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Freecom Portable II BP CDRW 16/10/40x

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1 Review

High speed CD rewriter with choice of USB/Firewire/Parallel & PCMCIA.

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      12.01.2002 07:51
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      First the great things: It's very reliable. It hasn't given me any problems. It's blue plastic cover has even withstood a cup of coffee (accidental crash test, I'm afraid...). It has a headphone jack and volume control in the front. You get the Adaptec Easy CD Creator software free in the box, and it is easy to use, flexible, and very very good. It even has a nifty CD artwork design program which is better than most of the others I've seen. My only gripe on that one is that the preview is very low-definition. I thought it was going to look rubbish but actually it was fine when I saw the physical print. I've used it to copy audio and data CDs, all of which it's done with no wasted CDRs. You also get the DirectCD program free, which allows you to use a different, supposedly better and more efficient interface for writing data to and from CDRs. I will be honest and admit I haven't really tried it out yet. All the other software has been a breeze to use though. OK, now the stuff I didn't like so much... I bought the Freecom Portable CDRW for my laptop (a 466MHz Win98 with 64Mb RAM). It runs fine, however, PLEASE NOTE that if you are running it on an older USB connection, which I have, the most you can get it to run at is 4x. So unfortunately I can't sing its praises for speed, because my laptop USB port doesn't support USB2, apparently USB2 ports are many, many times faster than their predecessors. The drive itself DOES support USB2 - it's my laptop that doesn't have it. The back of the box says that you can do 1Mb/sec data transfer with USB and 30Mb/sec with USB2, so there you go. When you purchase the drive itself, you do NOT get a connector cable. The drive will connect to USB, Firewire, Parallel, or PCMCIA, so you need to separately buy whichever cable you are going to need. I guess it probably saves on the price because they then don&#
      39;t need to put a selection of cables in the box. The USB cable cost about £15 or so, the drive itself was £175. I rang Freecom's customer line directly to get some advice, they answered very quickly, although I didn't find them overly helpful because they seemed to fall back on get-out clauses ('well it depends on what else you're running' was a popular phrase') Oh, and I didn't mention one 'teeny' other thing about it. It's HUGE. The box says 'Portable', let me tell you now it's 25 x 17 x 5cm, and not a light item either. It's the only USB CD rewriter I have, maybe they're all this big, but I doubt it. It seemed to be a little fussy about the media it would like - it hated Kodak and Memorex cdrs, but was fine with jungle/monkeymedia, Bush, and TDK. Having said that, the Kodak and Memorex ones I tried might have been dodgy, but I tried 2 Kodaks, and both were refused. All the other brands I tried have been absolutely fine though. So, there's the plus points (great software, reliable), and two minuses (not small, no cable included). I would buy it again, and I would recommend it, just with a couple of watch-out-fors as above.

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