Lite-On bundles Nero 7 Essentials, which isn’t the latest version of the well-known Windows disc burning app and doesn’t have all the extras, but is still a useful piece of support software. It does include Nero Express for disc burning, Show Time for video playback, Vision for video editing, Recode for file conversion and InCD for handling rewriteable discs. Lite-On makes no claim to Linux or Mac OS X compatibilty.
Can be mounted vertically
Mac users will probably want to check out LG's nicer-looking but LightScribe-less - who cares? Use a pen to write your labels - GP08.
This version of Nero 7 Essentials includes support for LightScribe writing. If you haven’t used LightScribe before, the technique laser-etches a greyscale image into a special coating on the top side of LightScribe CD or DVD media. It’s an HP technology, licensed to other drive and disc makers, and Lite-On has been an HP partner since the early development days.
In the same way you can add text and images to a CD/DVD labelling program, you can build up a design in Nero Cover Designer, then flip the disc over and burn the top side using the LightScribe option. Although the image is only greyscale, you can buy coloured disc blanks to brighten things up. LightScribe is an unusual option on a slimline drive.
Despite its model number, the eSAU208-16 is an 8x drive running DVD±R or DVD+RW discs, 6x on dual-layer DVD±R and DVD-RW, and 5x with DVD-Ram. It reads and writes CDs at 24x, irrespective of type.
Recording 4.5GB of data to DVD+R took 832s (13m 52s) on this drive, giving a real-world average record transfer rate of 5.36MB/s. Transferring the data back took 581s (9m 41s), equivalent to 7.75MB/s. The results from the DVD-R tests were very similar, with times of 859s (14m 19s) for writing and 588s (9m 48s) for reading.
The DVD+RW write time is quicker, at 763s (12m 43s), than from either of the two recordable formats, but read back of the same material is quite a bit slower and takes longer than writing, at 772s (12m 52s). Overall, the performance of this drive isn't bad for a slimline drive, though it can be well exceeded by many 5.25in devices. Being bus-powered, it’s a lot more convenient to carry around and will easily slip in most laptop bags.
This is a neat, all-formats DVD rewriter with the bonus of LightScribe labelling, but without the bulk and extra cabling of a 5.25in device. Lite-On’s eSAU208-16 shows a fair turn of speed for a drive based on laptop technology and would be an ideal adjunct to a netbook. ®
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Disks really are on their way out.
Can't remember the last time I ever actually needed to use one, I think they'll soon be looked at in the same way as people look at the floppy drive on their new PC i.e. "Why the hell are they bothering to sell it with this clunky great thing in there?".
Give it a couple more years, and we'll start to see a transition to flash drives as the media of choice. Price is currently approaching £1/gig, and seems to be halving every year.
Add in the unlimited capacity (currently 64gb, but will get bigger), the smaller size, the superior read/write speeds, the lack of clunky hardware to read it, the minimal power usage on portable devices, and the lower noise levels and you have a winner of a recordable media format. I can see it overtaking blu-ray in terms of price per gig at some point.
I got a portable DVD player with a usb slot for my mum as an xmas pressie, also included a 16gb flash drive with 20 movies on it. She prefers playing movies from the flash stick as it's quieter and the battery lasts longer. There's the non-techie vote right there.
Of course, I guess we'll have to wait until the industry figures out how to DRM the things to hell before it'll actually take on. Then there's the stuck pig that is blu-ray to consider. :(
It'll get there, one way or the other, possibly through downloads, the music industry has already made the switch to flash storage for all practical purposes, movie industry will follow suit.
The software industry seems to have skipped physical media altogether, a lot of stuff is only available as a download.
Don't get me wrong, I've no objection to making these drives smaller and more attractive, so they look nicer sat on your desktop. But if you're really going to carry this thing around along with a netbook, just buy a cheap laptop instead.
... plastic discs anymore these days???
Can be had for less.
Got one recently to partner an ASUS E901 SCC (not a Netbook, don;t want to be sued). It works great and is particularly neat and lightweight. It was just over £50 including delivery but the cashback deal took it below the £50 mark. It only gets carried around when absolutely necessary but is a convenient size when you do need to have one.
It's also useful for simply reading CD's of data from other sources and the kids have used it to play DVD movies or play games from in their bedrooms.
I like it and there are different colours but the reddish colour looks fine to me.
What's the point of a fancy multi-coloured enclosure, and then sticking a plain black drive inside? MAkes it look like it was thrown together, not, as the article says, all made by the same manufacturer.
Can't see the point of LightScribe though - the discs all cost twice as much as a regular disc of the same quality.