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In-Coder Slim Metal Combo Drive
24X-R / 10X-RW / 24X-RW / 8X-DVD
Reviewed by Shadrach 7.21.2003

Installation:

Installation is simple on any level.  USB or FireWire couldn't be more simple.  Unless you have a rare problem as I did.  Installing the drive in a USB  1.0 port was simple. Connect the drive to the PC and apply power.  Under Win2k, the drive is detected and installed.  Installing using the 2.0 USB port did not prove to be so simple. The drivers just would not load for the 2.0 port. After contacting the company, and repeating the installation a number of times, the conclusion was reached to install the drive on another PC to see if the problem followed the drive. The problem was not with the drive I am happy to report.  Plugging the drive into another computer on the USB 2.0 port produced delightful result. The drive installed flawlessly and performed well. Let us move on to just how well the drive performed now.

Performance:

Performance of the In-Coder Combo Drive is rather lackluster.  The drive writes at 24X and re-writes at 10X, when current internal EIDE (ATAPI) drives are hitting the 52X write and 24 re-write speeds. This fact may just be the price that is paid for portability.  The other price that is paid concerns the client computer having a USB 2.0 port. On a USB 1.0 port, the performance drops considerably.

A test burn was done and 702 megabytes of data was put to disk in just over 5:00. This is a reasonable number.  However when not utilizing USB 2.0, speeds drop to a dismal time of around 20:00. Speed tests in Nero 5 show that the driver performs exactly as touted. With minimal overhead the drive performs as advertised at an average of 23X. Under USB 1.0 the burner averaged a poor 3.5X burn speeds. The moral of the story, make sure your system can support this drives appetite for USB 2.0 data.

Pros:
    Incredibly portable
    Beautifully designed
    Acceptable burn on USB 2.0
    Works on PC and Mac

Cons:
    You better have USB 2.0 or FireWire
   

 

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