frank, DVD writers are currently the best way
for the average consumer to move data around. Other media formats like tape, USB keys
or removeable HDDs might offer more storage space... but they're are not as
convenient as a single DVD disc is given it's capacity and pervasiveness.
If you have a device which lacks room for an internal optical drive,
perhaps a SFF PC, or notebook, what's one to do? The answer is easy,
get an external DVD-burner! The choices today make that decision very easy; users
can convert a traditional internal DVD burner to external one by getting an external
drive bay, or find a commercials solution to that same effect.
has mainly been focusing on internal drives of
late, and it's refreshing to look at something a bit different in this review
- the Samsung WriteMaster SE-W164 external DVD burner. The drive connects via
USB2.0 cable, and it handles data just as fast as any internal DVD writer on the
The Samsung WriteMaster SE-W164 is
a USB 2.0 only device and sports a rather impressive maximum writing speed
of 16x for single layer DVD media, 8x DVD+R DL burning, and 4x for DVD-R DL burning. That
is smoking fast even when compared to today's internal DVD burners.
The Samsung WriteMaster SE-W164 is a modest looking DVD burner which would go well with
any laptop or SFF PC; its black and silver design is clean and not distracting. One thing to consider
is that while the drive is USB 1.x backwards compatible, burning DVD media is
out of the question since USB 1.x can only move a maximum of 11Mbps.... way to
The face of
the SE-W164 DVD writer is bare except for an activity LED, and
open button. The DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW and high speed CD-R/RW logos shown here
indicate the standards the SE-W164 is compatible with. You'll also find a green LED
activity indicator, an emergency ejector pin hole as well as the eject button. A paper-clip works well if
a CD ever gets jammed.
The rest of the drive is pretty non-discript, on the bottom
there are four rubber pads which help dampen vibration as well as drive information
such as serial/model number and on the back we find the USB B and
power connectors, as well as the hard power switch.