Lite-On ETDU108 Portable DVD drive

I’ve been a bit gadget-strapped recently, try as I might I can’t get excited about blinds and other essential items which I’ve been splashing out on recently.

However, I have just succumbed.  I love my netbook, but not having a CD or DVD drive is a real inconvenience if you want to just take a DVD away with you, or install software which comes as a .iso file, or traditional DVD.

So after some debating, I treated myself to the Liteon ETDU108-02 8x External Slimline DVD ROM (Black), delivered in great time by Amazon even with their Super-Saver delivery (are Royal Mail trying extra-hard post strike, it certainly feels like it at the moment.  There’s a review from the register here, which seems to criticise it for not being able to write CDs and DVDs.  No it doesn’t, and I looked and on Amazon there are similarly priced portable drives which does offer this functionality, but this is a cheap and cheerful solution to a specific problem.

And does it work?  Brilliantly.  I had major reservations that it wouldn’t work with my underpowered eee-701, which has sometimes struggled to play back .mp4 files when running full screen, but DVDs run fine when using VLC.

The other reason for purchase, it’s sometimes handy to be able to burn a CD/DVD, whilst watching another when on my MacBook or Big Mac.  A DVD project can sometimes take nearly four hours to encode and burn (I’ve got one running as I type).  I can now plug in the Lite-On, and carry on watching a DVD.

The build quality seems good, with a big panic ‘stop’ button on the front.  We take it for granted nowadays that these products just work out of the box, no need to install drivers etc.

The only thing missing is a case of any sort, for a device that’s going to be used on the go this is a serious omission, and I may invest in some sort of case offering more protection than the plastic bag which it’s currently stored in.

So, a completely unnecessary gadget purpose, but something which I’m pleased with, and seems to do exactly what it should.

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