The range of available external optical drives is rather small today, and your choice becomes even more limited if you need a very compact device – to take it with you on your business or entertainment trips. We already presented to you a miniature combo-drive from ASUS in one of our previous reviews; today we will deal with a newer model.
Closer Look at ASUS SCB-2408-D
ASUS has never been scrimpy about accessories to its optical drives. Besides the SCB-2408-D drive proper you receive a quick installation guide, a user manual, a CD with Nero Burning Rom (version 188.8.131.52), and a CD with multimedia software (Media Show, Power Director, AsusDVD). Besides that, the drive’s accessories include two blank discs (CD-R 52x and CD-RW 12x), a leather transportation sheath, a USB cable, a FireWire cable, a power unit with a cable, and three adapters.
Having fumbled through the accessories, let’s now take the hero of this review into our hands. The drive resembles its precursor a lot: it is the same box of silvery aluminum designed like the standard CD box but thicker. There are four round rubber pads on the bottom of the case that make the device steady on the flat and slippery surface of a desk, system case and so on.
There’s also a lever for opening the lid manually there. In the top-right corner of the top of the case there’s a triangular STOP/OPEN button to open the lid up or stop the playback. The PLAY/SKIP button allows starting the playback from the first track when the drive is in the idle mode; when playing an audio CD, this button moves the playback to the next track. The Power-On slider is located at the right side of the drive; next to it, there’s an indicator of the voltage and of the driver’s operational mode. The left side of the case has a hole to plug the power adapter into. The back panel of the case has a headphones socket and a volume control as well as USB and FireWire connectors.
It’s time to say a few words about the speed characteristics of the ASUS SCB-2408-D drive. So, it can burn CD-R media at up to 24x speed and CD-RW discs at up to 10x speed. It reads CDs at up to 24x speed (in the DAE mode, too) and DVDs at 8x. The access time is 100msec for CDs and 120msec for DVDs. The amount of cache memory is 2MB. The drive supports media of the following formats: DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW, DVD-Video, DVD+R/RW, CD-Audio, CD-ROM, CD-ROM/XA, CD-I, Mixed Mode CD-ROM, Photo CD, CD-Extra, Video CD, CD-Text, DVCD, Bootable CD. The support of two interfaces (USB 2.0 and FireWire) provides the necessary connection flexibility.
The drive can automatically detect a disc unbalance and reduce the read/write speed to ensure a higher quality and a lower level of noise and vibration. Besides that, an exclusive intelligent technology for automatic control over the MP3 playback speed helps to reduce the power consumption and extends the lifecycle of the device. FlextraLink technology is monitoring the status of the drive’s buffer to avoid the buffer underrun error, while FlextraSpeed chooses the optimal burn speed by constantly controlling the medium during the burn process.
The dimensions of the device are 129x16x142mm; its weight is 250 gram. The average retail price of the SCB-2408-D combo-drive is $145.