LaCie Portable DVD±RW review

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

LaCie Portable DVD±RW
The new LaCie portable disc burner offers a very small footprint

TechRadar Verdict

A thrifty second drive offering an acceptable but unremarkable speed


  • +

    Small and light

  • +

    Offers LightScribe

  • +

    Good value for money


  • -

    Could be faster

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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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