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Home Optical disc drives External Optical Drives
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Save Up To £85 on Optical Disc Drives View Today's Best Deals
Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
Disc Loading Type
Type
Optical Drive Type
Release Date
#1

86

Asus SDRW‑08D2S‑U Lite

383 Reviews
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 Add to Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£19.98

Tray
Info
External
Info
DVD
Info
Feb 2013
The highest scoring external optical drive available, with an Editor's Choice award from one expert review website
#2

86

LG GH24NSD1

 Add to Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£8.00

Tray
Info
External
Info
DVD
Info
Aug 2015
The cheapest external optical drive available
#3

84

Asus SDRW‑08U7M‑U

 Add to Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£22.55

Tray
Info
External
Info
DVD
Info
Dec 2015
A very cheap and best selling tray loading external optical disc drive, with very good features
#4

84

Asus ZenDrive U7M

261 Reviews
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£22.55

Tray
Info
External
Info
DVD
Info
Dec 2016
A top-value and top-rated tray loading external cd writer, with good features
#5

83

Lite‑On eBAU108

710 Reviews
 Add to Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£15.97

Tray
Info
External
Info
DVD
Info
Jan 2014
A low cost and very popular tray loading external optical disc drive, with good features
#6

80

Asus SDRW‑08U5S‑U

16 Reviews
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£30.86

Tray
Info
External
Info
DVD
Info
May 2013
A cheap and award winning tray loading external cd (re)writer, with great features
#7

79

Asus ZenDrive U9M

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£35.49

Tray
Info
External
Info
DVD
Info
Aug 2017
A good value for money and fairly new tray loading external cd rewriter, with good features
#8

77

LG GP57EW40

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£23.99

Tray
Info
External
Info
DVD
Info
Jan 2015
A cheap and best selling tray loading external cd rewriter, with good features
#9

77

Samsung SE‑208GB

497 Reviews
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£29.99

Tray
Info
External
Info
DVD
Info
Aug 2015
A classic but 3 year old tray loading external dvd burner, with good features
#10

76

Buffalo DVSM‑PT58U2V

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£20.37

Tray
Info
External
Info
DVD
Info
Jan 2015
A bargain price but 4 year old tray loading external dvd burner, with good features
#11

76

Lite‑On ES1

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£17.79

Tray
Info
External
Info
DVD
Info
Jun 2017
A fairly new and good value for money tray loading external cd burner, but with only middle of the road features
#12

76

Verbatim External Slimline CD/DVD Writer

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£29.49

Tray
Info
External
Info
DVD
Info
May 2016
A cheap but a little out of date tray loading external cd writer, with good features
#13

76

Samsung SE‑218GN

16 Reviews
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£26.49

Tray
Info
External
Info
DVD
Info
Aug 2014
A cheap and award winning tray loading external cd rewriter, with good features
#14

76

DELL DW316

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£28.00

Tray
Info
External
Info
DVD
Info
Sep 2016
A good value for money but a little out of date tray loading external optical disc drive, with good features
#15

76

Buffalo BRXL‑PT6U2V

6 Reviews
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£71.08

Tray
Info
External
Info
Blu-Ray
Info
Mar 2015
The highest review score external optical drive on the market
#17

76

Apple USB SuperDrive

2,367 Reviews
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£69.99

Slot
Info
External
Info
DVD
Info
Jun 2012
A good spec and classic slot loading external cd (re)writer
#18

75

Transcend TS8XDVDS‑W

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£22.72

Tray
Info
External
Info
DVD
Info
Dec 2014
A good spec and cheap tray loading external dvd (re)writer
#20

75

Asus SBW‑06D2X‑U

42 Reviews
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£75.68

Tray
Info
External
Info
Blu-Ray
Info
Feb 2012
An award winning and fully featured tray loading external dvd writer

74

Asus SBC‑06D2X‑U

46 Reviews
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£58.49

Tray
Info
External
Info
Blu-Ray
Info
May 2013
A classic and fully featured tray loading external cd writer

74

HP External USB DVDRW Drive

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£32.12

Tray
Info
External
Info
DVD
Info
Dec 2013
A cheap and good spec tray loading external cd rewriter

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Disc Loading Type
tray
Type
external
Optical Drive Type
DVD
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Trending Optical Disc Drive Comparisons

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Asus
SDRW-08D2S-U Lite
£19.98
£2 cheaper
More popular
VS
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LG
GP57EW40
£22.33
Better brand
User reviews
are slightly
better
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Asus
SBW-06D2X-U
£75.68
£20 cheaper
More popular
VS
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LG
BP55EB40
£95.89
Better brand
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Asus
SDRW-08D2S-U Lite
£19.98
More popular
VS
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Lite-On
eBAU108
£15.97
£4 cheaper
Better brand
User reviews
are a little
better
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Asus
SDRW-08D2S-U Lite
£19.98
£43 cheaper
More popular
VS
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Apple
SuperDrive
£62.99
Better brand
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Asus
SDRW-08D2S-U Lite
£19.98
More popular
VS
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Lite-On
DU-8AESH
£13.52
£6 cheaper
Better brand
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Asus
SBW-06D2X-U
£75.68
More popular
VS
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Apple
SuperDrive
£62.99
£13 cheaper
Better brand
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Apple
USB SuperDrive
£69.99
Better brand
VS
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LG
UH12NS40
£49.99
£20 cheaper
More popular
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Asus
SBC-06D2X-U
£58.49
£37 cheaper
More popular
VS
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LG
BP55EB40
£95.89
Better brand
Much better
user reviews
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Asus
SBC-06D2X-U
£58.49
More popular
VS
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Transcend
TS8XDVDS-W
£22.72
£36 cheaper
Hugely better
user reviews
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Samsung
SE-506CB
£104.70
More popular
VS
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LG
BP55EB40
£95.89
£9 cheaper
Better brand
User reviews
are moderately
better
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Lite-On
eBAU108
£15.97
£7 cheaper
Better brand
VS
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Asus
SDRW-08U7M-U
£22.55
More popular
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Lite-On
iHAS124
£13.71
£22 cheaper
Better brand
VS
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Asus
ZenDrive U9M
£35.49
More popular
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Asus
BW-16D1
£52.49
More popular
VS
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LG
GP70NS50
£29.49
£23 cheaper
Better brand
User reviews
are a lot
better
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Asus
BW-16D1
£52.49
£43 cheaper
More popular
VS
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LG
BP55EB40
£95.89
Better brand
Considerably
better user
reviews
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Asus
BW-16D1
£52.49
More popular
VS
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LG
GP95EW70
£52.23
Better brand
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Asus
90-XB3I00AP00000
£34.98
£17 cheaper
More popular
VS
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LG
GP95EW70
£52.23
Better brand
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Buffalo
BRXL-PT6U2V
£70.56
£25 cheaper
More popular
Significantly
better user
reviews
VS
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LG
BP55EB40
£95.89
Better brand
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Asus
SDRW-08D2S-U Lite
£19.98
More popular
VS
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Buffalo
DVSM-PT58U2V
£20.37
Better brand
loading image
Asus
SDRW-08D2S-U Lite
£19.98
More popular
VS
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Lite-On
ES1
£17.79
£2 cheaper
Better brand

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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