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Customer Review

366 of 388 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT, INEXPENSIVE DVD DRIVE FOR MACS AND PCs, July 26, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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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Showing 1-10 of 33 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 23, 2011 9:13:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 14, 2011 4:29:54 PM PDT
soren121 says:
The problem with the eject button on OS X is actually a little quirk that Macs have. When you press the button, the drive sends what's called an ACPI event that asks OS X if it can open the tray. Every Mac for the past ten years or so has used a slot-loading drive that sucks the CD in, so Apple never added support for the eject button ACPI event. Therefore, OS X just sits there and does nothing.

Interesting story, right? :P

(EDIT: Some people, notably the person below, are confused. You can still eject the drive; you just have to eject it from OS X instead of pressing the physical button on the drive. Sorry for the mini-geek-rant.)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2011 4:16:08 PM PDT
H says:
So what are you saying-That you cannot eject cd or dvd if this drive is connected to a mac? Can't you just click on the mounted cd or dvd on the desktop and click hold apple and hit E?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2011 4:24:16 PM PDT
Christopher says:
No, you can eject just fine. Eject the icon as you described or tap the eject button on the drive itself.

soren121 got too geeky in his post and in the course of over-explaining, he under-described functionality. The drive works just fine with a Mac with no problems at all.

Posted on Nov 14, 2011 10:17:11 AM PST
meltdown117 says:
how fast is CD-R read/write speed? It doesn't say it on the Amazon website, so I am wondering if there is any description on the box?

Posted on Nov 19, 2011 2:55:25 PM PST
Richard says:
Did yours work with the MacBook Air *after* you had installed the Lion OS?

I bought one of these for use with my MacBook Air (2011) running Lion (which has caused problems for the MacBook Air running Apple's own SuperDrive), and the Mac wouldn't recognize the drive.

Posted on Jan 24, 2012 2:29:16 PM PST
Tammi Nowack says:
I just purchased this to go with my Mac, but obviously the Nero software included doesn't work on the Mac. How do you use the drive without the software?

Posted on Jan 26, 2012 7:03:06 PM PST
I am having trouble installing it on my MacBook air. I connected it and put in the installation disk, but my computer told me I didn't have the program available to run the setup. Did anyone else encounter this?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2012 9:16:38 PM PST
Christopher says:
There is not setup. No drivers are needed. It is built into the Mac's finder. Create a new Burn Folder, drag what you want to burn into it, and she the drive is connected click on "Burn" and the Mac will then burn the contents of the Burn Folder to the disc. As far as reading a disc, just insert a CD or DVD into the drive and it shows on the desktop. I use this drive on 10.6 or 10.7.

I think people used to Windows just make this way too complicated. This works just by plugging it in. You don't need disc burning software on the Mac, but if you want some then buy Toast.

Posted on Feb 12, 2012 10:16:05 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 12, 2012 10:16:49 AM PST
Katcha N. says:
Hi Christopher,
I a real beginner when it comes to using this drive. I want to use it to burn and create my own music CDs on PC. Will I need disk burning software or does the drive come with it? Or do I just simply download the burning software from internet. Thanks KN

Posted on Feb 22, 2012 10:56:26 AM PST
LC says:
I have an older macbook pro and when trying to import CDs into itunes I got an error message "the required disk cannot be found". After trying several solutions on the web, the one that did it for me was to plug in the secondary USB plug into my USB hub (for additional power). After that it seems to be going with no problems.
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