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The 10 Best Optical Disc Drives - June 2017

Every week we analyse the technical specs, reviews and prices of every optical disc drive on the market in the UK to determine our top 10 list.
In total we compared over 170 optical disc drives, 74 reviews and 861 prices. Last updated 23 June 2017.

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#1 in Optical Disc Drives
BW-16D1H-U PRO

Asus BW‑16D1H‑U PRO

Reviews
72
1 Review
Value for Money
38
Mediocre
Features
100
Fully-Featured
Age
68
2 Years Old
Overall Score
75
Very Good
No
Tray
Blu-Ray
Internal
Disc Loading Type
Optical Drive Type
Jun 2015
Release Date
#2 in Optical Disc Drives
SDRW-08U5S-U

Asus SDRW‑08U5S‑U

techno-labs.com - Good Design
Reviews
65
1 Award
Value for Money
93
Excellent
Features
100
Fully-Featured
Age
65
2 Years Old
Overall Score
77
Very Good
No
Front Disc Loader
DVD
Internal
Disc Loading Type
Optical Drive Type
Mar 2015
Release Date
#3 in Optical Disc Drives
SBW-06D2X-U

Asus SBW‑06D2X‑U

Reviews No Reviews
Value for Money
26
Mediocre
Features
83
Fully-Featured
Age
68
2 Years Old
Overall Score
37
Mediocre
No
Tray
Blu-Ray
Internal
Disc Loading Type
Optical Drive Type
Jun 2015
Release Date
#4 in Optical Disc Drives
BC-12D2HT

Asus BC‑12D2HT

Reviews No Reviews
Value for Money
53
Average
Features
67
Good Features
Age
82
1 Year Old
Overall Score
38
Mediocre
Yes
Tray
Blu-Ray
Internal
Disc Loading Type
Optical Drive Type
May 2016
Release Date
#5 in Optical Disc Drives
UBPX800

Sony UBPX800

Reviews No Reviews
Value for Money
2
Mediocre
Features
0
Missing Some Features
Age
93
4 Months Old
Overall Score
17
Mediocre
Feb 2017
Release Date
#6 in Optical Disc Drives
4XA0H03972

Lenovo 4XA0H03972

Reviews No Reviews
Value for Money
24
Mediocre
Features
75
Good Features
Age
61
2 Years Old
Overall Score
33
Mediocre
No
Tray
DVD-RW
Internal
Disc Loading Type
Optical Drive Type
Jan 2015
Release Date
#7 in Optical Disc Drives
DVSM-PT58U2VB

Buffalo DVSM‑PT58U2VB

Reviews No Reviews
Value for Money
64
Good
Features
31
Missing Some Features
Age
68
2 Years Old
Overall Score
26
Mediocre
No
Tray
DVD
Internal
Disc Loading Type
Optical Drive Type
Jun 2015
Release Date
#8 in Optical Disc Drives
SE-218GN

Samsung SE‑218GN

Reviews No Reviews
Value for Money
71
Very Good
Features
68
Good Features
Age
72
2 Years Old
Overall Score
38
Mediocre
No
Tray
DVD-RW
Internal
Disc Loading Type
Optical Drive Type
Sep 2015
Release Date
#9 in Optical Disc Drives
SBC-06D2X-U

Asus SBC‑06D2X‑U

Reviews No Reviews
Value for Money
35
Mediocre
Features
83
Fully-Featured
Age
68
2 Years Old
Overall Score
38
Mediocre
No
Tray
Blu-Ray
Internal
Disc Loading Type
Optical Drive Type
Jun 2015
Release Date
#10 in Optical Disc Drives
SDRW-08U7M-U

Asus SDRW‑08U7M‑U

Reviews No Reviews
Value for Money
86
Excellent
Features
100
Fully-Featured
Age
76
2 Years Old
Overall Score
48
Mediocre
No
Tray
DVD-RW
Internal
Disc Loading Type
Optical Drive Type
Dec 2015
Release Date

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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. This guide will explain the major points of consideration when choosing an optical disk drive.

Mounting & Portability

The first important consideration is what type of drive you want to get. While all our drives read and write disks, there are 2 main types - internal and external. It’s important to note that generally speaking internal drives can’t be used outside of computers, and external drives have to be powered via USB, and can’t be mounted inside a desktop or laptop.

Internal drives: These are meant to be placed into the computer body itself and wired directly into the system for power and data. They are used mostly for either replacements, or if you are building your own computer from scratch. Because these drives have to fit into a specific bay, it’s important to make sure you get one that is the right measurements and compatible with your computer. This also includes the correct mounting for the machine you’re wanting to install the drive into.

External drives: These drives are 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.

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.

Optical Disc Drive Retailers, Prices and Features

Dvd Burner Prices

Dvd writers range in price from £0 to £1,426 and in total we found prices for 107 dvd writers. The average price of a new dvd writer is £42 and 80% of dvd rewriters are priced between £0 and £64. The HP DVD+/-RW DL SuperMulti is the most expensive cd burner that we found at £1,426, and the Asus BW-16D1HT is the cheapest at only £0.

Optical Disc Drive Brands - Price Range

Sony cd (re)writers range in price from £299 to £299, and the average price of Sony cd (re)writers is £299 which is the highest average price of all cd burner brands.

The average price of Sonnet dvd writers is £217 which is the second highest average price of all cd writer brands. Sonnet dvd writers range in price from £217 to £217.

The %8highest average optical disc drive price out of all brands is HP dvd rewriters with an average price of £135. HP dvd rewriters start at £0 and the most expensive HP optical disc drive costs £1,426.

Cd Writer Brands - Average Ratings

We have checked 1 expert 0 reviews and used this data to determine the average rating for each brand of cd burner. Asus is the top rated cd writer brand with an average rating of 69%. Transcend is the second best brand with 0% and Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the third best brand with 0%.

Biggest Cd (re)writer Retailers

We found 42 current offers for cd rewriters from Amazon UK making it the biggest cd rewriter retailer. That is more than twice as big as the second biggest retailer, Techdna for whom we found 20 current offers for cd rewriters. The third biggest retailer is BT Business Direct with 17 current cd rewriter offers.

When Are Most New Dvd (re)writers Released?

Over the last 3 years we couldn't see any evident pattern in the release month for new dvd (re)writers. February was the biggest month in 2016 for new optical disc drives, with nine new optical disc drives released that month. In 2015 most new optical disc drives were released in July, with 17 new optical disc drives released that month. 37 new cd writers were released in June 2014 making it the biggest month that year for new dvd (re)writer releases.

How Fast Do Optical Disc Drive Prices Drop After Release?

In the first 6 months after release, dvd rewriters drop in price by 30% on average. If you are prepared to wait then you could save an average of £12 on a typical £42 new cd burner by waiting 6 months before buying.

CD Read Speeds

Comparing all cd rewriters, the CD read speeds range from 14x to 48x. The CD read speeds of most cd rewriters range from 23x to 26x. The dvd burner with the fastest CD read speed is the AsusBW-16D1HT, which is a 48x CD read speed dvd writer and is on sale for £0.00. The AsusBW-16D1HT has the slowest CD read speed. This dvd rewriter is a 14x CD read speed dvd burner and currently retails for £0.00.

Biggest Dvd Burner Retailers

The biggest cd rewriter retailer by number of products currently for sale is Amazon UK. We found 42 current cd rewriter offers from Amazon UK. The second biggest cd rewriter retailer is Techdna with 20 offers. That means Amazon UK is more than twice as big as Techdna when it comes to cd rewriters. BT Business Direct is the third biggest retailer with 17 current offers.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for Dvd Burners?

The shop that most frequently offered the cheapest price on dvd burners is Amazon UK and offers the cheapest price on 20 dvd burners.

Proportion of Dvd Burners for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

The retailer that most frequently offered the cheapest price on dvd burners is Amazon UK and offers the cheapest price on 47.6% of its dvd burners.

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