LaCie Fusion 24X CD-RW drive (USB 2.0)

The Good Good audio and straight data burning; compact; affordable.

The Bad Noisy; slow packet writing and audio ripping; flimsy top; no Mac support.

The Bottom Line The Fusion falls short in some areas of performance and construction, but its superlow price will appeal to budget users.

Editors' Rating
7.0 Overall

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LaCie Fusion 24X CD-RW drive (USB 2.0)
LaCie Fusion 24X CD-RW drive (USB 2.0)
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Review

LaCie Fusion 24X CD-RW drive (USB 2.0)

When it comes to fast CD burners, the words portable and affordable rarely go together. Users generally have to pay a premium for a mobile device. The LaCie Fusion 24X CD-RW drive is an exception to the rule; it's the least expensive USB 2.0 burner CNET Labs has tested to date. Despite its bare-bones package and a few cut corners in features and performance, some nice service policies and a rock-bottom price may be all a budget user needs to overlook the Fusion's flaws.When it comes to fast CD burners, the words portable and affordable rarely go together. Users generally have to pay a premium for a mobile device. The LaCie Fusion 24X CD-RW drive is an exception to the rule; it's the least expensive USB 2.0 burner CNET Labs has tested to date. Despite its bare-bones package and a few cut corners in features and performance, some nice service policies and a rock-bottom price may be all a budget user needs to overlook the Fusion's flaws.

You get what you pay for
You wouldn't expect much from a $169 portable CD burner, but the Fusion has a few bonuses, such as Burn-Proof technology and a colossal 8MB buffer. Otherwise, however, it's a spartan package. The sole software title is Roxio Easy CD Creator 5.0 Basic, which includes DirectCD 5.0 for packet writing. Although LaCie is well known for Mac support, the Fusion works with all flavors of Windows that support USB but lacks software for the Mac OS.

About the size of a Discman, the LaCie is very compact for an external 24X burner. It's also light on features; there's no headphone jack or volume control, just indicator lights and a button that opens the clam-shell-like top. We wish LaCie had spent a bit more money on design and construction; in operation, the Fusion produces more noise and vibration than even some 40X IDE burners we've looked at. Our test unit also had a somewhat flimsy cover, which at times rattled during use.

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