back to article Lite-on eSAU208-16

If you buy a netbook, you have to be prepared to live without an optical drive. You can add an external drive for reading and writing DVDs and CDs, but to make it as convenient as the mini-laptop, it needs to be self-contained and compact. Lite-On has one with a good spec. Lite-on eSAU208-16 Lite-on's eSAU208-16: slimline but …

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Price?

Looks nice but £65 FFS! As an add-on to a supposed cheap laptot £65 seems massively excessive - especially when you can get standard external drives for about £15.

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Re: Price

"Looks nice but £65 FFS! As an add-on to a supposed cheap laptot £65 seems massively excessive - especially when you can get standard external drives for about £15."

Factor in a suitable external enclosure, which may set you back another £15-20, and the fact that you're likely going to need a bloody great power brick and a slimline drive seems a more attractive investment. If I was bothered about portability, I'd take a hit on the wallet and get a slimline drive (or, ideally, get my employers to take a hit in the wallet)

Pity about the colour, though.

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Portable?

Don't get me wrong, I've no objection to making these drives smaller and more attractive, so they look nicer sat on your desktop. But if you're really going to carry this thing around along with a netbook, just buy a cheap laptop instead.

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Who uses...

... plastic discs anymore these days???

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Can be had for less.

Got one recently to partner an ASUS E901 SCC (not a Netbook, don;t want to be sued). It works great and is particularly neat and lightweight. It was just over £50 including delivery but the cashback deal took it below the £50 mark. It only gets carried around when absolutely necessary but is a convenient size when you do need to have one.

It's also useful for simply reading CD's of data from other sources and the kids have used it to play DVD movies or play games from in their bedrooms.

I like it and there are different colours but the reddish colour looks fine to me.

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Enclosure

What's the point of a fancy multi-coloured enclosure, and then sticking a plain black drive inside? MAkes it look like it was thrown together, not, as the article says, all made by the same manufacturer.

Can't see the point of LightScribe though - the discs all cost twice as much as a regular disc of the same quality.

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Problem solved

I was umming and aahing about getting a little nettot and the deciding factor for not getting one was the lack of an optical drive. This seems to be a slightly pricy, but decent solution.

How long till payday?

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Disks really are on their way out.

Can't remember the last time I ever actually needed to use one, I think they'll soon be looked at in the same way as people look at the floppy drive on their new PC i.e. "Why the hell are they bothering to sell it with this clunky great thing in there?".

Give it a couple more years, and we'll start to see a transition to flash drives as the media of choice. Price is currently approaching £1/gig, and seems to be halving every year.

Add in the unlimited capacity (currently 64gb, but will get bigger), the smaller size, the superior read/write speeds, the lack of clunky hardware to read it, the minimal power usage on portable devices, and the lower noise levels and you have a winner of a recordable media format. I can see it overtaking blu-ray in terms of price per gig at some point.

I got a portable DVD player with a usb slot for my mum as an xmas pressie, also included a 16gb flash drive with 20 movies on it. She prefers playing movies from the flash stick as it's quieter and the battery lasts longer. There's the non-techie vote right there.

Of course, I guess we'll have to wait until the industry figures out how to DRM the things to hell before it'll actually take on. Then there's the stuck pig that is blu-ray to consider. :(

It'll get there, one way or the other, possibly through downloads, the music industry has already made the switch to flash storage for all practical purposes, movie industry will follow suit.

The software industry seems to have skipped physical media altogether, a lot of stuff is only available as a download.

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