For those of you that have jumped on the Ultrabook or MacBook Pro bandwagon like myself, you know as well as I do that optical drives come at a premium. When I first purchased my Macbook Pro, the optical drive was something I figured I could live without. Now 5 months later, I've come to realize that they are in fact quite handy to have around.
Transcend is a global leader in many technologies, and today we have their portable DVD writer, the 8XDVDS, in the lab. The 8XDVDS features a slim form factor of only 142mm x 148mm x 13.9mm. This DVD writer carries a peak CD writing speed of 24x, while the DVD writing speed peaks at 8x. This drive also has the capabilities to burn double layer media for those of you that like working with 8.5GB DVDs. Did I mention this drive is bus powered?
Compatibility extends to modern Windows operating systems, including XP, Vista, 7, 8, and OS X 10.4+.
MSRP of the Transcend 8XDVDS is listed at $29.99 with a one-year warranty.
Scope of delivery for the 8XDVDS includes reading materials, the USB cable, and the DVD writer.
The exterior of the writer carries a glossy black finish and a very slim profile. The 8XDVDS is a tray load drive.
The front of the enclosure houses the tray, which slides out when the button to the right is pressed. We also have a green LED to denote activity and a small pinhole should you need to eject your drive without power.
The back of the drive houses a single USB 2.0 mini plug.
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In the image at the end of the previous column, we have the 8XDVDS next to the MacBook Pro. As you can see, the USB plug does have a pigtail, which is used to add additional power.
Here we have loaded the 8XDVDS with a Verbatim DVD+R.
The Transcend 8XDVDS is a great solution to anyone wanting to add media writing capabilities to their Ultrabook or MacBook. The build quality of the unit was quite good, and with the tray ejected, I didn't notice any "out of spec" slop in the mechanism. When inserting a DVD+R, the drive spun up the disc, and it was ready to go within seconds.
Performance of the 8XDVDS was rather good as well; I was able to burn a backup of my iTunes music catalogue, a full 4.2GB of data, in seven minutes.
Another outstanding feature of the Transcend 8XDVDS is the price. When I ventured out to find a portable DVD writer for the MacBook, the first place I went was Apple. Realizing they wanted a whopping $79.99 for a portable DVD writer left me wondering what everyone else was charging for the same technology.
This is when I found the Transcend at the amazing price of $29.99, a drive that houses the exact specification of the Apple Super drive for half the price.
MSRP of the Transcend 8XDVDS is set at $29.99 with a one-year warranty. Current market pricing can be found below.
PRICING: You can find the Transcend 8XDVDS for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Transcend 8XDVDS retails for $29.99 at Amazon.
Canada: The Transcend 8XDVDS retails for CDN$45.81 at Amazon Canada.