Best selling netbook

Asus SDRW-08D1S-U Review – External DVD Writer

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm

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Asus SDRW-08D1S-U StandingThe Asus SDRW-08D1S-U USB 2.0 external DVD writer is currently, and has been the #1 best selling external DVD writer for netbooks since its release.

It also sits right at the top of our best selling netbook accessories page, making it a more popular buy than netbook RAM upgrades or cases.

This of course comes of little surprise considering netbooks do not feature an optical drive.

Asus are the most popular netbook brand, and kicked off the netbook market with their Eee PC product range. The Asus SDRW-08D1S-U can almost be seen as the official optical / DVD drive for the Eee PC netbook range, and is very frequently bought alongside a netbook purchase.

Asus SDRW-08D1S-U

Asus SDRW-08D1S-U

The external drive is powered by a single USB 2.0 cable, and of course works with more than just netbooks and will function with a normal laptop or desktop.

Technical Specifications

Write Speeds:

  • DVD-R: 8X
  • DVD-RW: 6X
  • DVD+R: 8X
  • DVD+RW: 8X
  • DVD+R(DL): 6X
  • DVD-R (DL): 6X
  • CD-R: 24X
  • CD-RW: 16X
  • DVD-RAM: 5X

Read Speeds:

  • CD-ROM: 24 X max.
  • CD-RW: 24 X max.
  • CD-R: 24 X max.
  • 156.4 x 140.8 x 21 mm (W x D x H)
  • 412 g
  • Disc Encryption
  • Vertical / Horizontal Operation

Design / Features

A DVD burner isn’t strictly necessary for a netbook, as many programs can be downloaded and installed from the Internet and data saved and transfered via a USB memory stick, I have written more about it here: external dvd drives. But for some situations a DVD burner can be very useful and sometimes necessary.

Asus External DVD Burner

Asus SDRW-08D1S-U All

The Asus SDRW-08D1S-U is very slim and small, and has a glossing finish which is available in either black or white. The glossy design matches that of the current range of  Asus “seashell” netbooks. The only downside is that it can pickup fingerprints very easily.

The drive is powered and connected to your computer by a single USB 2.0 port. The provided USB cables has two plugs, in case one alone isn’t sufficient enough to power the drive. One was enough for the two netbooks and one laptop I tested it on.

What makes this Asus DVD drive different from many on the market, such as the Lite-On eTAU108 which I have also reviewed, is that it can be used both flat, and also vertically using the bundled stand.

Asus SDRW-08D1S-U Standing

Asus SDRW-08D1S-U Standing

This is very useful, as standing the drive up on your desk takes up much less room than it does laying flat, saving desk space.

The drive feels solid and sturdy, and can be connected and removed form the stand easily.

On the front of the drive there is a blue status activity light, along with an eject button.

Setup / Usage

The installation of the Asus SDRW08D1SU is very easy, just connect the USB cable to the drive and your computer and Windows will automatically install the required drivers. After installation, when you connect the drive again, it is ready to go in a just few seconds.

The drive also comes bundled with free Cyberlink software for burning your own CDs or DVDs, and is very easy to use.

Asus SDRW08D1SU

Asus SDRW08D1SU

Drive Performance

During my testing the Asus drive performed well, reaching fast and reliable burning speeds. During playback of a DVD movie the drive noise was low.

I used Nero 8 DiscSpeed software to test the drives speed and performance. You can see the DVD view performance graph below.

ASUS-SDRW-08D1S-U performance

ASUS SDRW-08D1S-U Performance

Seek Times:

  • Random: 136 ms
  • 1/3: 155 ms
  • Full: 249 ms
  • Spin Up Time: 3.77 sec
  • Spin Down Time: 2.14 sec
  • Burst Rate: 26465 KB/sec

Conclusion

The Asus SDRW-08D1S-U is a small, well priced, and smart looking external DVD burner that should be suitable for all users. If I were to put it against the Lite-On eTAU108, I would say the eTAU108 is better if weight and portability is of high importance, as it also features a USB cable holder.

But if you want a drive that will be located on your desk, and not brought around with you very often the Asus SDRW-08D1S-U is the best pick. This is because I feel it not only looks better, but also is more functional for desk usage as it can be used flat and also vertically.

The Asus SDRW-08D1S-U has a RRP of $69.99, but is currently available from Amazon for just $51.99