Authored by Kumara Velu in Computer Hardware
Published on 02-09-2009
Your laptop may have come with only a combo DVD-ROM drive with a CD burner. Your needs may have changed over time. If you’ve started video editing, you may want to burn your video projects into DVD movies. You may also want to back up a huge amount of data to DVD discs to free hard disk space.
Getting an external disk would be the best option especially if you would also want to use it with other computers. You would have known that external DVD burners cost more than their internal counterparts. However, if convenience is your priority, then you should not mind forking out a few extra bucks for an external unit. Assuming you are going to use it for your laptop computer, you would also want it to be durable and reliable especially if you travel a lot. If you are looking for an external DVD burner for these reasons, you may want to consider Plextor PX-740UF.
Firstly, the burner offers cross-platform flexibility. You can use it on your Mac and Windows-based laptops. What’s more, you can connect it through a Firewire port – if your laptop supports one – for a more reliable performance.
Should you not have a Firewire connection, you can easily hook it up through your USB port –it’s backward compatible and supports USB 1.1.
Except for DVD-RAM – which you may not use anyway – the drive handles all kinds of discs and supports dual-layer disc authoring. What’s more, it even supports the reading of CD-TEXT and CD+G discs. It also comes with a 2MB buffer and underrun protection is thrown in for reliable disc authoring.
Bundled with the drive is Nero Software Suite, which among others include:
- Nero Express 6 ( CD and DVD writing)
- Nero Vision Express 2 SE (video editing and disc authoring)
- Nero PhotoShow Express (image editing)
- Nero Showtime (media player)
It doesn’t include a DVD cover/label maker, however. Also, there’s no software bundle for Mac.
The Plextor 740 UF burns DVD at 16 X speed and rewrites at 8 X speed for DVD+RW and 4 X for DVD-RW. However, if you’re burning a DVD-R DL (Dual Layer) you can only manage 4 X speed but for DVD+R DL you can obtain 8 X speed.
For CD burning it reads and writes at 48 X except for rewriting where the speed is capped at 32 X. Still, you would want to burn at a lower speed than the maximum allowed for to obtain reliable disc recording.
The fan that comes with it could be a little noisy especially if you work in a quiet environment. This would not really be an irritant, especially if you’re going to use it once in a while. Also the on/off switch is located at the back, instead of the front for easy handling.
Apart from these minor shortcomings, Plextor PX-740UF will meet the expectations you would have in an external DVD burner.