Addonics Pocket CD-RW 8X/4X/24X USB 2.0 review: Addonics Pocket CD-RW 8X/4X/24X USB 2.0

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Good performer; buffer-underrun protection; slim, lightweight travel design; powered via USB bus.

The Bad Rewrite speed is behind the times; limited-edition software included with the drive; erratic performance under Windows 2000.

The Bottom Line The Pocket CD-RW is rugged enough for mobile users, but it's pricey, and its 4X rewrite speed is no better than that of many USB 1.1 drives.

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Addonics's new USB 2.0 version of its travel-sized Pocket CD-RW is a solid, well-built, mobile product. However, the drive's $339 sticker price is a bit steep for a burner that offers only a 4X rewrite speed. The drive's also rather costly considering the inconsistent times it posted in CNET Labs' write tests, though these are almost certainly due to the bundled Roxio software. Addonics's new USB 2.0 version of its travel-sized Pocket CD-RW is a solid, well-built, mobile product. However, the drive's $339 sticker price is a bit steep for a burner that offers only a 4X rewrite speed. The drive's also rather costly considering the inconsistent times it posted in CNET Labs' write tests, though these are almost certainly due to the bundled Roxio software.

The printed documentation included with the Pocket CD-RW drive is more than sufficient to guide you through the simple plug-and-play installation process. It took us less than 10 minutes to unpack the drive and install it and its accompanying software. The Pocket CD-RW drive works under Windows XP, Me, 98 SE, and 2000, and it's compatible with both USB 2.0 and 1.1, though you'll get only 4X write speeds with USB 1.1. Also, the only software you get with the drive is a limited edition of Roxio Easy CD Creator 5 and DirectCD.

Svelte and silvery
The drive has a stylish, silver and black case, and at only 5.6 by 5.3 by .9 inches, it fits easily into even the most cramped notebook bags. The Pocket CD-RW drive is rugged enough to withstand the rigors of extended travel, and it uses a notebook-style, front-loading, nonpowered tray mechanism. Travel weight is about 14 ounces, and in most cases, the drive can run off of USB bus power, so you can leave the AC adapter at home. Unfortunately, some of the weight you save on the adapter is lost on a rather hefty, proprietary USB cable with a mini-Centronics connector on the drive side.

Testing troubles
Though its final numbers were fine, the Addonics Pocket CD-RW suffered from inconsistent performance under Windows 98 SE and 2000 in CNET Labs' performance tests. The Pocket CD-RW wrote our 500MB data folder in 8 minutes and 4 seconds and blew through our 476MB audio image-file write in a mere 6 minutes and 30 seconds--spot on for an 8X-rated drive. It also averaged 10 minutes, 21 seconds while packet-writing 400MB under Windows 98 SE--about average for a 4X-rated drive. However, the Pocket CD-RW choked miserably while packet-writing under Windows 2000, taking more than an hour.

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Where to Buy

Addonics Pocket CD-RW 8X/4X/24X USB 2.0

Part Number: AEPCDRW8XUM

MSRP: $459.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Write Speed 8x
  • Rewrite Speed 4x
  • Weight 0.9 lbs
  • Type CD-RW
  • Read Speed 24x