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As my new tablet PC didn't come with any integral disk function, an external DVD drive was the first accessory I deemed necessary. This model - the Samsung SE-S084 - won out for being very affordable - I paid less than £25 - and would also let me burn DVDs. It's not something I'd thought to be really necessary in the past, but a lot of software downloads these days require being burned to DVD (CDs are old fashioned and too small these days!) before you can install. Although there are software works-arounds for that, there are still loads of reasons why a drive is essential: not least accessing music, movie or game disks, and this gizmo saved my bacon when I needed to burn a CD of coursework for uni!
So yeah, this writes and burns CDs and DVDs, at 24x and 5-8x speed respectively, the latter depending on your type of DVD, but this will cope with all (+/-R(W)) saving me from the mega-confusion of which disk type to buy in the shop!
The whole thing was very easy to set up: really, plug and play. I'm running Windows 7, but it's compatible with Vista, XP and 2000, as well as Macs. The interface is via two USB ports, which might be a problem with some computers, but mine has 3 ports, so I can plug the printer in at the same time, thankfully! Those are USB 2.0 connections, too, meaning that the whole thing is as fast as it can be when transferring data, either way - very appreciated!
So far the whole thing has worked absolutely perfectly, both reading and writing - in just under six months I haven't had a disk error yet. My only slight issue is that as it's fairly light (320g) and the cable that comes with it is pretty short, it does have to sit very close to me and tends to shift about very easily (or, fall towards the ground only to dangle!) when I move the laptop it's connected to. This results in the otherwise very quiet machine emitting some pretty unhappy noises while it's working, more so if I put even a little pressure on the top as I'm picking it up. So far there's been no effect on the use, but then it wasn't doing anything when I dropped it. Ahem!
Looks-wise, I picked this for being unobtrusive if not desperately pretty. It's basically a non-glossy (and thus doesn't show any light scratches!) black box, not much bigger than the disk it takes. There's just one button on the front (which is grey, for no reason) to eject the disk - but only when it's plugged into your computer. The 'drawer' feels solidly attached, even when ejected, and the disks push and click into place.
Overall: it works, it's as portable as the laptop I bought it for, and at that price you really can't argue!
A couple of years ago year the CD / DVD drive on my MacBook packed in, prompting me to shop for an external unit to replace it. In terms of my criteria, I simply wanted something that would be cheap to buy, and also be compatible with Macs as well as PCs. My research led me to Samsung's SE-S084 which had a number of positive reviews on amazon.co.uk.
Specifications and Price
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The SE-S084 not only *plays* CD and DVDs, but it also *records* them too - the CD write speed is a respectable 24x, whilst the DVD write speed maxxes out at 8x. Cost wise, the product retails online for only £23.97, making it one of the cheapest DVD burners on the market.
Design & Appearance + Using the Product
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Appearance wise, the drive is very pleasant looking indeed - it's small, and clad in an unobjectionable black plastic. Measuring only 14 x 14 x 2 cms the device is ultra transportable, and as it draws its power from the USB cable (included) there's no need for an external power supply. Discs are loaded into the device via the opening tray which is accessed by a small button on the front of the unit. Once the button is pressed, the tray quickly pops open - it's then up to the user to fully extend the drawer and subsequently push it closed once the disc is in place.
Performance & Final Word
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I've had no issues with the device regarding performance, and have found it to read all the discs I've entered into it (barring blu-ray) without problems. In use, the product is quiet, and doesn't get excessively hot. From the perspective of reliability, the SE-S04 works as well today as it did when it was new, and I would have no hesitation in highly recommending it to others.