* Prices may differ from that shown
With people wanting, nay needing, to be more on the move than ever these days they are constantly looking for a laptop that can be easily carried without needing the muscles of Arnold Schwarzenegger or the arms of an octopus.
But, to get a small laptop/notebook which still has the power and capabilities of its larger versions then something has to give, and that something always has to be the Disk drive.
So, you have now got yourself a nice little 8 inch notebook, lets say the Sony Vaio P11ZG for instance, and you're over the moon with your purchase. Only then does your great Aunt Greta from Austria buy you a new piece of software, from her home nation, in the form of a CD-Rom, insisting that you install it whilst she's there so she can see for herself how good the program is.
There you are, hoping to impress great Aunt Greta so she'll remember you in her will, but you then realise that your new top of the range computer can't install her present to you as it has not got a CD/DVD-drive.... And now Great Aunt Greta is not impressed and has stormed out of the house, taking your chances of inheriting her mass fortune with her.
Well, if only you'd have thought about what your new 'compact' PC didn't have instead of what it did have, you would have opted to purchase an external CD/DVD drive as well.
But don't fret, there is still time to impress Great Aunt Greta before she gets to the airport. Just get to your nearest Curry's or even PC world and buy yourself a Toshiba External USB 2.0 Combo Drive, and install her present before she leaves for good.
** Firstly, the basic specs...
* External DVD+/-RW (R DL) ( +R double layer) drive
* Hi-Speed USB connectivity
* USB powered
* Size of unit is 5.3 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches at 9.9 oz.
* Compatible with all PC OS, (below Windows XP will need CD for drivers)
** Drive speeds are, (Maximum)
20x CD-ROM, CD-R and CD-RW
8x DVD-ROM (single)
6x DVD-ROM (dual)
4x DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW & DVD-Video
2x DVD-RAM (4.7GB)
1x DVD-RAM (2.6GB)
** MY OPINION...
Before I continues I must tell you the reason I have been using an external disk drive instead of an internal one. It is because the internal one in my Laptop is on the blink at the moment and I am waiting for its replacement. So, in the mean time, I had to borrow an external DVD drive to continue with what I was doing, which possible burnt my laser out but don't tell the friend I borrowed this external from.
The friend I borrowed this from had bought this a few months earlier but, for reasons only known to her, had never used it, therefore it had stayed as new in its box in her cupboard, until I came to its rescue and she came to my rescue
Anyway, as this item was still in its box as if new I can safely tell you what you get in the full package. So you should get the Drive itself, which is about the size of one of them old fashioned portable CD players, the ones that were only just bigger than the CD itself. With it only being 132mm x135mm x15mm and weighing in at a very lightweight 280 grams
Also you get a USB cable to connect the drive to your PC and also a user manual in the form of a CD, (although this I have found to be a little strange due to the fact that if your PC can not find the correct drivers for the External DVD- drive for some reason then how are you meant to read the CD manual?).
Also on the CD is a selection of free software for you to enjoy, although I do feel that this may all be trial versions of software that maybe Toshiba want you to purchased later on in life. But as I was running this drive on a PC with windows vista I didn't even need the CD at all as my PC found the drivers itself.
I did have a look at the manual and from what I good gather it seemed very easily understandable and well presented.
Then, when taken out of the box, it is a matter of setting it up, which took all of a few seconds and consisted of connecting the drive to the laptop using the supplied cable, both ends being totally different so they can only connect one way.
Then, once connected, my laptop instantly went in search of the new hardware, taking a few seconds before informing me that a new driver had been installed, which saved me the hassle of using the supplied CD.
And that was it, the external DVD drive was know ready to use, apart from the little piece of card that was covering the laser, which was removed with ease, ( do move this or the laser will fail to read any CD/DVD's.
Once connected up to your PC this external drive is as easy as breathing to use, it is a matter of pressing the chromed button, which sits on the top left of the unit and has a little light illuminating from it when powered up, to open the drive. Then just place in your CD/DVD and either press the button again and the tray will re enter the main body, automatically reading the disc.
That's it, easy as breathing, as I said, if you've ever used an internal Disk drive then you'll have this conquered in seconds.
It is ultra thin, with a lovely brushed stainless steal look to it, and as it is plug and play it is so simple to set up. Plus, as it is powered by the USB cable there are no extra wires needed from a separate plug socket.
The read write speeds are fast enough for any of your daily needs, such as burning those files to disc in no time at all, plus, watching a DVD was flawless.
One of the many good things about this drive is the fact that it is powered by the USB cable so you do not need to find an external power supply, which is good for when one is on the move and needs to install a program or even 'burn' a disk.
It has a power save option which help your Laptops battery last a little longer.
Plus, if you happen up on a complete power failure, including your battery, then there is a lever on this drive which allows you to manually open the disk tray.
So, if your notebook has no internal CD/DVD drive then don't panic when Great Aunt Rita pays a visit with a small package, just make sure you've purchased yourself this cracking little external drive.
Now, even without an internal disk drive, you can back up your files, play your CD's/DVD's, install software and more whilst still having that lightweight and very slim line notebook.
I know this is not the cheapest on the market, being sold between £70 and £120, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for and this external drive does everything you need it to do and will last you as long, if not longer, than the laptop itself.
Plus, this is so slim and lightweight that it can be carried around in your laptop/notebook bag without any hassles at all.
Would I have bought this if I had to?
Well, if I had a DVD drive-less notebook then I would seriously consider investing in this external drive as it is of good quality and great speed, and the fact that it is small enough to carry around with your PC is a bonus.
In fact, now I have been using this borrowed one for a while now, I am in no rush to collect my new internal Disk drive for my laptop, until my friend starts to drop hints about wanting this back of course.
I haven't had to use the Toshiba 'Tech' team as this product has never failed me, but I have heard positive things about them so I do feel confident that they will be there to help if needed, and I will fill in the details if the time ever arises.
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