Iomega External 16x10x40 USB 2.0 CD-RW Drive
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- Sale Price: $15.99
- Amount Saved: $173.96
- Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days
- High-speed external CD-R/RW drive
- Supports USB 2.0 for enhanced data transfer
- Burn an 80-minute audio CD in under 5 minutes
- Iomega HotBurn software allows drag-and-drop CD copying
- Buffer under-run protection prevents useless "coaster" CDs
Sporting a unique dark purple color scheme and a large and curvy 10-by-7-by-2-inch profile, the unit makes a dramatic visual impression. But more importantly, it easily adapts to almost any computing environment. To connect it to your PC, Mac, or notebook, you merely install its software driver, run its three-foot data cable into any available USB 1.1 or USB 2.0 port, and plug its power cord into an AC outlet. The computer will recognize it as a standard drive and assign it the next available letter in your drive chain. Alternately, you may use the device strictly for audio CD playback by forgoing the USB cable and connecting the included audio cables directly to your sound card's inputs.
To burn data or audio discs, we utilized the included version of Iomega's HotBurn, a basic CD-writing utility designed to appeal to those who value ease-of-use over advanced operations. Although HotBurn offers a rookie-friendly interface, convenient drag-and-drop file transfers, and basic functions such as audio/data burning and CD-label creation, we couldn't perform complex procedures such as WAV file editing or volume normalization.
In action, the Iomega external 16x10x40 runs as quietly as most internal drives and continues to record and play smoothly even when being severely bounced about. It is important to remember, however, that the unit operates only as fast as your computer setup will allow. When connected via a traditional USB 1.1 port, it functions at a relatively sluggish 4x write speed, 4x rewrite speed, and 6x read speed. But when connected to a USB 2.0-capable system, those figures jump dramatically. Although our tests indicated that Iomega's claim of 16x write, 10x rewrite, and 40x read USB 2.0 performance seemed somewhat exaggerated in real-world scenarios, the unit generally performed at double to triple its USB 1.1 speed when linked to a USB 2.0 port. Not quite what we had hoped for, but impressive speeds for an external CD burner nevertheless.
What if your system doesn't support USB 2.0? You have a few options, including utilizing your slower USB 1.1 ports, swapping your motherboard for one with integrated USB 2.0 capability, or purchasing a separate USB 2.0 adapter card. The latter may make the most financial sense for many users, as multiport USB 2.0 adapter cards are readily available for a fraction of the cost of a state-of-the-art USB 2.0 motherboard.
Yet no matter which connection you choose, this and all USB 2.0 devices are susceptible to the quirks of the new technology. Microsoft, for example, opted to exclude USB 2.0 support from its original boxed copies of Windows XP, and therefore forces users to search its site for newly developed software drivers. Similarly, as we discovered during testing, some motherboard chipsets aren't particularly friendly to multiple USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 devices. Fortunately, Iomega's toll-free support line offers plenty of helpful one-on-one advice.
Though it seems slightly slower and a bit more prone to connectivity quirks than an equivalently rated internal CD-RW device, the Iomega external 16x10x40 USB 2.0 CD-RW drive is nevertheless a strong option for environments that require a standalone CD burner/player. --Gordon Goble
- Rugged design
- Futuristic style
- Perfect for computers that can't handle an internal CD device
- USB 2.0 connection substantially faster than a USB 1.1 CD burner
- Not quite as fast as its performance ratings would indicate
- Not completely immune to some USB 2.0 teething pains
- Requires a USB 2.0 connection to function at top speeds
- ASIN: B00005S83M
- Item model number: 32211