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Front view

LG Slim Portable External DVD Writer – Review

When my external CD player for my Toshiba Portege R205 laptop broke down, I had to find a replacement.  After looking around, the only other small external drive was the LG Slim Portable Double-layer DVD reader/Writer.  I found it on the Best Buy website but at the time, they only had it for store purchase only for about $120.  One thing that this unit has that my Toshiba also had, is the ability to operate just on the USB connection without a power adapter.

In the picture below, you can see that the LG is slightly larger but not by much.  The Toshiba opens on the top, whereas the LG slides out the front.  The Toshiba is slightly thinner as well.

Size comparison - Toshiba (left) LG (right)

Size comparison – Toshiba (left) LG (right)

The picture below shows a closer view of the LG writer.  If you lay it flat on your desk (as pictured), you need more room than the Toshiba unit which opens on the top.  However, the Toshiba unit was just a CD reader only.  So you get a ton more features with this LG unit, including LightScribe which “burns” the label straight onto the DVD.

Front view

Front view

The only thing strange is that according to the documentation, some USB ports do not output the proper amount of power to burn DVDs.  To get around this problem, this LG unit comes with a second special USB cable that plugs into the “power” input shown below (left).

Back view of USB power (left) and USB data (right)

Back view of USB power (left) and USB data (right)

Using this unit with the Toshiba laptop was a snap and I didn’t have to load any drivers or CDs to RIP CDs onto the hard drive.  I did’t try burning DVDs using the laptop but I did do so using my desktop and just one USB and everything worked fine.  It’s slower than my internal DVD burner but that’s to be expected.  Actually, one of my DVDs didn’t read properly on my internal drive but did read on this external LG unit.  Not sure what to make of that except that I was glad it worked.

This unit is clearly for laptop users and not desktop computers because the cable that comes with it is very short.  It’s longer than the one that came with my Toshiba CD reader, but still too short to go from the back of a desktop unit all the way around to the front.  So if you’re going to use it that way, you’d better get another USB cable.

All in all, I’m happy with my new external DVD burner.  If you want something for your laptop that you can use without a power adapter, this unit is for you.

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