I am so very grateful that there is such a thing as portable external disc drives with USB cables for use with netbooks/laptops.
This external disc drive I bought is pretty basic, it came in a small box just big enough for the drive, software and installation instructions to fit into, so not much wastage there, it is black about the same size as an old portable CD player. Fitted neatly into the back of it is the USB cable, great idea so you can't lose it, only when wanting to use it one day, I'd forgotten the cable was neatly tucked away underneath and was going mad at my son for losing it, ooops!! I really did feel stupid when I remembered it was tucked away safely underneath. (I did apologize to him, honestly).
Extremely easy to operate, good job as I'm the one operating it. It has a small switch that you slide across, in order to open the flip top cover on the device, to close you simply click the cover down gently. There is a button that lights up green when first plugged into your netbook/laptop and flickers whilst your disc is loading. It makes a small amount of noise while the disc communicates with your netbook/laptop, but nothing major, it's never bothered me that much. The light then goes out, this button is also the stop button which when pressed goes red.
On the software disc you get all the usual things like the drivers user manual, Installation etc. etc. I never really bother with this, as I just plugged it in, insert the disc I want to use and it just works straight away.
To start - Remove the protective film of the drive and remove the USB from underneath the drive. Plug the mini end of the USB cable into the back of the drive, and the USB in to a port on your netbook/laptop.
To load a disc - Slide the open switch to the right and this will release the top cover, place your disc inside the drive onto the pivot, taking care to place the disc correctly to ensure smooth operation. Then simply close the cover.
To remove a disc - Press stop which is on the top cover, this will stop the disc from spinning, slide the open latch to the right to release the top cover. Lift the disc, carefully off the pivot and remove it. It is advisable to wait for at least 15 seconds after the disc stops spinning, before you access the disc.
I find it really easy to use, the top loading idea is great, the drive has proved reliable and convenient as it weighs less than 300g it's light enough to carry around with me, should I need to take it anywhere. I originally bought the disc drive for my son as we had bought him a netbook for his birthday, which of course has no disc drive of it's own. However he was not to impressed with the netbook because it hasn't got a lot of memory so the external drive I got him seemed like a waste of time. However during this past year I have had problems with my laptop which has resulted in my disc drive no longer working (I blame Norton Internet Security) I was told that Norton can disable certain things from your computer/laptop by an engineer at Techguys, hence, my disc drive has disconnected itself. So this has meant I have needed to use the external drive from time to time.
Where from and how much.....
I bought the Liteon DVD/CD Rewritable Drive from Argos but they don't seem to sell them anymore, however Amazon are currently selling these drives for £28.49
I have been really grateful I had this drive readily available to use. Only problem I have had, is the USB cable being so small, including the actual USB, the cable only measures around 7 inches, but this is easily rectified by using a longer cable, although it is advised not to use a cable that exceeds the length of 40 cm. To be fair I don't use the disc drive that much anyway, but it is a handy little thing to have, especially as I put my internet security on my laptop with a disc, I don't download it like a lot of people seem to do, I feel better about using a disc for some reason, but for the first time, I will not be renewing with Norton, we're going with someone else.
Watching DVDs and listening to CDs through my laptop with this drive is just like the original drive itself. I am very happy and indeed satisfied with the performance of this drive.I can fully recommend this little portable disc drive, it's been a lifesaver for me and my laptop, maybe not a lot of use for my son, but at least it has not been a total waste of money. I can give this portable drive 5 stars because it's perfect for me.Thank you for reading my review which may also appear on Dooyoo