Your money buys you the drive, a short - 21cm tip to tip - mini USB cable and nothing else - no case, no software, nothing.
Never be trayed
Unlike other slimline external optical drives we've seen, the ETDU108 isn't a tray-loader. The lid flips up Sony Discman style to allow you to clip your disk onto the spindle within. Clip down the lid and the read mechanism kicks in automatically.
There's a big emergency stop button the front of the lid that immediately stops the disc from spinning. Beneath it Stop, on the front of the drive, is a spring-loaded slider that trips the lid's catch release.
Low-cost slimline optical drives aren't the most solidly built of computer peripherals - at least, that's what they feel like - and the ETDU108 is no exception. It's very light, and it the lid's not going to survive punishment. But the that's true of any portable disc player, and having a lid rather than a tray is certainly handy for working in confined spaces such as airline seats.
The low weight - 300g - slim dimensions and curved corners make the ETDU108 as portable as they come. With no tray mechanism it's a good 10-20mm narrower and thinner than other drives of this type. Lite-on has a cut a cable-shaped groove in the base into which you can tuck the USB cord.
The mini USB port sits in the notch at the back
We hooked the ETDU108 up to an Acer Aspire One D250 netbook - reviewed here - and found it eminently suitable for DVD viewing. Playback was perfect, and skipping chapters no chore.
DVD rom only?
Quite old school to be honest, and as many people have said, a burner isn't much more expensive.
Ever since my main PC blew up a year and a half ago, I can't afford to replace it completely (apparently, the new power supply works fine, but presumably something else is dead), and I need to burn things off my EEE 1000HE.
I bought the one Ian McNee mentions, 54 euros, and with only two USB slots used for power to burn (reading seems fine with just one), it's a nifty drive which suits my needs. Fairly decent build too, whilst plastic it feels secure, though I wouldn't trust my cat to sit on it when it's running.
I have one..
I have this model and its great.
it works well on an old 701 8gb i had a while ago.
but some early laptops cannot power it. as it claims on the back it need's DC-5volts at 1.5A
There also do a writer version for only £42.50 which comes with the double usb lead.
Only stupid thing about it is the four feet on the bottom are not as higher than the cable that fits in the back. so does not sit right on table when not in use. also the usb plug is the wrong way up so you have to twist the cable round to put it in a normal usb port..
Speaking as someone who uses a thin'n'light laptop - as opposed to a netbook - I *do* see the value in having a drive capable of burning. I've burned a lot of Linux distro disc on the no-name external drive I keep in the office.
£30 seems a bit much...
For £24.50 I got a slimline DVD-ROM/+RW/-RW/RAM drive and a sleek black external enclosure for it.
Assembly was a breeze! You pushed the drive into the enclosure until it clicked, and tightened two screws in the back to hold it in place. I've come across more difficult phone batteries to replace than this. Just about everyone can do it. Hell for £35 you could buy it and probably find someone to assemble it for you (It's literally a 20 second job, I'd do it for £10 no problem).
While I admit I don't often need burning capability on my netbook, why not have the feature just in case? Especially as it's cheaper.
Not to mention the fact that you can use the drive with other machines. Can't tell you how many times I plugged the drive into a friends or work computer to burn DVD's, because their drive can't do it.
Honestly I see no point the reviewed product. It's more expensive, bigger and has fewer features than what you can get in online shops.
Netbook + Nero + Dongle = BSOD
This is a good idea. There are problems with media writing software (Nero and Roxio that I know of for sure) forking up the USB handlers so that when a 3G dongle is plugged in a BSOD is generated. With this device you won't be tempted to install that shitty software and spend days trying to fix the problem.