With dimensions of 13.25 x 13.5 x 16cm and a weight of just 255g, the Slim Portable DVD-ROM Drive from USB Geek is exactly that.
Read on for the low down on this compact unit.
In the box
The USB Slim Portable DVD-ROM package comes complete with a brief manual, an 8cm driver disc and two USB connector cables. The standard USB A/B cable is supplemented by a USB to power cable.
The drive is very neatly designed and from a distance, appears to be composed of the same black material of Arthur C. Clarke’s monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Upon closer scrutiny however, the uniform blackness gives way to small details: The front of the drive has moulded “Compact Disc” and “DVD-ROM” logos, which are accompanied by a small eject button and green LED. The customary /paperclip/ hole for manually ejecting discs is also where you would expect it to be.
The base of the unit has four small rubber stoppers as well as some etched information about the drive’s fragility and the importance of reading the manual – A little rich considering how thin the manual is, really.
The rear of the unit features a female B type USB port along with a generic power port for use with the included power to USB cable. All in all, the drive is a very neat package with tight seals, clean edges with a minimum of fuss.
While the drive comes with two USB connectors – one for data and one for power – the DVD-ROM drive worked flawlessly on every computer we tested it on, with just the regular A/B USB connector connected.
When connected to our Windows XP machine, control panel reported the drive to be a “HL -DT -ST RW/DVD GCC -4244N USB Device” with 2Mb buffer. The drive reports that it can read the following media types:
• DVD+R DL
• DVD RAM
We had no problems reading a variety of discs in this drive and in basic CD-R read tests, the drive produced a random access seek time of around 50ms and a maximum read speed of just over 17x or 2592kB/s.
While the drive’s write features are relegated to the Compact Disc (non DVD) realm, it does support buffer underrun protection. Both CD-R and CD-RW recording is supported with a reported maximum speed of 24x.
We managed to burn a 677Mb (77:02 minute) CD-R of random data in 5 minutes, 36 seconds with a peak write speed of just over 20x using Verbatim media.
It is also worth mentioning that in both read and write tests, the drive produced little noise – even at full speed.
Throughout our testing the USB Slim Portable drive was connected to a variety of computers and performed without any problems in all instances. In fact, when we connected the drive as part of our Popcorn Hour A-100 review, the device was recognised by the unit instantly and played back DVD video flawlessly.
If you require a neat and simple USB /combo drive/ solution, the USB Slim Portable DVD-ROM drive from USB Geek is well worth considering, particularly at its $57US price point.