ASUS SBC-04D1S-U External Slim Blu-ray Combo Drive Review


Setup and Usage
Getting the drive setup is pretty simple. Before you plug it into your system you first want to install the included software. Once you have the software installed go ahead and plug the drive in and put in some media and start watching! Actually the first time I put in a Blu-ray disc it actually could not be read until I updated the software via the web. This may be a concern to people who do not have access to the internet.


ASUS SBC-04D1S-U External Slim Blu-ray Combo Drive Review ASUS SBC-04D1S-U External Slim Blu-ray Combo Drive Review

As I said earlier the design on the one side of the drive lights up when the drive is plugged in. It’s a pretty cool effect that adds some style to the drive, especially if you are using it with the stand. Since this is an external drive I decided to test it with a laptop. I first used it with the Lenovo ThinkPad W700ds. When playing a Blu-ray movie the CPU usage was very slow averaging around 10-15%. The ThinkPad W700ds is a very powerful laptop so I decided to test the drive on someone a little older so I hooked it up to my Dell XPS M1210. When using my Dell the CPU usage averaged around 50-60%, which still isn’t bad for playing a Blu-ray movie, but I would expect this drive to put almost full CPU usage on current netbooks, so that would most likely affect playback of the movie.

I also used the SBC-04D1S-U to burn a DVD and an audio CD and everything ran perfectly. The USB connection really does not limit the drive at all.

Final Thoughts
I really wondered how well this drive would perform, mainly because of the USB connection. I was unsure how well Blu-ray movies would playback over USB, but after testing it worked perfectly with no issues at all. Besides playing Blu-ray media the drive can also play regular DVD’s and CD’s as well as burn them. So it is basically an all-in-one drive.

I really like the small form factor of this drive. It makes it easy for you to take it with you from place to place. Since it is powered by USB you don’t have to carry around a power adapter with you either, which is great! I really like being able to easily move the drive from computer to computer when I want.

ASUS touts the SBC-04D1S-U as the, “World’s First External Slim BD Combo” and there really is not that much competition out there. Looking at my favorite online retailer I only found 1 other external Blu-ray drive and it was large and required external power. It also was the same price as the SBC-04D1S-U, $169.99. So it is a pretty easy decision on which drive to get if you are looking for an external Blu-ray drive. Overall ThinkComputers gives the ASUS SBC-04D1S-U External Slim Blu-ray Combo Drive a 10 out of 10 score!

Pros:
– Slim design
– Price
– Powered by USB

Cons:
– None that I found

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