Best External Optical Drives for Laptop

As we all know, CDs and DVDs have lost popularity over the years due to the emergence of Blu-ray and other technologies, but despite this, there are people who continue to use them because of their simplicity and low price. 

For some users, having an external DVD burner is an excellent solution that allows them to enjoy their favorite music and movies with greater convenience.

In addition, nowadays there are many laptops that no longer include a CD burner, so external burners have become a very popular addition for those who are disc lovers. They offer many advantages, such as portability and improved complexity.

Nowadays, now that we are borderless people, having an external CD/DVD burner is highly recommended, especially for those who want a portable optical drive to be at home, at work and even when traveling.

Laptop Optical Drives Comparison

RankingNameBest FeatureCurrent Price
RODZON External CD/DVD Reader/WriterUSB 3.0 interface, Compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.0.
Price On Amazon
RODZON USB 3.0 CD/DVD Reader and WriterRead all kinds of CD formats, VCD, CD-RW among others
Price On Amazon
ANTIKA External CD/DVD Reader and WriterDrive is a fast, easy and very efficient
Price On Amazon
PUTUOS CD/DVD Reader/WriterEase to use
Price On Amazon
Cabletrans External CD/DVD Reader/WriterUSB 3.0 interface, high speed data transfer.
Price On Amazon

Before making any purchase, it is necessary to check mainly the quality and writing speed, compatibility with other operating systems, some additional features and even the software. 

If you still have no idea which drive to buy and have not found something that suits your needs, then you have come to the right place. In this buying guide, my main goal is to help you solve all your doubts, so that you can make a safe purchase and not suffer any disappointment from a bad decision.

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What You Should Know About the External CD/DVD Reader/Writer for Laptop

If you have already made a visit to the different digital markets, you can be sure that you have already found a lot of models and brands available. Most of the models are good, in this case I am not going to say that any of them is lousy or does not work.

All of them are functional, but you must keep in mind that each one adapts to the needs of the users, do not base yourself only on the price, remember that quality is expensive.

If you are not clear about what aspects you should evaluate to find your ideal optical drive, here I am going to mention some key points that will help you find the model you need, so take note of what is mentioned here to make your purchase as smart as possible and without any problem.

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Do You Really Need an External Laptop CD/DVD Drive?

Before you decide to buy one of the models shown here, you should determine the use you should give it and if you really need it. The first thing to keep in mind is that there are internal burners, which are installed directly on the laptop, or external ones that are connected through a USB cable.

As you know, most laptops already come with a CD/DVD drive that is also capable of burning blank discs.

But… portable burners have some interesting advantages; such as portability and ease of installation, which allow them to connect to almost any laptop or computer easily. So, if you need a recorder that you can connect to different laptops, such a drive is ideal for you.

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Type of Burner

When we talk about external CD/DVD burners, we can basically differentiate them into two types. On the one hand, we have the conventional drives, they are the first models to hit the market and are similar to the DC/DVD playback drives that are built into our laptops.

Most of these models have a width of 5 inches, and need an independent power supply. Due to these characteristics, this type of optical drive is already disappearing from the market, although there are still some models circulating, they are of a lower price but difficult to obtain.

The second model, known as “slim”, is much thinner and its installation is simpler, since it does not require a USB cable, without the need for an additional power supply, therefore, these models are more common in the market, allowing greater portability and variety of designs. They are the most common, if not almost unique today.

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This is one of the most important aspects to take into account when comparing external CD/DVD drives. Most models are compatible with standard disc formats such as CD, DVD+ and DVD-, BR, among others.

Some models are capable of recording in dual-layer or multi-layer DVD formats, which are discs with storage capacity between 8 and 100 GB. This depends on the number of layers, which can be verified by the acronym TL or QL, it is a big difference compared to a common DVD with a capacity of only 4.9 GB of storage.

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You can also find models of external Blu-ray 3D burners, which are capable of burning both CD and DVD formats.

Burning Speed

The normal recording speed of these external drives is 4X or 150 Kb/s. If it is a single DVD, the recording time will be approximately 15 minutes and for multi-layer DVDs, the recording time can be up to 30 minutes.

Similarly, there are models that can record at a speed of 16X, this is something incredible, although the difference in recording time, compared to a 4X model is not significant, but its price does increase significantly.

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Cache Memory

It often happens that, while we are recording, the data transfer from the laptop stops for some reason (who knows what happens) and thus ruins the recording and therefore the disc we use.

To prevent this from happening, it is important to choose a model that has enough memory to allow you to store a large amount of data and continue recording. However, some models have Burn Proof technology, which allows you to stop the data transfer in case of any problem, and with the great advantage of not damaging the disc.

Before You Buy

Now that you have in mind what you need to know to make a safe purchase, it is time to choose a model that suits your needs and your pocket. Therefore I took the liberty of choosing 5 models that are just what you are looking for, each and every one of them have very good features that makes them stand out in the market and their price is very affordable.

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Best Laptop Optical Drives Review

I am sure that the recorder you are looking is one of these and will fulfill all your requirements:

1) RODZON External CD/DVD Reader/Writer

The incredible CD/DVD burner from the RODZON brand will be your best ally if you want to save all your information on CDs, whether it is your music, movies, videos, etc. 

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No software is needed to install this unit, just plug it into the USB port of your laptop and in a matter of seconds you will be enjoying a great recording experience, it is very light, compact and at the same time, easy to carry, it does not need much space and you can place it anywhere, it is also very useful to view your multimedia content and use it as a DVD.

This great DVD player uses the USB 3.0 interface, but don’t worry, it is also compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.0, its data transmission speed is more stable than others, with up to a maximum of 5 GBp/s.

As a CD/DVD burner, it has an incredibly brushed design, which gives it a very elegant and fashionable touch, its cable is already integrated, so the worry of forgetting or losing the cable, will no longer be a problem.

This amazing unit is also equipped with an eject button, this is something incredible, because you will completely forget about your CD or DVD getting stuck. Thanks to its copper mesh technology, data transmission will always be secure and stable.

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And if that’s not enough, this amazing drive has an extensive compatibility list, you can record CD with music and information, DVD with your favorite videos, movies and everything you can think of, compatible with all operating systems, so you do not have to worry about your laptop being behind, this CD / DVD drive is for you.

2) RODZON USB 3.0 CD/DVD Reader and Writer

The large external DVD drive offered by RODZON is powered by a USB 3.0 port, which you just plug into the USB port of your laptop, and in a matter of seconds you can use it, no drivers to install, just plug and play.

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It is compatible with various operating systems, from Windows to Mac, supports any ultra wide band, from desktops to laptops.

The CD/DVD burner is equipped with a USB 3.0 speed interface, which gives an incredible data transmission speed of up to 5 GBp/s, provides very stable performance and is highly resistant to any kind of failure. It has a DVD reading speed of 8x (dual/single layer) and CD reading speed of 24x. 

It can read all kinds of CD formats, VCD, CD-RW, among others, and when it comes to DVDs, it can display all kinds of multimedia content, from movies, videos, music and even images. 

Something interesting about this drive is that it also allows you to read CDs with applications and software, which at the same time allows you to install them on your system without any problem.

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With this incredible unit, you do not need a large space to place it, its portability allows you to take it wherever you want and use it at any time, at the same time, its design is very elegant and compact, its cable can be easily hidden in the unit. Don’t wait any longer and get a unit that gives you many benefits at a reasonable price.

3) ANTIKA External CD/DVD Reader and Writer

The CD/DVD writer from ANTIKA, is slim and has an ultra-light design, made to take up as little space as possible on your desk or table and also very easy to carry, plus its data installation cable is already integrated, it is very stable and easy to store.

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Its USB 3.0 data transmission technology for CD and DVD is very stable and fast in terms of reading, as well as being very accurate and stable. You don’t need an external power supply, the USB cable of the drive is all it needs to work.

No need to be an expert in these accessories, just a quick connection to your laptop, no need for complicated drivers, this drive is a fast, easy and very efficient option to read and burn your discs, plus a speed of reading DVD-ROM 8x; CD-ROM 24x.

Forget about those annoying compatibility problems, this CD/DVD drive offers great compatibility with various operating systems and laptops. If your laptop is a little behind and doesn’t come with a pre-installed one, you will not have to worry, in addition to this, it can read and write all kinds of CD formats.

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It has an incredibly stable performance with great error correction capability, anti-shock and has incredible noise reduction. In addition, its low power consumption allows you to save battery power without losing data reading and writing.

4) PUTUOS CD/DVD Reader/Writer

The amazing CD/DVD player and burner from PUTUOS is a perfect model for those users who are looking for alternatives to replace their laptop drive or add to the ones they don’t have. As a CD/DVD burner it offers great data transfer, which is very stable and fast, it can burn music and data CDs quickly and securely, compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.0 ports.

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Its ease of use does not require high laptop skills, just connect the USB cable to the port of your laptop and within seconds you will start enjoying an incredible experience in reading your multimedia content or a quick and easy alternative to burn your files to CDs for convenience while traveling.

With a speed of reading DVD-ROM 8X; CD-ROM 24X and writing DVD-R, DVD + R 8X; DVD-RW 4X; 24X CD-R. 

As a CD/DVD reader and writer, it offers wide compatibility with operating systems and laptops of various models, as well as excellent data reading in various formats, and equally great multimedia writing in various formats, compatible not only with the portable player, but also with home players and any device capable of reading CDs and DVDs.

It’s incredibly compact design allows it to be easily transported wherever you go, and its sleek casing makes it a real eye-catcher. It has an integrated USB cable that you can hide in the reader, forget about those annoying extra cables that end up forgotten or lost, it is shock resistant, besides being a very refined model.

As a DVD reader this model offers great stability and is able to correctly read and write errors when problems occur, resists impacts very well and reduces noise for a better experience, in addition, its low power consumption provides better performance to your battery, this is without losing read and write speed.

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A unique and incredible model at a great price.

5) Cabletrans External CD/DVD Reader/Writer

This amazing external drive is your solution to those multimedia playback problems, it stands out mainly for its USB 3.0 interface that provides a great data transfer speed of up to 5 GBps, in combination with the SATA interface and COMBO mechanism provides a high speed data transfer. Its stable performance provides amazing data correction, low power consumption, noise reduction and high shock resistance.

As a CD/DVD burner, it offers a wide range of formats that you can burn for all kinds of media players, from CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, among others. In addition to this, as an external drive it allows you to watch your favorite movies, listen to music, install software without any problem and create backups.

With this incredible unit, you will completely forget about annoying connections and complicated drivers, just connect the unit to the USB port of your laptop and in a matter of seconds you will begin to enjoy all your content. It has a reading speed: DVD-ROM 8x, CD-ROM 24x and writing speed: CD-R 24x, CD-RW 8x.

If you think this drive is not all that good, then you won’t believe it when you see it’s amazing design, the surface texture of the optical drive has a very elegant and special finish. It has a very light, thin and comfortable design, ideal for your travels and any occasion, you will not have to worry about the USB cable, because the unit has a slot to store it easily. 

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And that’s not all, if you think your laptop is a late model, this drive is compatible with all available operating systems and laptops of all makes and models, in addition to a wide variety of readable formats, although this drive is not recommended for burning DVDs. To top it off, it is compatible with all available operating systems and a variety of laptops,

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Do These Drives Play All CD/DVD Formats?

Sure, they are designed to play any CD and DVD format, plus its tray is ideal for mini discs, you can listen to your music and play movies that are to your liking. All this and more is at your fingertips.

Q: What Operating Systems Are They Compatible With?

These units are compatible with all available operating systems and various laptops, you will not have to worry if your system is Windows, Mac or Linux. These drives will run smoothly on each of them.

Q: What CD/DVD Formats Can They Record?

These drives can record CD-ROM formats, CD-RW, among many more, DVD-ROM formats, DVD-RW, DVD + R, among many more formats, it all depends on the type of additional media player with which you want to play the content.

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David is an experienced Laptop technician and enthusiast. He takes pride in providing unbiased opinion about to the products he review. In addition to his primary job as a Laptop technician he also runs a Youtube channel where he talks about latest Laptops, build custom gaming laptops and more.

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