Model 133-66 – Portable storage and media creation takes to the road
By ECM Plus Tech Labs
Sandberg’s DVD Writer is a small, portable USB 2.0 device that is powered via the 5v supply from the Universal Serial Bus data channel, and only requires a standard USB data cable to operate.
The drive is slim and attractive, about the same dimension as a laotop’ in-built CD/DVD drive, and comes plug-and-play ready to roll.
Under WIndows 7, the drive is detected immediately and is ready to use out-of-the-box. On our test Windows 7, we used a standard CD/DVD writing software app that comes bundled on Toshiba computers, and within moments, was burning audio mp3 files to a blank CD. The burn time is very fast, and unlike systems of yesteryear, seems quite happy for the user to do other things on the system while waiting for the burn process to finalize.
We did have some problems using the drive under Windows XP, the test machine for which is a standard workhorse office system Dell desktop Pentium 4 machine. During connection of the wires, it was observed that as the power supply cable was inserted, the dreaded ‘Blue Screen of Death’ (BSOD) occured, causing a system lock-up, with an error message indicating a problem with the USB driver.
However, this may be an isolated case, as it was an unconventional way to connect the drive. Howerer, on connecting the drive to a spare USB slot on this XP machine, it appeared that the power supply of 5v was not being received and the drive wanted more power for it to operate. Hence the attempted connection of the included USB-derived power connector cable.
After a reboot, the system loaded normally without any adverse affects.
The tests on the Windows 7 machine proved to be very succesful and the Sandberg appears to operate flawlessly under most standard operating procedures.
With so many bad memories that users may have of overburns, buffer underruns and other quirks when burning optical disks, it is refreshing to see that the manufacturers of such devices have finally managed to make them ‘just work’ for users, as they always ought to have done in the first place, so top marks to the Sandberg people for making sure their DVD Burner does just that.
Pros: Slim, portable and reliable
Cons: Slightly dubious under XP, but not too much of a problem
VERDICT: 4/5 – RECOMMENDED