Plextor PX-L611U portable DVD writer
Optical extras on the go
Review As Blu-Ray climbs to the top of the optical storage ladder, one might assume that manufacturers of optical drives would cease production of anything that doesn’t feature this technology. However, Plextor has seen fit to launch the PX-L611U, a smart external DVD writer.
Etching ahead: Plextor's PX-L611U
While it’s all too easy to shun this sort of device, this is not your ordinary bulky, “Oh, do I really have to carry this?” external drive. At 22mm tall and with a footprint of 137mm x 137mm, it’s just about as small as an external optical drive can possibly be and still be properly protected.
Plextor’s aim is clearly compact convenience for the netbook market. The PX-L611U weighs only 350g and is powered by a combination of the USB 2.0 bus and some kind of internal battery of unknown specification. Overall, a simple, but neat approach to optical portability.
As for the software, it’s even simpler – Windows XP and 7 (let’s assume Vista as well) and Mac OS X (10.6.6 tested) instantly recognise the drive and require no additional drivers or software to function. Those wishing to use the included PlexUtilities or Nero 9 Essentials software will, however, have to use a Windows platform.
Neat and tidy with support for most disc types
As with most modern drives, Plextor has included support for nearly all DVD± disc formats with one exception; no DVD±RW DL support. This will be an inconvenience to some, but most needn’t worry, you can still have your dual layer fix with DVD±R DL discs, but no rewrites for you, alas. If it’s any compensation though, this drive also features LightScribe for those who aren’t artistic enough with a permanent marker.
As this review does not specify that the drive is region free or otherwise, then the review is a failure. Also, does it work with Linux? I can buy region free drives for a much lower price on ebay, why waste the reviewer's and readers time with this product?
Plextors = Sony
I think they are just re-badged Sony Optiarc drives now.
I know Plextor never actually made any of their drives but they used to write the custom firmware that gave the extra features you were paying for.
They don't even do that anymore.
plextor USED to be good
My original Plex was very good and lasted a long time. The subsequent replacement was not very good (i.e., long lasting AND reliable) so I was pretty much off them after that (not to mention the price premium they always seemed to have). Found it much cheaper to simply buy two different cheaper brands to replace it. Still have my old Plextools though....wish they had kept that up as a freebie...sadly enough for them; they didn't. Just one more reason to NOT buy their product.
Now, they're a MEH!
Not completely trashed
From the looks of it, the thing got the virus maybe a couple of weeks ago, and it had been making merry ever since. Until it was plugged into the net and AVG did an auto-update yesterday, there was nothing outwardly wrong. After AVG quaranteened several files, the thing became a bit dead with lots of registry links to now non-existant files, couldn't start any apps, and didn't come back after a reboot.
PCs always have autorun disabled (but that doesn't stop people using the image viewer on their friends HDD with photos from assignment!)
A nice application from Sandisk is going to have a look over the external HDD later looking for pictures (although I'm not sure if it spots RAWs or only JPEGs).
Still, it would be nice to have a Bluray writer for archive. I used to use DAT, but now an 80GB tape wouldn't even last a week, so need something simple enough for SO to use, and bigger than a DVD.
Looks to me like a regular thinline DVD r/w device in a USB interface housing. A fancy, good looking one, maybe, but still not much more than that.
FWIW, I took the drive out of an old Packard Bell laptop, fitted an enclosure (about £10 off ebay) and Linux4One (based on Ubunti/ Debian) reads it without issue.
So assuming this is effectively the same, you shouldn't have a problem if you're running Deb based linux.