updated 01:40 pm EDT, Wed June 20, 2007
StarTech today released the SLIMDVDRW8U2, a compact burner for computer users with either ultraportable notebooks that lack optical drives or those who use the same drive for multiple systems. The Panasonic-made drive is originally built for notebooks and manages to stay travel-friendly, measuring only half an inch despite the new enclosure. Burning a single-layer DVD-R takes place at 8X speed, similar to faster notebook drives. Dual-layer discs burn at 4X while simpler DVD-RW and DVD-RAM discs burn at 6X and 5X respectively.
Like many portable hard drives, the StarTech drive is powered entirely from its USB 2.0 connection instead of through a separate AC adapter; it also uses a tray-loading mechanism that will read the mini CDs and DVDs used by some camcorders and other devices.
The slim DVD drive supports virtually any Mac or Windows PC and should already be shipping to online stores today with a $155 price tag.