We are all about mobility here as I’m sure you may have noticed, the name may have given it away right?! Seriously though we live in a mobile society and we travel light, or at least I try to so one of the things I take with me is a netbook when I need more computing power than my phone can offer. One drawback to a netbooks is the lack of optical drive as I’m sure you know, so we need to either put everything on the hard drive, use a USB drive or purchase a portable optical drive. Today I’m taking a look at a portable DVD drive from a company called Hornettek, and it’s called the D-Slim. The drive is very nice looking with its brushed metal covering, and it connects via USB as you might expect. I put it up against my current drive from Samsung to see how it compares.

Author: Kristofer Brozio

Vendor: Hornettek

Price: $50 – $60

Overall Rating: 4/5

D-Slim

D-Slim is designed to meet the most demanding needs for slim type SATA ODD. It is a top quality aluminum external enclosure that offers an easy way to quickly add an additional external ODD. With output interface USB 2.0 Powered (No power adapter required for optical drives) D-Slim supports up to 480 Mbps transfer rate. D-Slim is compatible with PC, Linux or Mac featuring and features plug and play, hot swappable, and convenient installation. D-Slim support 8X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 5X DVD-RAM 8X DVD-ROM 24X CD-R 24X CD-RW 24X CD-ROM and comes with Nero Burning Software.

Features:
-Accommodates Slim type CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R and DVD-RW
-8X DVD+R, 8X DVD+RW, 8X DVD-R, 6X DVD-RW, 5X DVD-RAM, 8X DVD-ROM
-24X CD-R, 24X CD-RW, 24X CD-ROM
-Hot swappable, plug and play
-Operates at High (480Mbps) or Full (12Mbps) speed.
-System Works with PC and MAC.
-Material: Rigid Aluminum, internal metal tray
-Slim design, light weight
-Rigid Aluminum, internal metal tray
-High efficient power saving modes no power adapter required
-USB Powered (No power adapter required for optical drives)

 

What’s in the Box?

Let’s start with a video unboxing:

D-Slim Unboxing

So there was the video, and now here’s some pictures for you:

     

 

Impressions / Review:

Here’s a picture of the D-Slim with my Samsung which is specifically the SE-S084D Super WriteMaster Slim External DVD Writer. The specs are similar, but the size and weight are quite different.

 

The Samsung drive is basically all plastic while the D-Slim is encased in aluminum. The Samsung is much thinner, and lighter in weight. This can be a good thing and a bad thing for both. Sure the Hornettek is heavy, but I wouldn’t worry about it getting crushed in my bag at all. The Samsung, being plastic, could possibly be crushed in a bag with other things. The Samsung drive just feels fragile compared to the Hornettek.

I used the D-Slim with my Acer Aspire One D250 netbook and I found that I didn’t have to use both USB connections for it to work correctly. Netbooks have limited USB ports, so using only one is a good thing.

I found the D-Slim is actually rather quiet during use for both reading and writing. The drive came with Nero 8 and I installed that, it took a while, quite a while actually but only because it needed updates after the initial installation.

For testing I used Nero Disc Speed. The program allows you to test creation speeds and it has a nice benchmark as well.

I used a regular DVD-R disc for testing, the first thing I did was to create a disc, or burn it.

 

The Samsung drive was about 3 minutes quicker in this test. The average speed of the Hornettek was 5.27X while the Samsung was 6.20X. Overall, not bad speeds for a USB optical drive.

One problem with the Samsung being plastic is that it vibrates a bit making it louder than the metal Hornettek.

The next test is the Benchmark:

Here we see the Hornettek is actually a bit faster all around. Still between the 6.23X of the Samsung and the 6.35X of the Hornettek there’s really no difference.

Conclusion:

I like the Hornettek drive, it’s quiet and it works well. The D-Slim is very well made, you’ll never have to worry about the drive getting broken if you just toss it into your bag with your other stuff.

The price is similar to others out there, it all depends where you look, I found many different prices for it ranging from $40 to over $100 actually. The lower end is the better deal of course, that’s rather obvious I guess.

 

Pros:
+Quiet
+Decent performance
+Doesn’t need both USB ports sometimes for power

Cons:
-Rather heavy for being portable

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