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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > CD-RW External

Tuesday, May 21, 2002
Freecom FS-1

1. Introduction

Freecom FS-1 Slimline CD-RW - Page 1


Freecom is familiar to the most of the users as a company which offers easy computing solutions and stylish portable products. A wide product line including portable CD-ROM, CD-RW drives and MP3 players, are available by Freecom. We have already tested the Traveller II series and this time we have the chance to evaluate the Freecom FS-1 CD-RW drive. The well designed slimline drive supports USB 1.1 / 2.0 interfaces making it swappable for maximum flexibility.


The drive supports 16x writing (Z-CLV) max speed. All the supported writing speeds are 4x, 12x, 16x and re-writing speeds 4x and 10x (CLV). The reading speeds of Freecom FS-1 is 24x.

The drive also includes 1280MB of buffer and buffer underrun protection. The supported writing modes are TAO, SAO, DAO, and Multisession.

Freecom FS-1 can be connected to USB1.1/2.0 interfaces. Notice that when the drive is connected to USB1.1 interface, the maximum supported speed is limited to 4x.

In order to achieve the 16x writing speed Freecom has chosen the Z-CLV writing technology. When a recorder uses the Zone CLV recording method, the CD is divided into 3 zones from the inner to the outer side of the CD, and within each these zones the recording speed varies but it's always constant (CLV). The recording process starts from the beginning of the disc in a constant speed in the first zone. After a pre-defined time (when the next zone starts) the recording speed automatically elevates to a higher speed. At the speed switching point, the anti-buffer underrun technology is used to assure the transition with no data loss or corruption.

Freecom starts writing at 10x from the lead-in area for 4 minutes, shifts up to 12x at 8mins, shifts up to 16x and continues to write until the end of the disc at that speed.

The package

The tested drive was the retail European package and included: the drive, 1 piece (24x certified) of Freecom 80min CD-R blank, a manual / recording software CD-ROM, and Liquid audio Player v. In the box you will also find a USB cable and the power adapter. The attached software is Roxio Easy CD Creator and DirectCD v5.1.b for packet writing use.

The drive is very slim and the exact dimensions are 1.7 x 14.6 x 14.4 (H x L x W). On the top you can see the "Freecom" logo. The front of the drive includes the "High-Speed RW" the operation led and the eject button.

In the backside of the drive we will find the power and the USB connectors.


Freecom FS-1 was connected to our test PC through USB 2.0 interface, and was identified from WinXP as "TEAC CD-W216E". The installed firmware was 1.0A. Freecom offers a 2-year online warranty.

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