34. Conclusion - Final Total Score
2. Rodzone A11-SU3
3. Rioddas BT-638 (1st variation)
4. Amicool BT-686
5. Cocopa ECD813-Y
6. Pop-up ODD Device
7. Effelon ODD Device
8. Rioddas BT-638 (2nd variation)
9. HLDS PortableDVD
10. Comparison Of Specifications
11. CD Reading Performance
12. Writing Performance Test Methodology
13. Imation 52X CD-R
14. Maxell 52X CD-R
15. Maxell 52X PRINTABLE CD-R
16. PlexDisc 52X PRINTABLE CD-R
17. Ritek 52X CD-R
18. Verbatim 52X CD-R
19. DVD Reading Performance
20. DataWrite 16X DVD-R
21. HP 16X DVD-R
22. Maxell 16X DVD-R
23. No Brand 16X DVD-R
24. PlexDisc 16X DVD-R
25. TraxData 16X DVD-R
26. Verbatim 16X DVD-R
27. JVC 16X DVD+R
28. Maxell 16X DVD+R
29. Philips 16X DVD+R
30. Sony 16X DVD+R
31. Verbatim 16X DVD+R
32. Verbatim 8X DVD+R DL
33. Summary of Burning Results
34. Conclusion - Final Total Score
This big roundup was actually a journey for us...a blast from the past, since all the external portable recorders that being sold over Amazon.com from Chinese sellers, when we received them we found out they include very old drives even dated back to 2007...While their supposed specs promise good performance and stability, in fact reality isnt so pretty. Some of the external recorders we opened even tried to hide the fact they are using very old drives by placing another sticker upon them...However to us the biggest problems are two...
All products are being advertised as NEW over the Amazon.com listings, while their internals aren't and second...even if you buy a drive under the same name as we did, we cannot guarantee that you will get the drive we tested. This happened with the Rioddas BT-638 with two identinal external boxes had two totally different optical drives inside them. This to us might be the biggest problem, since as we showed, performance can vary among optical storage devices. Newer manufactured drives may have "better" components, newer media ID codes inserted in their firmware and probably higher lifetime circle in front of them. We assume that many of the drive used in the Chinese drives being refurbished or came from recycled laptops, etc.. in China..
Another misleading fact is that all Chinese based drives are being advertised as USB3.0, when in reality you get only USB2.0 connection...This might not cause any serious problem to end users, however it is still a false advertisement.
Then there are the warranty and general support issues.
Well known brands have their official wesbite and support team, with probably firmware updates. Even if your drive doesn't perform very good with a specific media type, you can submit a request and engineers could improve this. With the Chinese based external portable DVD recorder that are being sold at Amazon.com (and probably other stores), you may complain and of course return the drive as broken, and receive another drive with the same build quality or maybe even with worst performance, simply you never know what you will get! As we showed in our tests, some drives didnt worked at all with some media, while worked with other OK. Getting into a siutation your drive doesn't recognize or produce bad burns is simply not acceptable.
Again we must balance things before placing our precious data into an optical storage device. For sure we could want to use the best possible media/burner combo and have them stored somewhere safe for future use. Someone could worry that branded drives like HLDS PortableDVD is so much higher priced than the Chinese based drives so it is willing to take the risk ...However we don't feel that $8-$10 higher price is a big problem for most road warriors when you are getting a properly balanced optical storage device.
As a final graph, we sum all the individual scores and we present you the final results. So is the HLDS PortableDVD a perfect drive? We can say YES since it did recognized all inserted media, produced stable and high burning quality. There are some some "weaknesses, mostly when extracting AudioCDs (slow speed with EAC Secure mode) and when ripping encrypted DVD-Video discs. If the speed in both cases was better the drive would have even higher score than its competitors.
Another thing that can be said, is that thte top three (3) drives are simply based upon HLDS optical drives, we could also suggest the Rodzone A11-SU3, however we are not so sure if you order this product you will get what we have received and tested (meaning the included drive)...
Concluding this "huge" for us roundup, we can say that we presented most of our finding and now you can buy your next external portable drive based upon real facts and not just "positive" Amazon.com customers reviews... If you dont believe us...Other websites have also wrote about this issue sometime ago. As always the choice is yours :-)