Top positive review
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Light, compact and will match most silver/grey laptops
on 16 January 2013
LG have a reputation for providing the optical drives used in most laptops and desktops PCs and have held that position for many years. Their drives may not be the most expensive, but are generally reliable and forgiving of media brands, something that cannot be said of some 'prime' brands of writer where a limited range of media is known to be compatible. Such restrictions may result in poor review ratings for certain products.
I had long chosen LG writers where an external drive was needed and it therefore made sense to select this model over several others. All sides and edges are gently rounded which makes it attractive on the desktop. USB 2.0 only - it can be used if USB 3.0 sockets are the sole version available - and it has a single connector on the drive for power and data. However, as with many other external optical drives, it uses a Y-adapter in order to ensure a sufficient amount of power is always delivered. You may not need to use both, but some laptops and hubs do not deliver anything close to the 500mA minimally required. You may need to consider that if you need to use both connectors, they will need to be in close proximity and on some laptops that is simply not possible. You may therefore need to invest in a reliable hub in order to use this drive effectively. Many buyers will need to use only the main, and slightly the thicker cabled, USB connector and ignore the auxilliary. As with other similar drives, the overall cable length is around a half-metre in length, which should suffice with a laptop but may be insufficient for a desktop PC. Short USB extension cables (0.5 or 1m) could be used where needed.
Although another reviewer claims that the casing is thin and very flexible, it is not and its generally domed top adds greatly to its strength and resilience. In contrast to a similar external DVD writer of another brand which needs to be very carefully handled as excessive pressure on its casing will prevent the disk drawer from opening and closing, this is much sturdier and will take a little more rough handling. The disk drawer has a metal base and is therefore stronger and less flexible than those which are completely plastic. The Eject button is a small and only slightly protruding disk, either side of which are small pinhead LEDs, the left one to indicate disk read access and the right when writing to media.
In addition to the rather minimal documentation provided you get a disk of software, mostly CyberLink products, including a version of their 3D DVD player and Power2Go. There is no driver software as it is Plug & Play!
Thus far, and it is early days, I have written a few each of CDs, DVDs (single and Dual-layer) and Blu-ray media (25GB only) of a mix of brands and all had been written successfully. It is a little slower in writing all media types than other drives I own which are all full-sized, but this is normal of all portable writers, regardless of media types usable and brand. It therefore appears to be a reliable design. Most media was written with Nero 12 although a couple of disks were originally ISOs and burned with other software.
Reasonably priced, attractive and recommended.