Plextor PX-608CU review: Plextor PX-608CU

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MSRP: $169.00

The Good Bus-powered; the Plextor PX-608CU DVD burner comes with an AC adapter for laptops that can't provide enough power; bundled with backup software; slim format.

The Bad No support for Macs; slow rip/burn speeds considering where the burner market is currently; expensive.

The Bottom Line The Plextor PX-608CU portable DVD burner is a great match for users who have a laptop without a built-in DVD burner; we just don't know who that might be.

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6.0 Overall
  • Setup 7
  • Features 6
  • Performance 5
  • Support 6

The Plextor PX-608CU is an odd duck in the world of external DVD burners. Its slim profile makes it a clear match for laptops, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a laptop these days that doesn't already have a burner built in. Neither is it a good substitute for a standard external DVD burner, because its read/write speeds can't match those of the larger burners. At $170, it's very expensive as well. In our tests, the burner works as advertised, but we're just not sure who it's for. (Mac users are definitely out of luck here; the PX-608CU works only with Windows 2000 and Windows XP machines.)

The PX-608CU can be bus-powered, but that will require using two USB ports on your computer. If your USB bus can't provide sufficient power, you can use the included AC adapter to power the burner.

Drive type External CD/DVD rewritable drive
Supported media DVD+/R DL; DVD+/-R; DVD+/-RW; CD-R; CD-RW; DVD-ROM; DVD-RAM; DVD-Video; CD-DA; CD-ROM; Video CD; Photo CD; CD Text; CD Extra
Maximum write speeds 4X DVD+/-R DL; 8X DVD+/-R; 8X DVD+RW; 6X DVD-RW; 24X CD-R; 24X CD-RW
Buffer memory 2MB
Dimensions (WDH) 5.43x0.87x6.38 inches
Notable design feature Motorized eject button
Connection options USB 2.0
System requirements Pentium III 800MHz or faster (or equivalent); 256MB RAM; 10GB HDD
OSes supported Windows 2000; Windows XP
Software included Roxio Easy Media Creator 8
Additional features Supports 8cm and 12cm discs
Service and support One-year limited warranty; toll-free phone support 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. PT; Web site includes tech support via e-mail, FAQs, self-help guides, and downloads.

The CNET Labs test results revealed slower rip and burn speeds than we've seen lately from burners, but it's not surprising considering the drive's rated speeds. Ripping an 8.46GB commercial DVD to the hard drive took 23 minutes, 38 seconds. Burning that image to a DVD+R DL disc took 30 minutes, 50 seconds. Burning a 4.48GB mixed-data file to a DVD+R disc took 13 minutes, 26 seconds. Ripping a commercial CD (746MB) took 4 minutes, 23 seconds. Burning that image to a CD-R disc took 6 minutes, 16 seconds.

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