The 10 Best Optical Disc Drives - May 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 166 optical disc drives, 69 reviews and 799 prices. Last updated 19 May 2017.
- Only released five months ago
- Very slow DVD-R write speed
£48.99Amazon UKView Details
£53.49BT Business DirectView Details
- More shops: 2
- £53.49 BT Shop
- Very fast DVD-RW write speed
£53.91Amazon UKView Details
- More shops: 3
- £54.76 BT Shop
- £54.76 BT Business Direct
- Very slow CD-ROM drive average random access time
£78.79Watercooling UKView Details
- Popular choice
- Very slow DVD+R write speed
- More shops: 18
- £50.34 Ebuyer
- £50.34 PC World Business
- Top seller
- Not cheap
- Very slow CD rewrite speed
£73.19Primo ITView Details
- More shops: 6
- £75.87 Flubit Deals
- £76.06 BT Business Direct
- A best selling cd burner
- Very fast DVD+R write speed
£62.99Ebuyer BusinessView Details
- More shops: 16
- £64.79 UK Office Direct
- £72.16 BT Shop
- Has a Layer Jump Recording function
- Fairly fast DVD-R Double Layer read speed
- Fairly slow DVD drive average random access time
£96.92Amazon UKView Details
- Has a disc-at-once (DAO)
- Quite slow CD rewrite speed
£81.75BT Business DirectView Details
- More shops: 15
- £81.75 BT Shop
- £81.98 Novatech
- Very fast DVD-RW write speed
No matching products found.
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.
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.
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
Cd Rewriter Prices
The price range of dvd burners is from £0 to £1,426 and in total we found prices for 106 dvd burners. A new dvd burner costs on average £40 and 80% of cd writers are priced between £0 and £63. The cheapest dvd (re)writer that we found is the HP N1M42AA at only £0, and the most expensive is the HP DVD+/-RW DL SuperMulti at £1,426.
Optical Disc Drive Brands - Price Range
Sony dvd rewriters range in price from £299 to £299, and the highest average cd (re)writer price out of all brands is Sony dvd rewriters with an average price of £299.
Sonnet cd rewriters range in price from £213 to £213, and the average price of Sonnet cd rewriters is £213 which is the second highest average price of all dvd burner brands.
The average price of HP dvd burners is £140 which is the third highest average price of all cd (re)writer brands. HP dvd burners range in price from £0 to £1,426.
Dvd (re)writer Brands - Average Ratings
We have checked 1 expert 0 reviews available online and used this data to determine the average rating for each brand of dvd writer. The top rated optical disc drive brand is Asus with an average rating of 69%. The second best brand is Transcend with 0% and the third best brand is Hewlett Packard Enterprise with 0%.
Biggest Dvd (re)writer Retailers
We found 53 current offers for cd (re)writers from Amazon UK making it the biggest dvd writer retailer. That is over 3 times bigger than the second biggest retailer, BT Shop for whom we found 17 current offers for cd (re)writers. The third biggest retailer is BT Business Direct with 17 current dvd writer offers.
When Are Most New Cd Writers Released?
We couldn't see any noticeable pattern in the release dates for new dvd burners over the last 3 years. February was the biggest month last year for new cd rewriters, with nine new cd rewriters released that month. 17 new cd (re)writers were released in July 2015 making it the biggest month that year for new dvd writer releases. In June 2014 37 new dvd burners were released making it the biggest month that year for new cd rewriter releases.
How Fast Do Dvd (re)writer Prices Drop After Release?
In the first 6 months after release, dvd burners drop in price by 29% on average. That means a saving of £12 on a typical £40 new cd writer if you wait 6 months before buying.
CD Read Speeds
The CD read speeds of optical disc drives range from 14x to 48x. The CD read speeds of the majority of dvd rewriters range from 23x to 26x. The AsusBW-16D1HT, which is on sale for £0.00, has the fastest CD read speed and is a 48x CD read speed optical disc drive. The dvd rewriter with the slowest CD read speed is the AsusBW-16D1HT, which is a 14x CD read speed cd (re)writer and currently retails for £0.00.
Biggest Optical Disc Drive Retailers
We found 53 current offers for cd (re)writers from Amazon UK making it the biggest dvd burner retailer. That is over 3 times bigger than the second biggest retailer, BT Shop for whom we found 17 current offers for cd (re)writers. The third biggest retailer is BT Business Direct with 17 current dvd burner offers.
Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for Cd (re)writers?
The cheapest shop by number of cd writer for which they offer the cheapest price is v with the cheapest price on 29 optical disc drives.
Proportion of Dvd (re)writers for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?
Amazon UK most frequently has the cheapest dvd burner prices (found to be cheapest for 54.7% of its cd writers).