Although this drive is now getting a bit long in the tooth, it is far from past it, especially as the retail price has dropped. I purchased this drive some months ago for one of my own machines, and as person who deals with PC components on a regular basis, I am still more than happy with it, even though newer and much faster drives are now available. Faster drives are only really important if you are copying data from disk and not mush of an issue if you are actually watching DVD's. However that said, I would recommend anybody looking for a CD drive to get a DVD instead of a CD, as in my experience they are better at reading disks such as CDR's 7 CDRW's. The feather in the cap of this drive is however the fact that it's bios is easily flashable. Whilst not recommended there is a utility which enables you to remove the region protection from this drive so that it can play disks from all regions. REMEMBER YOU DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK. As for the issue of DVD playback, I am quite content using a software decoder on a fast PC with a decent graphics card, but if you have a slower machine, some sort of hardware accelerator, such as a Hollywood card would make playback much smoother.
Hardware improves at a dramatic rate, and this is shown by the toshiba. However it has already been overshadowed by the next generation of DVD drives which can do everything faster. I first came into contact with this drive when I bought my first (terrible) computer from a computer fair. One of the only good parts of it was this drive. It's fast, moderately quiet and reliable. My only complaint with it would be the slow rate of opening it has. Press the eject button and about 2 seconds later it responds. It is a 8x DVD and 40x CD with 10,800 KB/s max. sustained transfer rate DVD, using the ATAPI interface. For DVD movies it is more than adaquate but of course for those the main area of importance is your graphics card. Installation was very easy. No more difficult than installing a CD-ROM drive and Plug & Play ensured that there was no need to put any drivers in for it. So all you need to do is connect it up and away you go. As it is a little old now it has been superceeded by the M-1402 which is a 12x DVD rather than an 8x. So this also results in the price of the M-1302 being reduced to about £70. My only other complaint with it is the fact that you cannot change the region coding as it is firmware fixed and impossible to alter. I personally think that it is a fantastic drive which for the price is well worth it.