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557 of 566 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2013
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; this Samsung unit and an 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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635 of 649 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2013
I needed an external DVD/CD writer drive for my iMac and it worked great. Saved me more than half what I would have to pay for an Apple SuperDrive. I checked this one out before buying and it was rated the highest on CNET---so I gave it a shot and I love it. Plug it in and the computer recognized it right away and I was off and running. Love the black color, better than the Apple Superdrive white. Highly recommended for either Apple or PC.
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290 of 313 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2013
With Windows 8.1, I have had problems with several external optical drives. When all else fails, the Samsung works. It's obviously not the fastest drive in the world. But in the brave new world of Windows 8, it is always wonderful to find something that will actually work. Since buying this little beauty I have run literally hundreds of RW DVDs and CDs through it and it has yet to complain let alone fail. If you're looking for a solid, dependable drive, this is the one.
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212 of 230 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2013
Nice little DVD. Can be hooked up to tv or computer. Does a great job with either. I bought this one to go with a small Acer Aspire V5-122P mini laptop. I travel a lot for work and the small compact thin size is perfect. The usb port to allow using it on a tv or other device was a welcome surprise
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100 of 108 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2013
This is quite small, not bad-looking, and worked fine for me with a couple of different PCs and laptops.
It was able to rip a 7.98GB pressed movie DVD in about 17 minutes, which is a lot faster than rip-locked drives.
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94 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2013
This is light-weight and portable.
and the design is nice too. I use macbook air and just needed portable external cdrom and this is great choice since apple product one is more expensive.
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80 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2013
I used it to put cd's on my laptop (a Mac) and it worked exactly a I hoped (that is, automatically). Good price.
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200 of 224 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2013
I bought it because there are times it is nice to have a DVD drive, but it is hard to justify the price of the Apple drive. I have had problems with other external drives drawing too much power on a single USB port. These drives came with a cable that can plug into two USB ports, but that doesn't work well on computers without two close-together USB ports. This drive seems to work fine. I was able to read and burn a CD with no problems. I haven't tried writing a DVD, but don't need to do that very often and have no reason to think that won't work. The drive is made of plastic and has a tray, unlike the Apple Superdrive. It has a separate USB cable (i.e., not built-in), again unlike the Apple drive. Still, at 1/2 the price given how often I expect it will be used it is perfect.
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2014
After using this drive to rip several CDs to our music library, I noticed the last song on one had clicks, pops, and skips. I made 2 copies of the tracks of a few of the CDs on our computer's hard drive and used a diff utility to verify both copies were the same. The copies of the last 1 or 2 tracks on some of the CDs were not the same. I've tried this on a Mac and a Windows 7 PC and this drive usually doesn't read the last 1 or 2 tracks twice with the same digital data (it's reading with errors). However, the internal optical drives on both computers read the same tracks from the same CDs multiple times with the same data (no errors). It was past the date to return the drive to Amazon, so I sent it to Samsung for replacement under warranty. The replacement drive fails to read the last 1 or 2 tracks in just the same way. It's probably a flaw in the design of this drive. This drive has received many very positive reviews. Perhaps people haven't noticed data errors reading files near the end of a full CD or DVD. I'll be getting a different drive.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2013
I bought this for my MacBook Air after reading reviews. This works just as I expected and is MUCH cheaper than the Apple external disc drive. It is very lightweight.
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