TDK IndiDVD 1280B external drive
With so many DVD drives available, you'd expect new products to offer better speed, performance, and features than the competition. Unfortunately, this isn't the case with TDK's IndiDVD 1280B external drive. The 12X drive isn't as fast as other 16X drives that are now available, and the 1280BÂ’s excellent Roxio software bundle cannot overcome the driveÂ’s lackluster performance. Given the price tag, other drives, such as the just make more sense.
TDKÂ’s external 1280B uses a dark charcoal-color case that curves just slightly, giving the drive a sleek, attractive appearance and softening the harsh angles that plague most external drives. Otherwise, there are no surprises with the 1280B. The drive's front panel sports a drive tray, a headphone jack, a volume control, and an eject button.
Once the drive has a home on your desk or shelf, installation is just a matter of connecting an external power adapter and a USB cable (both included). The drive also supports a FireWire (IEEE 1394) connection, if you prefer. One warning, which is clearly marked on the box: the 1280B requires a USB 2.0 port for normal operation and is not compatible with older USB 1.1 ports. Older PCs may require you to upgrade the USB hub and/or Windows (older versions don't fully support USB 2.0). Once it's connected, Windows XP recognizes and installs the drive in just a few seconds. Novice PC users will appreciate the printed documentation to help with the hardware installation.
Like many of todayÂ’s DVD drives, the 1280B is extremely versatile, handling a wide range of recordable and rewritable CD or DVD media at speeds on a par with those of other drives. This makes the 1280B well suited for multimedia work, such as video recording, making backups, archiving photos, music mastering, and many other projects. However, the 1280B does not handle double-layer (DL) burning, so users needing more than 4.7GB of storage should consider DL-capable drives such as the LaCie d2 16X drive.
The 1280B includes a welcome suite of Roxio software, such as DVD Builder for digital video authoring/recording; Creator Classic for data recording to CD/DVD; and AudioCentral for music ripping, playback, and copying. PhotoSuite Lite lets you capture, edit, and manage digital photos; Disc Copier creates backup copies of CDs and DVDs; and Drag-to-Disc provides packet-writing capability for CD-RW media. Additional applications include media players such as Player and DVDMax. Budding artists will also like Label Creator for custom disc labels and case art. Printed documentation covers the basics of each bundled application.