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Compare the Best External Optical DrivesSeptember 2019

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique optical disc drives rating which considers: 340 UK prices • 3,600 expert & user reviews • 190 product comparisons • Score breakdown
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Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
Disc Loading Type
Type
Optical Drive Type
Available Colours
Release Date
#1

89

 Compare  Shortlisted
LG logo

LG GH24NSD1

£16.97

Tray
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Sep 2015
#2

89

 Compare  Shortlisted
Asus logo

Asus SDRW‑08D2S‑U Lite

£19.99

Tray
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Feb 2013
#3

87

 Compare  Shortlisted
Asus logo

Asus ZenDrive U9M

£41.76

Tray
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Aug 2017
#4

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
DELL logo

DELL DW316

997 Reviews

£40.77

Tray
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Sep 2016
#6

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
Asus logo

Asus SDRW08U7MU

£31.98

Tray
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Dec 2015
#7

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Apple SuperDrive

597 Reviews

£10.35

Slot
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Aug 2015
#8

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Asus ZenDrive U7M

742 Reviews

£24.99

Tray
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Dec 2016
#9

85

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Asus SBC06D2XU

£64.49

Tray
Info
External
Info
Blu-Ray
Info
Info
Jun 2015
#10

85

 Compare  Shortlisted
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LG GP57EW40

30 Reviews

£24.99

Tray
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Mar 2015
#11

83

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Asus SBW06D2XU

£79.09

Tray
Info
External
Info
Blu-Ray
Info
Info
Feb 2012
#12

82

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Lite‑On EBAU108

£18.99

Tray
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
May 2016
#13

80

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Apple USB SuperDrive

£24.43

Slot
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Jun 2012
#16

78

 Compare  Shortlisted
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LG GP90EB70.AUAE10

£51.39

Slot
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Apr 2017
#17

78

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Buffalo DVSMPT58U2VBEU

£21.99

Tray
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Jan 2015
#18

77

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Lite‑On ES1

£20.99

Tray
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Jun 2017
#20

75

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Buffalo BRXLPT6U2VBEU

£77.49

Tray
Info
External
Info
Blu-Ray
Info
Info
Mar 2015

74

 Compare  Shortlisted
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DELL 784‑BBBI

£42.20

Tray
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Apr 2015

69

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Transcend TS8XDVDSW

£37.77

Tray
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Dec 2014

69

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Pioneer DVRXU01T

£24.99

Tray
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Jan 2016

69

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Verbatim External Slimline CD/DVD Writer

£24.99

Tray
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
May 2016

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Trending Optical Disc Drive Comparisons

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Asus
SDRW-08D2S-U Lite
£17.99
£7 cheaper
More popular
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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LG
GP57EW40
£24.99
Two years newer
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Asus
SBW-06D2X-U
£79.09
£13 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
VS
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LG
BP55EB40
£92.57
Four years
newer
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Asus
SDRW-08D2S-U Lite
£17.99
£1 cheaper
More popular
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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Lite-On
eBAU108
£18.99
Three years
newer
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LG
BP55EB40
£92.57
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
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Verbatim
External Slimline Blu-Ray Writer
£93.12
More popular
Seven months
newer
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Asus
BW-16D1
£59.26
£10 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
VS
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LG
BH16NS55
£69.11
Newer by five
months
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Apple
SuperDrive
£10.35
£41 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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LG
GP90EB70.AUAE10
£51.39
19 months newer
Better brand
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Asus
SDRW-08D2S-U Lite
£17.99
£7 cheaper
Better brand
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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Verbatim
External Slimline CD/DVD Writer
£24.99
Three years
newer
loading image
Lite-On
eBAU108
£18.99
£6 cheaper
14 months newer
VS
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LG
GP57EW40
£24.99
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
Better brand
loading image
Lite-On
eBAU108
£18.99
£23 cheaper
More popular
VS
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Asus
ZenDrive U9M
£41.76
Better brand
Better Kagoo
Score
14 months newer
loading image
Apple
SuperDrive
£10.35
£15 cheaper
More customers
recommend it
Moderately
better user
reviews
VS
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Asus
ZenDrive U7M
£24.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
16 months newer
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Verbatim
External Slimline CD/DVD Writer
£24.99
Newer by 10
months
VS
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Apple
SuperDrive
£10.35
£15 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
loading image
Asus
SBW-06D2X-U
£79.09
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
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Buffalo
BRXL-PT6U2V
£77.49
More popular
Newer by three
years
loading image
Asus
SDRW-08D2S-U Lite
£17.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
loading image
Apple
SuperDrive
£10.35
£8 cheaper
Three years
newer
loading image
Lite-On
iHAS124
£10.99
£1 cheaper
More popular
VS
loading image
Asus
DRW-24D5MT
£11.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Three years
newer
Better brand
loading image
Asus
SDRW-08U7M-U
£31.39
£9 cheaper
Better brand
VS
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DELL
DW316
£40.77
Better Kagoo
Score
10 months newer
loading image
LG
GP90EB70.AUAE10
£51.39
Newer by three
months
VS
loading image
Asus
ZenDrive U7M
£24.99
£26 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
loading image
LG
GP57EW40
£24.99
£17 cheaper
More popular
VS
loading image
Asus
ZenDrive U9M
£41.76
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by two
years
Better brand
loading image
Asus
BW-16D1
£59.26
£34 cheaper
More popular
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
loading image
Verbatim
External Slimline Blu-Ray Writer
£93.12
11 months newer
loading image
DELL
DW316
£40.77
Better Kagoo
Score
More customers
recommend it
User reviews
are slightly
better
VS
loading image
Asus
ZenDrive U7M
£24.99
£16 cheaper
Better brand
Newer by three
months
All Optical Disc Drive Comparisons

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QWhat are the difference between the different disc loading types?
AThere are 3 main types of disc drive. Tray is the most common - a tray pops out, the disc is placed in and the tray recedes into the machine again. Slot disc drives just have a slot in the side to take the disc, whereas on top-loading disc drives the whole top of the device is hinged, allowing you to place the disc directly into the device.
QWhy does read-write speed matter?
AThe larger the read-write speed of the disc drive, the faster it will write data to the discs, and the quicker data can be read, meaning data access will be faster and smoother (less waiting for buffering video, for instance)
QWhat does 'internal' mean?
AInternal means the disc drive is meant to be mounted inside a computer, whereas external means it can be plugged in via USB and used there.

External Optical Disc Drive Buying Guide

Optical disk drives cover a wide range of internal and external devices meant to both read and write a variety of removable media. This means they can be used to both read data from discs (i.e - playing a movie DVD or Blu Ray) and also writing or ‘burning’ data (i.e - creating a music CD from individual mp3s, or permanently writing files to a disk for distribution).

While most computers used to house CD and DVD drives as standard, drastically smaller devices and a move towards cloud-based streaming mean that disc drives are being used less and less. Indeed many modern laptops and desktops no longer contain a disc drive at all.

This means that even though it is legacy tech, it’s still worth keeping a drive handy for those times you want to read the data from an old DVD, burn a disc for a friend, or watch a movie when you don’t have access to Netflix. There are two main types of optical disc drive - internal and external. This guide will explain the major points of consideration when choosing an external optical disk drive.

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External Drives

This type of drive is meant to be plugged into a computer (usually via USB) to serve as a temporary drive when one is needed. These drives tend to be more expensive than internal drives, but can be used with any computer. They are especially useful for laptops, since the current trend in ultra-thin laptops mean that most modern models don’t have a drive built in. Because external drives are removable, they can be easily stowed away until needed, making them helpful if you only need to read a CD/DVD occasionally. They are also very portable, making them good for watching movies or accessing data on journeys where you may not have access to a stable net connection.

Media Support

There are 3 main types of optical media supported by the disc drives on our site - CD, DVD and Blu Ray:

CD: Traditionally used for music, and while rather a legacy format, there are so many CDs in circulation that you are bound to need to access one at some point. All disc drives will read and write CDs, but the downside is they hold the least information of the 3 types.

DVD: DVDs are generally used for movies, since they are higher density, so can hold far more data than CDs. DVDs are still widely used for movies and video games, and can also hold a large amount of information, making them useful for backing up lots of files. Nearly all of our drives support both CD and DVD read writing.

Blu-Ray: The newest and highest density of optical media on the market, Blu-Ray discs can hold an enormous amount of data in a single disc. They are primarily used for very high-quality movies. However because they are a new format, Blu-Ray writers are far more expensive than CD or DVD-compatible models. Moreover, not all drives support Blu-Ray reading or writing, meaning that you may find other users are not able to read the data on the disc.

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Read/Write Speedas

Finally, read & write speeds measure how quickly data can be written from & to the disc. This is measures in bytes per second - the higher the speed, the faster large files (such as movies) will be burnt to the disc, or read from the drive. The read-write speeds are also affected by the USB version supported - USB 3.0 supported drives allow far higher transfer rates than USB 2 drives, so it is worth seeking out the newest drive you can for the fastest data transfer speeds.

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