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By Hanleigh Daniels 3 March 2010

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Asus’ SDRW-08D1S-U external optical drive may be similar in look, size (157 x 142 x 21 mm) and weight (412 g) as its competitors, but the Taiwanese company’s optical drive packs some differentiating features from the other external DVD writers we've recently tested, including Samsung''s Super WriteMaster Slim External DVD writer and LG''s Portable Super Multi Drive GP08 lite.
 
Firstly it comes with a stand, allowing it to be positioned upright next to your netbook or PC, just like some external hard-drives. It's a nice space saving feature, especially if you're working in a coffee shop with limited table space. 
 
Asus also took a different approach with its burning software, opting for CyberLink Power2Go 6 LE, instead of the usual Nero Smart Essentials. Power2Go is simpler to use than Smart Essentials, requiring you to simply drag the files and folders you want to write to DVD or CD and drop them on the Power2Go DVD icon, in a similar fashion to Dropbox’s drag and drop functionality. While this is easy enough to do, it doesn’t give you as much control over the burning process as Nero, with Nero allowing you to specify what you’re writing and select particular types of files for each specific type of CD or DVD that you’re going to burn. Unlike the Samsung and LG drives, it doesn’t come with software to fulfill backup and restore functions though.

The Asus SDRW-08D1S-U burns at the standard rate, which is DVDs at 8x speed and CDs at a maximum of 24x speed. You can get it for R710 from the PC Pro Shop at 012-348-4000.

PROS
Has easy and basic software for writing DVDs and CDs, cool stand.
CONS
No back-up software included.
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