Please suggest a simple portable USB DVD burner to purchase in the US

vbimport

#1

I need to buy a portable USB DVD burner to complement my Toshiba Netbook. May I request the members of this forum to share with me their suggestions? I don’t need anything fancy, such as lightscribe. Just plain support for reading and writing various CD and DVD formats would be good. Dual layer DVD support would be a plus, but not absolutely essential.

The only criterion is that it should be available for purchase in the US.

Can you please help?


#2

Is there a specific place you’d like to purchase your new drive from, such as NewEgg?

Might help us narrow down the options a bit if we can pick from what’s actually available. :slight_smile:

Nice nickname BTW, that’s my starsign :wink:


#3

[QUOTE=Arachne;2520696]Is there a specific place you’d like to purchase your new drive from, such as NewEgg?

Might help us narrow down the options a bit if we can pick from what’s actually available. :)[/QUOTE]

Thanks for your reply. Newegg is great (I am a longtime customer), but as long as it is an online store, I don’t mind a different one - if Newegg doesn’t stock a particular model. I looked at the current offerings from Newegg this morning, but was not terribly impressed. The ASUS model SDRW-08D1S-U looked nice, but the customer reviews varied between the white and the black body versions - I can’t imagine why.

I have earlier purchased from Tigerdirect, Buydig, ProVantage, and a few other online vendors, as well as those that have both physical and online stores (such as Best Buy). If you can make some recommendations, that would be fantastic.

One additional criterion that would be very helpful is that presence of a proper firmware update that can render the drive region free. RPC1.org used to work marvellously for me before, but sadly not anymore somehow! :frowning:

Nice nickname BTW, that’s my starsign :wink:

Thanks! Mine, too. Your handle is pretty cool, too! :smiley:


#4

If you require a region free drive, you might want to look for LiteOn eHAU324, that’s a full fledged LiteOn DVD burner with a region counter that can be reset with KProbe even without modified firmware.


#5

For an external that you can make region-free (check C0deKing’s excellent firmware Patch Utility), LiteOn might be a brand to look at :wink:

We have a review here of the eTAU108 model here at MyCE that you might want to read first to see if a LiteOn drive would indeed fit your needs: http://www.myce.com/review/lite-on-etau108-slimline-dvd-writer-review-24031/

Although I didn’t see that exact model on NewEgg, there are other LiteOns there. Whilst we wait for other options/recommendations, I’ll have a look at the various other places you mentioned and see what else I can hunt down. :wink:

Thanks! Mine, too. Your handle is pretty cool, too! :smiley:

Thanks back atcha :)…the ironic thing is, spiders scare the life out of me LOL!

EDIT: Hehe, whaddya know…another vote for LiteOn from Evilboy :smiley:


#6

Thanks [B]Arachne[/B] for the eTAU108. I checked out the nice review, but just like the last commentor in that post, I have the same question - what about the power requirement? I am going to connect it to a Netbook through USB 2.0… I don’t know if the port (and I see from the pictures that it connects to a single port) would supply 1.5mA.

I actually wouldn’t mind an external power source (like an AC adapter) if that is what it takes to make the drive work properly.

Also, the spec sheet picture shows compatibility upto Windows Vista. I wonder if I would have trouble with the Windows 7 Starter (an atrocious POC) that came with the Netbook.

The Lite-On IT website now lists an eTAU208 model. It does address the power issue in the specs, saying, “High efficient power saving mode enables single USB port operations.” The eSAU208 model, however, mentions that two USB ports are required for the operation, which I think works for me. However, the OS compatibility for both the models is still limited to Vista.

[B]Evil-boy[/B], thank you, too, for your reply. The Lite-ON IT website mentions an eHAU424 model, which I presume is the next-gen of the model you mentioned. It is a non-SLIM model, and has the lightscribe technology (which I don’t need), and so I guess would be more expensive. The website doesn’t mention about the power requirements, though I think it has an external power adapter - since the plug size is mentioned. Unfortunately, even in this one, the OS compatibility is restricted to Vista.

Sigh!


#7

You could also buy an external enclosure, and pair it with the slim drive of your choice (or regular size if you don’t mind the bulkyness).

A friend of mine did just that not too long ago, he went with a Sony Optiarc AD-7700S slim drive, I haven’t had the chance of using it, but he really seems to like it.


#8

Thank you for the suggestion. I had considered it, but then started worrying about the power requirement. An internal drive (E-IDE or SATA) probably is a lot more power hungry than one that is optimized to be powered through USB. I am going to be using it with a Netbook, so the power requirement is an important consideration, I guess. Does your friend’s enclosure have an external power adapter?


#9

He isn’t on AIM at the moment so I cant ask what brand/model number enclosure he has. But I do now it has no external power addapter (that plugs into the wall), only a mini USB to USB. But I think it used two USB connectors on the Laptop side, like a USB Y cable. I assumed one was for data the other to get (more) power while burning.


#10

The power requirement thing is a very good point, which I’d overlooked (doh!) - so on that note, I would say if you can find a non-slim external LiteOn drive - which should come with it’s own power cable, i.e. not USB-powered, then I’d say you’re good to go. :wink:

I have a slim Samsung external drive, which is USB-powered, and does indeed need to run from 2 USB ports to work. This works beautifully on my machines, but they’re desktops. I also have a (non-slim) LG external drive, with its own power adapter.

Up until my enclosure died, I used a variety of internal drives in it (and yes, the enclosure itself did come with it’s own external adapter), and does offer a great deal more choice in that you can basically choose whatever drive you like. :slight_smile:


#11

Hi,[QUOTE=aquarius012273;2520740]Thank you for the suggestion. I had considered it, but then started worrying about the power requirement. (…)Does your friend’s enclosure have an external power adapter?[/QUOTE]
You are absolutely correct if you are worrying about the power requirements. External slim drives have the same drive hardware than internal drives. Looking on the sticker shows you that these drives need up to 1500 mA at 5V. By specification, an USB port provides 500 mA @ 5V.
This massive overload must not neccessarily be supported by your computer, so the drive may work or may not work.

The only reliable methods to cope with that is either a separate battery (if I remember correctly, then there was a Plextor drive that had such a battery) or a power supply. Sony branded external slim drives are the only ones I am aware of that have such a power supply enclosed in the package.

Michael


#12

Thanks, Michael. One further question, then. If these drives need 1500mA, and the USB port only provides 500mA, how are these drives running by connecting to a single or (in most cases) double USB ports? A double USB port would provide a max of 1000mA, no? Curious.

My Toshiba netbook does have two USB ports marked as “Sleep and Charge” (the function is to be enabled through Toshiba proprietory software, I think). I don’t know if these are special USB ports or not…

So what’s the consensus? Lite-ON eSAU208 - what d’you think?


#13

Hi,[QUOTE=aquarius012273;2521010]Thanks, Michael. One further question, then. If these drives need 1500mA, and the USB port only provides 500mA, how are these drives running by connecting to a single or (in most cases) double USB ports? A double USB port would provide a max of 1000mA, no? Curious. [/quote]An USB port gives 100mA unless otherwise requested by the device. Since one branch of the (not specs compliant) Y-cable has power wires only, you get the additional 100mA.
These drives work mostly because many computers seem to be able to survive that overload.

My Toshiba netbook does have two USB ports marked as “Sleep and Charge” (the function is to be enabled through Toshiba proprietory software, I think). I don’t know if these are special USB ports or not…

The special thing of these “sleep and charge” USB ports is, they are simply not shutdown when turning off the computer.

So what’s the consensus? Lite-ON eSAU208 - what d’you think?
Not an option for me.

Just read the fineprint in the specs sheet:

**** Power Saving Mode will be enabled by Power Test software when your system can not meet the
power requirement for Normal Mode.
They blame the customer’s computer for not supporting their non-compliant {censored}.

My favourite is LG’s GE20NU10/GE20LU10. Yes, it’s Half Height. :slight_smile: Seems as if the GE20LU10 is still available on amazon.com

Michael


#14

@Michael - Regarding the LG and one of aquarius012273’s earlier questions - can it be made RPC1, say with something like MCSE?

:slight_smile:


#15

[QUOTE=Arachne;2521059]@Michael - Regarding the LG and one of aquarius012273’s earlier questions - can it be made RPC1, say with something like MCSE?
[/QUOTE]Even better :bigsmile:



#16

^ Nice, cheers Michael :smiley:


#17

[QUOTE=mciahel;2521048]Just read the fineprint in the specs sheet:
They blame the customer’s computer for not supporting their non-compliant {censored}.[/QUOTE]
Not only that! I just discovered that in order for their power test tool to work, one needs to have the driver for their DVDRW already present in the system. This seems very… counter-intuitive, to say the least!!

So, Lite-On ESAU is out for me, I guess. How about the Lite-On EHAU, that was earlier suggested by Evil-boy? It has an external power adapter. If it will work with Windows 7 is my main question here.

I used to be a huge fan of Plextor CD/DVD drives (having owned at least three internal Plextor writers), but their external burner is going out of my current price range. And so is the LG GE20 series that Michael has. :frowning:


#18

[QUOTE=aquarius012273;2521317]
So, Lite-On ESAU is out for me, I guess. How about the Lite-On EHAU, that was earlier suggested by Evil-boy? It has an external power adapter. If it will work with Windows 7 is my main question here. [/quote]It’s a Half-Height drive like the LG I suggested. So there shouldn’t be any power issues. And normally there shouldn’t be a problem with Win7.

One note about RPC1 patched drives: We’ve had some reports about Windows 7 haveing problems with RPC1 patched drives. No idea if this is a Windows 7 issue or a problem of some application installed. I haven’t tested a RPC1 drive on Win7 myself yet, but I can confirm the LG works (Win7 Home Premium 64 bit).

I used to be a huge fan of Plextor CD/DVD drives (having owned at least three internal Plextor writers), but their external burner is going out of my current price range.
Modern Plextor drives are recycled Liteons :slight_smile:
And so is the LG GE20 series that Michael has. :frowning:
Seriously?
These drives, Liteon EHAU x24 and LG GE20LU10 are both in the same price range (around 50 USD via Amazon.com - link).

Additional note:
There is already a successor of the GE20LU[B]10[/B], the GE20LU[I]11[/I]. This is a totally different drive - I do not know if this is patchable.


#19

Thank you for your detailed replies and analysis, Michael. Next time I buy an external DVD writer for myself, it is going to be one that follows your suggestions! :bow:

However, this time I am buying a DVD writer that I want to work with a Netbook - and I have a special situation in mind. The Netbook is going to another country, India, to my mom. While an externally powered DVD writer is the right choice as you say, but for my mom (who would use the drive only infrequently) it would mean worrying about an additional power adapter, and I would worry about whether the 220V mains electricity in India would be handled by that adapter (I understand that generally most modern electrical equipments are rated for 110-240V, but still…).

I think I am slowly leaning towards Arachne’s choice, the Samsung SE-084C. The review that I read elsewhere in this forum (MyCE) sort of made up my mind. I am going to chance it, and hopefully it will work with the Windows 7 starter edition that came with the Notebook. If not, I shall think of an alternative.

But once again, a great many thanks to all of you who have take the time to answer my questions and offer suggestions.


#20

Let us know what you think of the SE-S084C, if that’s what you end up with - but as I said in another thread, you might want to make sure your mom uses +R discs with it, rather than -R, the drive produces some relinking spikes on the -R discs that, while not being a problem for most PC drives, my LG standalone certainly has trouble playing back :wink: (I didn’t have this standalone at the time of the review).

In fact, I’d be curious to know which drive you do end up with, even if it’s not the Sammy :slight_smile: