUS External Slim 8X DVD-RW Writer (ASUS External Slim 8X DVD-RW Stylish Cut Design Optical Drive SDRW-08D2S-U/BLK/G/AS)
Samsung USB 2.0 Ultra Portable External DVD Writer (Samsung USB 2.0 Ultra Portable External DVD Writer Model SE-218CB/RSBS)
AmazonBasics USB 2.0 8x DVD Writer (AmazonBasics USB 2.0 8x DVD Writer External Optical Drive (Black))

Speed Tests:
Transfer Rate (copy 266MB file from CDROM to SSD) Windows 8.1
ASUS drive.............1.25MB/s avg (3 minutes 18 seconds)
Samsung drive..........3.0MB/s avg (1 minutes 35 seconds)
Amazon Basics drive....1.10MB/s avg (3 minutes 25 seconds)
HP laptop..............1.2MB/s avg (3 minutes 20 seconds)

Included Software:
ASUS drive............A couple of power management utilities, and a link to a firmware upgrade procedure that did not work.
Samsung drive.........Nero Express Essentials v12 (media management utilities, backup utilities, media player*, firmware updater)
Amazon Basics drive...Cyberlink Media Suite v10 (media management utilities, no media player)

* requires $5 upgrade to play MPEG media such as DVD movies

I did not run any burning benchmarks, mainly because I was short of blank media at the time. But the ASUS and the Amazon Basics units would have to have some remarkably better burn speeds over the Samsung to beat it out, given that I read from CD/DVD media far more often that I write to it. The Samsung also has the best bundled software. It actually comes with a media player, albeit a crippled one that requires an update to play DVD movies encoded with the popular MPEG-2 compression codec. To be fair, a royalty is paid to the MPEG mafia for each unit of player software that includes the MPEG codec (the word is that Windows 8 doesn't include a media player for MPEG movies because Microsoft no longer wanted to pay a $2 license fee to distribute the codecs in a world increasingly moving to streaming media).
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118 of 130 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Started great, but it's been downhill pretty quick., October 7, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: AmazonBasics USB 2.0 Portable External DVD Optical Drive (Personal Computers)
When I fist got this burner, a few months back, I loved it.
My original review was a rave.

But then, after about a month, the unit for some
reason started to struggle a bit with music CDs. It
skipped and stopped near the end of two new store bought,
commercial CDs that showed no scratches, and played fine on
my computer's built in drive, and on my regular CD player.
But mostly, it did fine.

Now another two moths later the problems have grown.
It's started to struggle with more CDs. When I've tried
to burn tracks to iTunes it often freezes mid-burn. I have
no problems with the same CDs in my iMac's internal burner.

And now I've noticed DVDs are starting to struggle. I've
had a few bad burns, and some digital break up on playback.
Again, these discs were not problems with the internal burner.
(And I always use high quality media to burn).

It still works more often than not, but just 3 months into ownership
I don't like wondering if it's going to work each time I go to
use it. A great price, but not for a burner that seems to
fall apart this fast. Maybe I just got a lemon...

I will say, Amazon was great and easy to deal with in terms of
giving me a refund, and I'll give a different burner
a try.
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62 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works with MacBook Air, September 17, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: AmazonBasics USB 2.0 Portable External DVD Optical Drive (Personal Computers)
Works fine with Apple's MacBook Air (2011). The USB cable comes with an extra male-A connector for extra power (two ports provide twice the power) but it's not necessary on the MacBook Air.

I'm liking everything I've purchased through Amazon Basics thus far.
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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light weight, reliable, quiet, and easy to install, September 21, 2011
This review is from: AmazonBasics USB 2.0 Portable External DVD Optical Drive (Personal Computers)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Likes:

-light weight
-small: enclosure is barely bigger than the drive assembly.
-quiet
-reliable burns (no coasters yet)
-reasonably priced
-USB powered - no power brick required

A few more nitty gritty details:
This drive checkout to be the Lite-On DS-8A4S slim DVD burner drive, which has the following specs (since Amazon doesn't really list it for this one):

Lite-On DS-8A4S Slim Type SATA Super AllWrite DVD
DVD+R Write Speed: 8X
DVD+RW Rewrite Speed: 8X
DVD-R Write Speed: 8X
DVD-RW Rewrite Speed: 6X
DVD Read Speed: 8X
DVD-RAM Write Speed: 5X
DVD Access Time: 150 ms
CD Write Speed: 24X
CD Rewrite Speed: 24X
CD Read Speed: 24X
CD Access Time: 130 ms
Length: 126.1mm
Width: 128mm
Height: 12.7mm
Weight: 200 +/- 0.5g
Load Type: Tray
Interface Type: SATA
Enclosure Type: Internal
Supported Formats: CD-R
CD-RW
DVD-RAM
DVD+RW
DVD-RW
DVD-R (SL/DL)
DVD+R (SL/DL)

It's an older drive model but the specs are pretty much on par with newer slim-type drives. Lite-On is a major and reputable optical drive manufacturer from Taiwan with proven records of dependability (they manufacture for many other brands such as HP), so it can be considered decent hardware at the core. What Amazon did was just adding a very slim yet durable plastic enclosure to this drive with the USB-SATA interface built in. Given the online price of these bare drives (no enclosure) today, this Amazon Basics external drive is priced very reasonably.

I believe the enclosure may be opened by unscrewing two screws under the rubber feet toward the back, therefore allowing upgrades to other SATA based optical drives; but that's just a passing observation and not recommended as it will surely void your warranty. The enclosure is made of a tough ABS plastic in black which wraps around the optical drive tightly with little wasted space, and a mirror-like surface plastic to the top. The piano finished top adds to the appearance, though it also does attract fingerprint and similar smudges. The logo is nicely minimal, though contrary to the picture on Amazon the logo is toward the front right hand side. The "basics" mantra rings true, without bells and whistles but very solid in implementation.

In the age where optical drive is quickly fading in importance and omitted in many laptop configurations, it is however still needed from time to time. The Amazon basics offers a great solution for this dilemma: it's small, portable, reasonably priced, uses reputable branded hardware, and very compatible with easy install in windows 7 and XP--it is instantly recognized and installed. There is little to complain about this product, and it fits my needs for a part time, efficient and reliable optical burner for my ultraportable (read: w/o optical drive) laptop quite well.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reliable, Functional, Portable, January 2, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: AmazonBasics USB 2.0 Portable External DVD Optical Drive (Personal Computers)
Optical drives have at one point been the cutting edge in terms of storage capacity and portability, but in recent years they have been slowly eclipsed by the memory sticks and the ubiquity of fast internet access. They have not yet become obsolete, but their usefulness is definitely on the wane. Apple seems to be on the vanguard of moving beyond this technology, and they have stopped including optical drives with their MacBook Air and Mac Mini computers. I've been using MacBook Air for about a year, and until now have not had a need for an optical drive. However, I plan on going on a longish trip soon, and discovered that I would need to use an optical drive for at least a few tasks that I need to accomplish. Instead of lugging around a much heavier HP laptop, I decided that the easiest thing for me to do would be to get a good and inexpensive external optical drive.

My first inclination was to get the Apple branded external optical drive. However, just like with most Apple products, the optical drive seemed overpriced. I don't mind paying the "Apple premium" for the more advanced Apple devices, but when it comes to the simple peripherals I find that most of the third party products are at least equally as good, and oftentimes even better than the Apple branded ones. I've also had a chance to test many Amazon Basics products, and overall have had a very positive experience. And when it comes to this optical drive, I am pleased to say that my positive experience with Amazon Basics products continues.

This Optical drive is plug-and-play as well as USB- powered. This means that it worked smoothly and flawlessly from the very moment I plugged it into my MacBook Air. I was able to read from several different sized media. (CDs, Mini CDs, DVDs, Video DVDs) The video playback was smooth and without any glitches. I have also been able to burn a couple of DVDs, including a DL DVD. Each time it performed as expected. I have tested it with my Older Windows 7 desktop computer, and aside from some issues with DL DVD burning (which could very well be due to my computer's overall flakiness), this DVD drive worked just fine. Nonetheless, you may want to read a few more reviews in case someone else has had any issues with Windows or otherwise.

So far, I could not be more pleased with this external DVD drive. If you are in a need of such a device than this Amazon Basic product would be an excellent choice.
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49 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight and Travel Friendly, August 1, 2011
This review is from: AmazonBasics USB 2.0 Portable External DVD Optical Drive (Personal Computers)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
AmazonBasics USB 2.0 8x DVD Writer External Optical Drive

This DVD burner/player is small and lightweight: an excellent size for traveling with my netbook. It is also perfect for international travel since the unit receives its power via a USB cable and does not require a DC power source (though there is an optional DC jack).

It worked right out of the box, but the instruction manual gives no real information beyond plug and play capabilities. I plugged it in via the USB cable supplied, Windows 7 recognized it immediately and it both burned and played DVDs as advertised. A Nero 9 Essentials CD was included with the player so I loaded it (via this DVD player) as a test and it functioned properly. This software provides DVD copying and burning capabilities and is a nice bonus if you don't already have other software you prefer.

I tested this unit on a Windows 7 and an old XP computer without any problems. After using the unit for a week I have yet to identify any negative issues and I think I will be very happy with it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars dead already, September 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: AmazonBasics USB 2.0 Portable External DVD Optical Drive (Personal Computers)
I don't write reviews unless I feel strongly one way or the other - this thing is bad- it never really worked- kept going up and down and now its completely worthless - I do not recommend this- if you do really put to the test early
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great performance, perfect for Macbook Pros., May 26, 2012
By 
Alberto G. M (Miami, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: AmazonBasics USB 2.0 Portable External DVD Optical Drive (Personal Computers)
Some time ago I decide to replace my Macbook Pro's internal Superdrive with a far more useful second hard drive. Tried to repurpose the Superdrive with a special enclosure for it, but after a few CDs it just refused to work at all - so much for "Superdrive". Anyway, I decided to order this simple yet useful drive from Amazon for my needs (mainly digitize all my huge CD collection as I hardly get to burn CDs or DVDs anymore) and it's worked like a charm for the last few months. The drive is supplied with a USB "Y" cable featuring 2 connectors in the case you would need more power for the drive than that of a single USB port, but that is not an issue with Apple computers. Toast (OSX burning software) recognizes the drive without any problems. So does iTunes or just about any other OSX program that uses a CD/DVD drive. Speed is fast, and -most important for me- you can use a straightened clip to eject a jammed disc in the event that occurs through the front hole. Old school style! Try that with a "Superdrive". All in all highly recommended product.
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283 of 368 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appallingly bad instruction manual, June 28, 2013
This review is from: AmazonBasics USB 2.0 Portable External DVD Optical Drive (Personal Computers)
As far as I can tell, the reader itself works (haven't yet tried writing with it). BUT, the instruction manual is a disgrace, and alone is enough to merit the minimum possible number of stars.

A big heading tells you "Remove optical drive from computer" under which are the details separately for Windows and Mac. But in these detailed instructions (both Windows and Mac), it says "Terminate software program used on optional drive". Well, which do you mean, "optical" or 'optional"? It might seem obvious that "optional" is a misprint for "optical", but since it is distinctly puzzling how the new purchaser is expected to know HOW to remove a DRIVE from the computer (does it perhaps mean remove any old disks that might be IN the internal optical drive?) one is left wondering whether it really is a misprint after all.

So I checked the various foreign translations that occur in the same booklet. French, Italian and Spanish all go along with the English version, and say "optical" in the general heading, "optional" in the sub-headings for both Windows and Mac. The German version, however, says "optical" in all three places, and this is presumably correct.

But I suspect that NONE of them is correct when they tell us to remove the entire optical READER. I suspect that they really meant to tell us to remove any DISKS that might be in the internal reader. I genuinely don't know, however, what this ludicrously ambiguous instruction is really telling me to do, and am only thankful that the device itself appears to work, nevertheless.

Amazon, get your act together and employ somebody who knows how to write at least ONE human language, to write your instruction manuals.

But that's not the end of it. "Terminate software program" is not, to my eyes, the same as "remove a disk" OR "remove a drive". So I looked at the screen capture picture, which is supposed to show you how to do this. The reproduction of the picture in the booklet is so poor as to be impossible to read. This is not a problem with my eyesight, for I scanned it at very high resolution, in order to try to read it, and it is indeed COMPLETELY illegible. It is quite clear that whoever wrote the booklet never even LOOKED at it before sending it to press.
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