We have been lucky enough to be sent Lite-On’s eTAU108, a slimline, external DVD writer which is dubbed as being a great travel accessory for those of you on the go. Why is it a great travel accessory? Well it’s super lightweight, and powered solely by USB power, meaning that you don’t have to haul around an extra power adaptor if you need to burn some data on to a disc. How does it perform? Let’s find out, shall we?
What’s in the Box?
When you unbox Lite-on’s eTAU108 drive, you’ll find a few goodies packed in there alongside the drive. In addition to the included USB cable, you’ll find a copy of Nero Express 8 Essentials, with Nero Linux 3 essentials included on the disc too. To see this kind of support is great, especially from a big name such as Lite-On.
Taking a Look At the Drive
I was surprised at just how truly portable the eTAU108 is; a lot of drives that are described as being portable still tend to take up a lot of room compared to my netbook. There’s even an inlay on the bottom of the drive where you can slide in the USB cable so you don’t have to carry is separately and get it all tangled.
Unlike more conventional external drives, the Lite-On eTAU108 has an ‘open’ slider on the front that pops open the lid, allowing you to place a re-writable disc in to place. The design reminded me a lot of the old Sony Walkman CD players that everyone had before Apple iPods came along in the Noughties, and this isn’t a bad thing, in fact it’s great to see Lite-On embracing such a design to increase the portability of the drive. The only other possible design here would have been similar to Apple’s external SuperDrive for the Macbook Air, although to have this kind of disc loader would have increased the price, so it was definitely a good call in this case.
I was really impressed by the design of the drive overall, and found it both aesthetically pleasing and functional.
I tested the writing performance of this drive using the included Nero 8 DiscSpeed software. The manufacturers claim that the drive is capable of burning standard DVD’s at 8x speed, however, when burning a DVD using the drive, it never quite hit the advertised 8x. Despite this, it did come close, reaching a top writing speed of just over 7x.
When writing data on to my DVD, the recording took just over 12 minutes to complete, which is more than satisfactory for a portable DVD writer such as this.
I’d recommend the Lite-On eTAU108 portable drive to any netbook owner looking for a small, lightweight, re-writable DVD drive to use on the go. Being powered by just a USB port, it makes a perfect travel companion, as there’s no need for any additional plugs to go with it for power.