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|
|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.