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Portable Blu-Ray Burner
Whatever others may state, size is important. However it does not really matter what the actual dimensions are as long as they are suitable for the user’s current needs. Currently the IT industry is throwing its not inconsiderable weight (and that is another issue that needs to be taken into consideration) behind mobility and the associated subject of miniaturisation. As a result terms such as “mini” and “micro” are often added to the title of certain devices. One such example is Sandberg’s USB Mini Blu-Ray Burner which is the subject of this review.
First let me clear up one point regarding the “mini” aspect of this product’s title. The “mini” refers to the size of the external Blu-Ray Burner and not the USB port found on this device. The USB port is of the standard type found on numerous pieces of computer equipment and is of the USB 2.0 variety.
Opening the package, which is only slightly larger than the typical DVD box containing the latest blockbuster movie or software application, reveals the Burner unit plus two USB leads and a small multi-lingual User Guide. The predominately matte black Burner unit, apart from the white Sandberg logo on the top, has dimensions of 134 x 139 x 18mm (W x D x H) and weighs 298g which makes the device eminently portable for when the need arises. As you might expect the front panel of the Burner features the appropriate logo for the supported optical technologies plus an inlaid button for opening the tray. Located at the rear of the Burner are connections for power and linking to a computer using the supplied USB leads.
Although both of the USB leads have the same type of standard connection at one end for linking to a computer, the sockets found at the other end of the leads are different. One USB lead, which is solely for power, has a power connector. The other USB lead, handling both data and power, has a standard USB port connector. For most eventualities you should be able to get away with just using the standard USB lead as this will provide enough power for the device to perform its designated tasks.
When connected to a computer, whether of the Windows or Mac family, the drive should be automatically recognised and the appropriate drivers loaded so the device appears as part of the desktop. You can then load a blank disk for burning or a disk containing content for playing back. In both type of situation you will need the necessary software to perform either type of action. This is not included as part of the package and will need to be provided by the user.
In some cases this software will form part of the standard operating system but this will not always be the case. You might need to provide third-party software for burning and play back operations especially when Blu-Ray is the format to be used. In my case I used the excellent CyberLink software to carry out certain tasks using a desktop system and a laptop on the host machine.
Performance will depend upon the software and system specifications being used. I encountered no problems with this product which was able to handle various tasks using different media. Sandberg has rated this device as capable of delivering write speeds of CD-R x24, CD-RW x16, DVD-R x8, DVD-RW x6, BD-R/RE x6 with read speeds of CD-R/RW/ROM x24, DVD-R/RW/ROM x8 and BD-R/RE x6. I have no quarrels with any of these figures.
For its ease of use, mobility and generally performance when attached to Windows 7 systems, the Sandberg USB Mini Blu-Ray Burner is worth considering. Supplied with a five year warranty, this product has been priced at £86.99. One minor criticism would involve the lack of a carry pouch for the Burner and its accompanying leads.
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