Liteon External DVD 

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Some small notebooks and almost all Netbooks come without optical media. I certainly still have a PC that only has a CD drive and a more recent one with a DVD reader (no ability to write) so this unit can be useful to many

liteon ESAU108 53 slim external USB2 DVDRW

Plug it in to a USB port and it should be recognised almost immediately and you can then immediately use it to transfer programs and files to the PC.

It comes with a CD-ROM including Nero 8 SE. To install this insert the ROM in the drive. It comes up with two options Install Nero 8 SE or an install for Linux. The install is not the fastest. I attached it to an XP system and to a Vista one.

The install took just on 15 minutes – with the requested reboot – and in both cases it took around 520MB of hard disc space.

The drive is slim and light the dimensions are 15x14.5x2cm and it weights 300grams. It is black in colour. There is a mini USB port on the back and the front has the entry point for any CD or DVD you might use in it.

The supplied lead is one of these two headed options with the black cable going between the drive and the PC. There is also a red cable should your unit not present enough power to power the drive, then you attach this to a second USB port.

While I expect the drive to always be close to the PC the lead is only 7cm between the two plugs so on occasions you might have problems giving the drive a flat surface. The red lead is 50cm a very large differential.

I tend to burn a lot of home produced audio CD’s so I use a copy of Nero probably at least twice a week. So finding my way round a ‘crippled’ copy took a while. Knowing my normal interface makes it hard for me to judge.

As it connects via USB the maximum burning speed is 8x even when the files you want to burn are already present. The file window only has space for eight tracks the ninth (and subsequent will fit below but it is a bit of a bind dropping them at the exact point, it would help if the window size was not fixed so more tracks could be added easily.

I found various other niggling little problems that do not appear in the full version but of course the idea is that you buy the full product rather than contort yourself into using the ‘crippled’ version supplied with the drive.

I have long been able to burn ‘overburn CD’s’ with my copy of Nero this enables you to fit another minute onto an 80 minute disc, this might sound small fry but the number of times it has just enabled me to fit things in makes it a worthwhile feature and you will not be surprised to hear it does not make the ‘SE’ version of the software.

The drive I have no complaints and should you have a small notebook or a Netbook then being able to connect an external drive if only to copy software is useful. For the occasional use the Nero ‘SE’ software works but if like me you are used to a full copy then this ‘crippled’ version is rather restricting in its usefulness.

Doing my Internet searches found the Liteon ESAU108-53 8x External DVD drive at a best price of £46.99 including free delivery from the first link below.

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