HP CD-Writer 8230e CD-RW External USB

The Good Rugged, portable, and inexpensive for a USB drive; extra labeling kit and software.

The Bad No Mac software; CD-mastering software cannot create an image or write discs from images.

The Bottom Line If you want a sturdy, external CD-RW drive, the HP CD Writer 8230e is affordable and offers a lot of bells and whistles.

Editors' Rating
7.0 Overall

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Review

HP CD-Writer 8230e CD-RW External USB

Looking for a single CD-RW drive to share between multiple PCs? Hewlett-Packard's affordable ($199), external 4X/4X/6X CD Writer 8230e is a handy solution that attaches to any recent PC via the omnipresent USB port. The drive is a solid performer within the limits set by USB's bandwidth, and unlike some USB drives that CNET's tested, it's reliable while writing on the fly, ruining nary a disc during tests. Looking for a single CD-RW drive to share between multiple PCs? Hewlett-Packard's affordable ($199), external 4X/4X/6X CD Writer 8230e is a handy solution that attaches to any recent PC via the omnipresent USB port. The drive is a solid performer within the limits set by USB's bandwidth, and unlike some USB drives that CNET's tested, it's reliable while writing on the fly, ruining nary a disc during tests.

Sturdy style
The 8230e is built solidly enough to withstand the rigors of shared use, and its translucent-blue plastic trim makes it a bit more attractive than some of the other boxy, 5.25-inch external drives we've seen. The 8230e measures roughly 2.6 inches high by 11.2 inches long by 7.1 inches wide and weighs in just shy of 5 pounds, including the AC adapter.

Installing the 8230e is as easy as plugging it in and loading the driver. A poster-sized, copiously illustrated quick-start guide steps you through the process, although the eight-language format is a bit confusing at first. Troubleshooting and tech-support matters are covered in separate booklets, and an electronic user guide is included on CD.

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