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LaCie Slim DVD+/-RW Drive with LightScribe review: LaCie Slim DVD+/-RW Drive with LightScribe

Compared to the desktop IDE and USB drives currently on the market--many of which are rated twice as fast--the LaCie Slim DVD+/-RW Drive with LightScribe is not a speed demon. It writes single-layer DVDs at 8X and double-layer discs at a mere 2.4X, but that's the price to be paid for a slim form factor. The Asus SDRW-0804P-D, another slim and portable external burner, has the same speed ratings as the LaCie. The LaCie drive edged out the Asus in ripping and burning single- and double-layer DVDs and soundly trounced it when handling CDs. The Asus took the upper hand with rewritable media, though. Both drives trade portability for speed. If ripping and burning speeds are your main concern, stick with a desktop drive; both internals and externals beat the LaCie Slim. But if mobility is key and you don't mind slower burn speeds (what else are you going to do on a plane?), the LaCie is a great choice.

DVD movie rip/burn tests (min:sec)
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
4.4GB DVD Video burn test  
4.4GB DVD Video rip test (from DVD Video)  

Double-layer DVD movie rip/burn tests (min:sec)
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
7.9GB DVD Video burn test  
7.9GB DVD Video rip test (from DVD Video)  

CD Audio rip/burn tests (min:sec)
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
74:35 CD Audio burn test  
74:35 CD Audio rip test  

RW read/write tests (min:sec)
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
4.22GB RW write test  
4.22GB RW read test  

Unless otherwise mentioned, all write tests are run with Verbatim media, rated at the drive's maximum speed. Find out more about how we test optical drives. LaCie stands by the drive with a skimpy one-year warranty. While the company's Web site has all the software, tips, tutorials, and FAQs you could ask for, its telephone-support line is open only on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT--and you'll pay for the toll call. A knowledgeable technician was on the line in less than a minute with the answer we needed.

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