Date Joined: 03/11/06
Pros: Construction is better than other portable drives I've used. Instead of a flimsy re packaging of a laptop drive with the fragile tray, the clam shell top load makes the thing much more solid, which is good for a portable drive. Unless you sit on it or drop something heavy on it, it should serve you well for years. It plays DVD's and CD's just fine. I have burned a CD at this point with no issues. I haven't yet tried a DVD burn. It is USB 3 compatible.
Cons: Documentation is very poor. The little "emergency release" thing on the bottom is clumsy to use but it does work (this release is not documented). As long as its powered the top button works fine. Blu Ray operation needs software. The downloadable free software is big and doesn't work, it informs you to download a newer version, which is a pay version!
Overall Review: I got a new laptop which like nearly all modern laptops lacks an optical drive. I needed a portable one, so I opted for this because I had nothing to play a blu ray with. I've learned that Blu Ray is not as straightforward as DVD playing was. You need software. I'm not aware of any operating system that supports Blu Ray natively. Recent windows versions don't support DVD either. I started looking for free options naturally. Most of them did not work or were not stable. They might work on one of my machines but not another. Long story short, you will probably need to purchase software to do Blu Ray at least to play commercial disks (more later on that). Fortunately they all seem to have a trial period, so you can verify they suit your needs before purchasing. I'm not recommending since i found different hardware may work while others won't. I would say don't think about doing Blu Ray in windows without at least a core I5 processor. A high end graphics card might get you around that limit, but i don't know. You should plan on some experimentation before you start relying on it for Blu Ray.
Ultimately remember Blu Ray got the nod not because it was best, but because it offered the best copy protection. The system requires that the player download code from the kisk to unlock the disk and play it properly. I think this is where the free software stumbles. Some codecs need to be licensed. If you are only using it to record and play your own home made Blu Ray disks, the free versions might work for that. But, again, plan to experiment!!
Despite the Blu Ray challenges which would be true for any drive I suspect, it is a good clean well built drive and I'm happy with my purchase. I could not give it 5 eggs because of the very poor documentation. CH
Pros: I like the fact that it does not require a wall wart for power and could be plugged in to an unused USB port on my cable box for power. Receiver stick on was nice and small so I could put it on the narrow frame of the TV where it is barely noticeable.
Cons: It took a bit of fiddling with the transmitter stick-ons to find a spot that worked reliably, but this is VERY minor.
Read the instructions first!