A copy of Nero Express Suite version 6.6 is supplied with the drive, in case you need some slightly more advanced features, such as burning disc images. You also get a copy of CyberLink PowerDVD 5 so you can use the EZ-DUB as your DVD player to watch movies on your PC if it doesn't already have a DVD-ROM drive built in.
The EZ-DUB software has a menu button - the smaller blue orb of the two - which allows you to change the default name of the disc, change the folder for the cached files and erase re-writeable discs. For anything more exotic you have to use Nero. But simplicity is what the EZ-DUB drive is all about and for most of its intended users the functionality provided is more than enough.
Writing 605MB of data in a single large file to a CD took 2m 32m with the EZ-DUB software, whereas the same operation took 2m 29s with Nero 7. Copying the same data from a CD using EZ-DUB took 2m 57s, although this is due to the data coming from a slower source than the hard drive. There was also some caching taking place even though EZ-DUB was set up to do the copy on the fly. I also copied 3535MB of data to a 16x-rated DVD+R, a process which took 5m 21s. Doing the same test with a DVD-R disc took 5m 17s.
A word of warning: readers with older computers - ie. anyone not using Windows 2000 or XP - won't be able to use the EZ-DUB software. This seems a fairly big flaw, in my book, as this would more likely be the type of user whose PC wouldn't have a built-in DVD writer. That said, most machines that old won't have support for USB 2.0, but this could be solved with an appropriate add-in card being fitted. There is also no option for standing the EZ-DUB on its side, so make sure you have enough desk space before you run out and buy one as it measures 17.2 x 24.3cm. It's 6.6cm high.
At almost £59 the Lite-On EZ-DUB is an affordable external DVD writer, whether or not you use the EZ-DUB feature.
The Lite-On EZ-DUB is a simple-to-use external DVD writer that requires minimal technical and software knowledge to get up and running. Although you don't get the more advanced features of a proper disc burning package - though the bundled Nero Express offers slight more sophisticaed functionality, if you need it - most of the target users aren't likely to use these features on a daily basis. It's also an affordable upgrade for anyone that doesn't want to pop the lid on their PC or notebook. ®