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It is becoming very common that laptops do not include a DVD unit because they are thinner or smaller or just don't need them. They are commonly known as ultrabooks, because with streaming methods and information in the cloud, it is preferably to have a thinner device, rather than a thicker with a function that is gradually disappearing. However, there are still some people, including myself who will still need to burn a DVD from time to time, even if we prefer having a lighter laptop. That is why an external DVD burner is a must have tool. After looking everywhere for the most convenient option I decided to get the Samsung SE-s084C for a reasonable price of 23.99. The design is very nice and really thin, it has a glossy surface on top that will even work as a mirror in case you need one when you're out and about! It has a grey stripe around the device that matches the black colour on the top bit. It also includes a protective screen which will prevent it of getting scratched and you will barely notice it is there or you can take it off for extra shininess. On the base it has 4 rubber pads for it to not move and be steady on any surface. The installation is very easy, and then whenever you are going to use it, you just have to plug it in to the laptop using the USB cable included and the software will automatically come up onto your screen so that you can burn what you want in a quickly way. This feature is very handy since the burning software you install on laptops with a built-in DVD unit, expire within months. With this burner you will not have that issue. A downside is that the pads on the base fall off after some weeks of use. Something minor that does not interfere with the functionality of the device. It's a really nice looking and cheap device however I do feel it's a little heavy for its size but then again I'm not sure how heavy others are! This one is definitely the sleekest!
Although technology has moved forward very quickly I have found that as certain products have become smaller and more affordable they are often missing some of the more important additions you would expect from the more bulkier and expensive versions. A case in point is the Netbook I bought last year. Yes, it is very compact and is intended for 'Net' useage, but I had also hoped for a few little extras, something that was missing was a DVD Burner. Understandably I didn't expect such a feature to come on my Netbook, but as technology is moving so fast it seems strange that even things like disc drives are being left out in order to cram the necessities into such a small product. The Samsung SE-S084C is the DVD Burner which I chose. This was partly down to price, costing around £20-£25 it is very reasonable indeed. One of the other main reasons was the brand. Samsung are a brand I trust and I own/have owned a lot of their products, both past and present. I find that the looks are outstanding and this particular model is no different. The Samsung External DVD Writer is a sleek and sexy black number, with a slimline design and very unfussy detail. There isn't anything to particularly dislike about the design or finish, and operation is so simple, the design lends itself well to the product. The design could be seen as plain, but this is what it is really. The vast majority of such a product are plain and simple, often giving little indication of what purpose they actually serve. The SE-S084C comes in various colours, including black, silver, white and red. I have the black one which I find matches my Netbook and equipment. Within the package I purchased was the USB cable which connects the Writer to the Netbook/Laptop/PC, a 'quick-start' guide, a CD-ROM which contains the in-depth user manual and also some free software. This is Nero Express Essentials which makes the whole data transfer painless. Setting up the Writer is very simple. Nowadays with these products it is usually just a case of connecting them and installing the necessary software, something which I managed easily and there were no issues. Operation of the Writer is also something I find simple to manage. The Nero Express Essentials is a programme which helps you through the whole process and allows you to manage the data stored on your DVD's. Data transfer is a doddle and the transfer process seems effortless for the Writer too, as there is little sound emitted during this time. DVD's can be inserted and ejected using the tray to the front of the device and it works just like your typical CD drive, for example. I usually write music onto CD's which I can play in my car, and the whole process can be done in 20 minutes, even allowing for me selecting which tracks to choose! Overall I would strognly point anyone in the direction of the Samsung SE-S084C. That is, if you are in need of such a device due to lack of such a drive.
I got the Samsung SE-SO84C in August last year after my old Memorex writer finally give up the ghost after many years of service. By the end of the day it arrived I had burned 13 music compilation cds and a couple of cds to back up my photos without any problem at all. It's very easy to set it up. As far as I can remember I just plugged in it and away I went. I was a bit puzzled at first by the cable connecting the SE-SO84C to my computer. On one end it's got the connection for the writer and on the other end it's got 2 USB connections! I just plugged the 2 USB's in to the computer and that was it. I was confused for a minute though because I hadn't seen that before! I've been using it nearly every day to burn movies, music, photos, and data and to watch DVDs and play music also and it's never given me any bother. For less than £40 it's as good a deal as you can get! Paying £38 for something that I use daily that gives me no trouble at all is a good purchase I'd say!
I recently bought this portable DVD writer and the first thing I can write about it is that I'm extremely satisfied. I bought online and spent a day or two testing it with my small asus lappy. The connection of this model is via USB like a mouse or a pendrive and I was a little concerned at first because a friend of mine that knows his way around told me that sometimes USB can "stutter" on devices that need to communicate fast like dvd readers and recorders. I didn't want to find myself with a pile of messed up dvds and an unusable burner... Although the bad omen, nothing bad happened and conversely duplicating DVDs proved to be an extremely quick experience for me. That's probably why the technology it uses is dubbed "high-speed". A further reading made me understand that this function is capable of preventing the random errors while it guarantees the ability to write on most of the available optical supports on the market (CD±R, DVD±RW, Dual Layer DVDs). While burning the Samsung SE S084C is very quiet and being compatible with my Apple Mac too is a huge plus. As for my netbook, just connect it to the usb cable and you're good to go. The dimensions of this recorder are 13.7 x 14.6 x 1.7 and the very modest weight is 200 grams. It comes in white, red and black and I have found no defects so far. If you need a silent and fast portable dvd writer this is the one to purchase.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ DRIVE WITHDRAWAL ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Having secured a job after almost seven months of "resting" during a recent career break, I decided to treat myself to a nifty new netbook. The main difference between a netbook and its larger, laptop cousin is the absence of an integral DVD drive. I was absolutely convinced I would need one to install software, watch DVD's and upload CD's to my iPod. As the whole point of having a netbook is its ultra-portability, I needed an external drive that was slim, light and USB powered (i.e. no additional plugs). Samsung's SE-S084C External DVD writer seemed to fit the bill, so I ordered one at the same time as my N220, also from Samsung. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WHAT'S IN THE BOX ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The drive comes in a very well-padded box that's about four times the size of the actual product. Along with drive, you get a USB cable, a quick start guide and a CD-ROM which includes the user manual and some free bundled software (Nero Express Essentials). Since the drive is USB-powered, the cable has a "Y" connection at one end with two USB plugs. The idea is that if one USB port does not have enough power to operate the drive, you simply plug the second plug into an available (adjoining) USB port to give it enough juice. As it happens, the ports on my Samsung netbook were sufficiently powered to make the second plug unnecessary. The instructions do say that normal operation "cannot be guaranteed" if the supplied cable is not used, but I have tried a variety of replacements with no operational issues. The SE-S084C comes in a variety of colour finishes (black, silver, white, blue, sky-blue, pink and red at last check) and, although all of them provide exactly the same functionality and software, they tend to vary in price from £36 to £40. For the record, mine is black and I paid £36 for it via Amazon.co.uk. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ FIRST IMPRESSIONS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The unit certainly lives up to its slim-line name, measuring a very bijou 5.5 x 6 x 0.5 inches, in other words, marginally bigger and slightly thinner than two standard CD-ROM jewel cases. It is also very light, weighing in at an impressively light 350g (12oz) without a CD inside. The saving on weight does not seem to have come at the expense of build quality, and, despite its hard plastic finish, it doesn't look, or indeed feel cheap or "plasticky". It has a minimalist but sleek appearance with a shiny black finish on top (with the Samsung branding in grey lettering emblazoned across the top) which is easily scratched and has proved to be a magnet for fingerprints. The bottom is finished in matt black with four small rubber feet which do a decent job of gripping surfaces and keeping the unit stable in use. The sides and the front of the tray are moulded in a grey corrugated plastic. The small micro-USB port, where you plug in the cable to your computer, is located at the back. The front panel has one simple eject button, a green indicator light and a small pinhole to allow CD's to be manually ejected when the unit is not powered. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A QUIET & DILIGENT WORKER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There is no software to install, at least when I plugged it in to my netbook, which runs the new Windows 7 operating system (in any event, drivers are included on the CD if you need them). After the usual messages from the PC about detecting new hardware and the like, the unit was ready to go in less than twenty seconds. The tray pops open with a subdued click when you press the eject button and slides out effortlessly to receive the CD. However, I noticed the first sign of a compromise between weight and build when using my thumb to push the tray in while, at the same time, putting my forefinger on top of the unit for support. The glossy plastic top noticeably bends when you put pressure on it, making the tray impossible to click shut. As such, you have to load it two handed (the rubber feet don't provide enough resistance to push the spring-loaded tray in with one hand) by holding the sides with your forefingers and using your thumbs to push it shut. Trust me, it's easier than it sounds and is more of a niggle than a problem. Apart from a barely audible hum when a CD or DVD is initially loaded, operation is whisper quiet. Having read some negative reviews about the bundled Nero software, I opted not to install it, preferring instead to use the latest version of Windows Media Player, which was pre-installed on my netbook. So far, after a month of fairly heavy and consistent use, operation has been extremely reliable and practically faultless. The drive handles the tasks of both burning and reading DVDs and CDs effortlessly. On the "read" side of things, I mainly use it to upload CD's to my iTunes, install software, watch DVD movies and play one or two games. As I have a 1GB USB flash drive, I tend not to archive my documents off on to CD, but I have successfully created mix CD's for the car. This isn't the fastest DVD/CD-writer you'll ever have, but that's not really the point. If you have masses of data to copy from and/or write to, you're probably not going to be using a low-spec netbook to do it with. However, it is an excellent drive for what it is - a lightweight, ultra-portable data writer for use on the go. For tech heads the full specs are referenced below for completeness, but when using Windows Media Player, an album of around 11 tracks (an hour of music) took about eight minutes to burn. The completed CD pops out when the burn is complete, but you can change that setting in the software application used to do the burn. One thing to keep in mind is that the increased portability of the drive, which is achieved by making it USB powered, comes at a power cost to your PC. In the eight minutes that it took to burn a CD-ROM, my netbook's battery went from eight hours of capacity, to just over four, so if battery life is an issue on your netbook, it's best to use the drive when your netbook is powered from the mains. There seems to be less of an effect on power consumption when you are reading from the drive (as opposed to writing), which is crucial given that I regularly use it to watch DVD's while on the go. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ REQUIRED OR REDUNDANT? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The one thing that has struck me since buying my netbook/drive combo is how little I use the drive for the tasks I bought it for. I get or buy most of my music from on-line sources, there are plenty of facilities and web-sites (Samsung itself has bundled one with my netbook) that allow you to purchase or rent electronic copies of movies, and even software providers are now allowing you to download previously off the shelf software and games (Microsoft Office and EA Games are good examples) from their web-sites and activate them by buying the necessary Licence Key. As such, the need to have an external DVD/CD writer is much diminished. The IT world seems to have embraced and catered for the drive-less netbook by embracing its raison d'être - using and cruising the internet - as the primary source of delivery for the applications it requires. That means that buying a product such as this DVD/CD writer isn't such a no-brainer anymore. I would seriously consider what you will be using it for before making a purchase, as the prevalence of far-smaller USB flash drives and memory cards (with increasing large capacities) is starting to make these sorts of drives look a little redundant (at least in my case). In fact, I already have my beady eye on a large capacity ultra-portable external USB hard drive (such as the 500GB WD passport). ~~~~~~~ VERDICT ~~~~~~~ Putting aside any arguments about whether it is really necessary, the Samsung SE-S084C is an excellent piece of kit. Ignoring the software bundled with it, as an ultra-portable, self-powered, whisper quiet DVD & CD-writer, you won't be able to do much better in the value for money stakes. It looks pretty flash as well, and is an attractive, sleek looking partner to my Samsung N220 netbook. Apart from the minor loading niggle, the only thing I would mark it down for is the lack of a case to accompany it. The glossy black finish on top of the unit is prone to finger-prints and scratching, and I would strongly recommend some kind of cover for it, or at least a netbook bag with a separate compartment to keep it looking good. Highly recommended - but seriously think about whether you need it first. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ TECHNICAL SPECS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Review Model: Samsung SE-S084C Reads and writes: CD-R (24x); CD-RW (16x); DVD-R (8x) DVD-RW (6x) USB Powered (USB 2.0) OS: Windows 2000, XP & Vista, Linux and Mac OSX all newer versions CPU: Atom 1.6Ghz (for netbooks) & Pentium 4 2Ghz (for PCs & laptops) Full details at: http://tinyurl.com/2fxwd8q © Hishyeness 2010