LaCie Portable DVD±RW review

The convenient way to add a second optical drive and burner to your Mac set-up

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Our Verdict

A thrifty second drive offering an acceptable but unremarkable speed


  • Small and light
  • Offers LightScribe
  • Good value for money


  • Could be faster

Mac Pro owners enjoy two bays for internal optical drives, but as the rest of us don't have this luxury, a portable external disc burner is the natural choice for a second, such as the LaCie Mobile DVD±RW.

LaCie's Portable DVD±RW is powered by your Mac's USB port, or two using the bundled USB power lead if it needs more than one supply – though it managed fine with one port on both our aluminium iMac and MacBook Air.

It can burn CDs, DVDs, Dual Layer DVDs, rewritable media and DVD-RAM, and offers LightScribe technology for burning labels directly onto compatible media.

The LaCie Portable DVD±RW is extremely light in the hand, and is pretty small too. It's just the thing for your laptop bag. The shiny black finish that quickly gathers fingerprints is less welcome, though.

Solid burn speeds

In operation, the LaCie put in a solid if unspectacular performance, with the trade-off between portability and speed taking its toll. Using the bundled Toast 9 Basic application, it copied and verified a 7.6GB Dual Layer DVD in one hour, nine minutes and 22 seconds, reaching an average write speed of 3x.

It took 42 minutes, 22 seconds, averaging 4x speeds, to burn the same data from a disc image: respectable for a portable burner.

The Mac edition of the LaCie Portable DVD±RW is £10-£15 more expensive than the PC version and sports a feature-restricted version of Toast 9. If that doesn't grab you, LaCie says you can buy the PC edition and save a few quid.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeDVD-Writer
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Media Layer SupportedDouble-layer
Brand NameLaCie
Form FactorPortable
Host InterfaceUSB 2.0
Maximum DVD Write Speed8x
Maximum DVD Rewrite Speed8x
Maximum DVD Read Speed8x
Maximum CD Write Speed24x
Maximum CD Rewrite Speed24x
Maximum CD Read Speed24x
Height24.9 mm
Width136.9 mm
Depth157.5 mm
Product Name8x DVD±RW Drive with LightScribe
Manufacturer Part Number301486
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

With the LaCie Portable DVD±RW, Design by Sam Hecht, you can easily create your own music, video and photo CDs or DVDs wherever you go. It can conveniently record to double layer DVD±R, DVD±R/RW, and CD-R/RW, and it's USB bus powered, so you only need one cable to start burning CDs and DVDs.

Weight (Approximate)285.8 g