The Best Optical Drive in 2021

Surviving with a computer in this modern day without an optic drive is going to be an uphill task. Fortunately, these drives are not as costly as you may imagine so you can purchase one anytime you want to.

However, there is a problem when it comes to picking the right one since there is an assortment of options in the market.

As you begin your journey to buying the best optical drive, think of the following factors.

  • Size of disc
  • Portability
  • Speed

Upon buying the right optical drive, you can go ahead and use it to get value for your money.

Top-Rated Optical Drive Comparison List

Looking for a list that would help you make an informed choice without to dig deep into the details? Here’s one we have specifically created for you.

Picture
EDITOR'S CHOICE
LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Super Multi Ultra Slim...
Pioneer Electronics USA Slim External Blu Ray...
Asus 24x DVD-RW Serial-ATA Internal OEM Optical...
Dell USB DVD Drive-DW316
LG Electronics Internal Super Multi Drive Optical...
ASUS ZenDrive Ultra Slim USB 2.0 External 8X DVD...
Product Name
LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Super Multi Ultra Slim...
Pioneer Electronics USA Slim External Blu Ray...
Asus 24x DVD-RW Serial-ATA Internal OEM Optical...
Dell USB DVD Drive-DW316
LG Electronics Internal Super Multi Drive Optical...
ASUS ZenDrive Ultra Slim USB 2.0 External 8X DVD...
Brand Name
LG
Pioneer
-
Dell
LG
ASUS
Weight
11.2 ounces
13.6 ounces
20 ounces
12.8 ounces
25.6 ounces
1 pounds
Prime Status
-
-
-
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Picture
LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Super Multi Ultra Slim...
Product Name
LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Super Multi Ultra Slim...
Brand Name
LG
Weight
11.2 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Pioneer Electronics USA Slim External Blu Ray...
Product Name
Pioneer Electronics USA Slim External Blu Ray...
Brand Name
Pioneer
Weight
13.6 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Asus 24x DVD-RW Serial-ATA Internal OEM Optical...
Product Name
Asus 24x DVD-RW Serial-ATA Internal OEM Optical...
Brand Name
-
Weight
20 ounces
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Dell USB DVD Drive-DW316
Product Name
Dell USB DVD Drive-DW316
Brand Name
Dell
Weight
12.8 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
LG Electronics Internal Super Multi Drive Optical...
Product Name
LG Electronics Internal Super Multi Drive Optical...
Brand Name
LG
Weight
25.6 ounces
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
ASUS ZenDrive Ultra Slim USB 2.0 External 8X DVD...
Product Name
ASUS ZenDrive Ultra Slim USB 2.0 External 8X DVD...
Brand Name
ASUS
Weight
1 pounds
Prime Status
Check Latest Price

Looking for the Best Optical Drive for 2021?

1. LG Electronics 8X External Drive

This drive uses M-Disc which records your data on the rock-like surface as compared to dye etching. The end result is better quality data that is well protected.

Key Features

The drive plays silently. This is possible because it recognizes the different multimedia and it adjusts automatically to play optimally.

This drive reads and writes various disc formats all in one package. Therefore, you are able to pick media that suits a specified task.

Pros

  • The drive is slim thus easily portable
  • This drive can work as a DVD writer
  • It supports an M-Disc
  • This drive has a high writing speed

Cons

  • This drive is incompatible with some devices

2. Pioneer Electnics USA External Drive

Besides being able to read and write DVDs and CDs, Pioneer external drive is able to work with the recent versions of BDXL discs making it efficient and useful.

Key Features

The writing speed seems reliable in as much as it looks small in size since it can do a speed of 6x2 with single and dual-layer BDR discs. This ensures speed no longer hinder your activities.

The drive plays quietly and smoothly. In case of scratches, it can skip the obstruction. The auto-quiet mode ensures there are no noises to distract you and the right speed is set automatically.

Pros

  • The drive has a USB 3 interface
  • This external drive is compact but light
  • It is compatible with BDXL discs
  • The drive’s speed is efficient

Cons

  • You have to download software for some functions to be possible

3. Asus 24x Internal Optical Drive

This drive enables you to delete data permanently on the rewritable discs. Therefore, you are able to format discs as you wish and correct error in case of any.

Key Features

You can store and share multimedia data without limit when using this drive. The storage capacity is high, and data retrieval efficient.

Apart from saving power by auto-closing when not in use, this drive can read and write different disc formats. It can also overwrite and record.

Pros

  • This drive uses the optimal turning strategy for quality results
  • It is able to delete data permanently
  • The use of AVRS technology with this drive makes it efficient
  • The drive automatically shuts down to save power

Cons

  • It is incompatible with some CDS

4. Dell USB DVD Drive DW316

This Dell drive is already loaded with Cyberlink media suite. It thus enables you to play and burn DVDs or CDs without trouble. You can also install computer programs that are disc-based.

Key Features

The drive requires no batteries or electricity as it uses the USB port for power. Once you plug it into the USB port of your notebook or ultrabook, you are good to go.

The drive’s performance is efficient and the slim design makes it portable. The writing speed is high and it can work on many discs effectively.

Pros

  • The drive is slim and portable
  • It uses the USB port as the power source
  • You can use it to play and burn CDs and DVDs
  • The drives speed is reliable and efficient

Cons

  • This drive does not play blue-ray discs

5. LG Electronics Internal Optical Drive

This LG drive can read and write a variety of disc formats conveniently in a single package. This enables you to pick the media suited for your specified task.

Key Features

The data on your disc is protected by the M-Disc support system, where the rock-like surface is used for recording, as opposed to organic dye etching. Your data is safe this way.

There is minimal noise during playback with this drive because it uses silent play technology which can recognize varied multimedia. It also auto-adjusts speed for quality performance.

Pros

  • The drive’s writing speed is high and efficient
  • This drive uses silent play technology
  • Your data is protected with M-Disc
  • This drive reads and writes different disc formats

Cons

  • It is incompatible with some software systems

6. ASUS ZenDrive External Optical Drive

This drive uses M-Disc which saves your data in the patent rock-like layers that resist conditions that can cause damage. Your data is kept safe.

Key Features

The drive uses Nero backup to store your data so that even when online backup systems fail, you can still retrieve your files and use them when you have this drive.

The ultra-slim design of the drive makes it possible to use with the light and thin laptops. It is also portable and efficient in speed.

Pros

  • This drive can work as your backup center
  • The drive is ultra-slim and portable
  • The M-Disc in it protects your data
  • It uses Cyberlink technology
  • List Element

Cons

  • It is compatible with only Mac and Windows

7. Lite-On 24X SATA Optical Drive

This drive automatically adjusts the writing strategy and the running OPC resulting in quality burning. Since errors are prevented, you are likely to get high-quality data.

Key Features

The ABC system fitted in the drive minimizes noise when reading and recording. This makes your audios clear and easy to listen to.

The drive is compatible with most motherboards, therefore, you can read and write using any media disc formats you desire.

Pros

  • The transfer rates are higher as the drive uses SATA connection
  • Airflow in this drive’s PC is better than others
  • It works smoothly and silently when reading and recording
  • This drive is compatible with most motherboards

Cons

  • You need SATA devices to use this drive

8. SEA TECH 1 Archgon Aluminum Drive

The drive supports M-Disc which enables you to read and write your data. It also enables safe storage of your precious memories and files.

Key Features

This drive has the USB A Y cable which helps to supply the extra power in case of insufficiency from the other cables. Moreover, it has the USB C cable for your computer and laptop use.

To use this drive, you just need to plug it in. You do not need drivers like you would with other devices.

Pros

  • The drive has both a C port and a USB port cable
  • The aluminum casing protects the device from external damage
  • Its mini size and lightweight enhances portability
  • When using this device you just plug in without a driver
  • List Element

Cons

  • This drive is incompatible with some software

9. LG Super Internal SATA Drive

This drive can support the BDXL three layers with no issues and it offers sufficient storage capacity. It enables you to use the latest technology comfortably even though it does not work with unspecified software.

Key Features

With this drive, you can choose the media you wish to play and whichever disc format when using this drive. This is because it can read and write different types of formats within a single package.

It adjusts playback speed automatically for the best performance. Furthermore, the use of silent play technology minimizes noise when playing.

Pros

  • The drive supports Blu-ray discs
  • It uses silent play technology to minimize noise during recording
  • Your data is protected with M-Disc support
  • This drive has a high storage capacity

Cons

  • This drive is compatible with specified software

10. ASUS LITE Portable External Drive

The M-Disc in the drive ensures your data is properly stored and protected for a long duration of time. Issues like internet failure will become less likely to effect on your data.

Key Features

This drive has a disc encryption system that provides a password for your data. Your file is also encoded with a name and this prevents anyone else from accessing your data.

The drive is easy to use as with three easy steps you can burn a disc. This seems like a good drive as compared to others that have many steps to follow for the same outcome.

Pros

  • This drive is simple to use
  • You can secure your data with a password with this drive
  • It can act as a backup device for your data
  • M-disc protects your data when in this drive

Cons

  • Incompatibility with some software

11. LG Electronics GP50NB40 8X External Drive

The M-Disc support records your data in a patent rock-like layer instead of the usual dye etching technique. Your data is safe and can be stored for a relatively long period.

Key Features

This is a DVD writer only. This means you have to use another one for playing. It seems like a good drive but it is better to go for one that does writing and reading.

During playback, this drive has minimal noise as it uses the silent play system. Furthermore, it automatically adjusts playback speed for better performance.

Pros

  • The reading and writing speed of the drive is 8x
  • It has M-Disc to protect your data
  • You use a mini USB cable for connection
  • This drive is silent during playback

Cons

  • The drive does not work with other software

12. Asus Black SATA Internal Drive

This drive enables you to delete data permanently. This is possible with the E-Hammer solution ensuring what you want erased is not found anywhere else.

Key Features

The drive has E-Green technology where the drive auto-closes to save power when not in use. It can save up to 50% energy consumption.

The OTS technology present in this drive helps you to burn your disc in simple steps. First, is the pre-testing stage, followed by the generation of optimal strategy for burning which finally produces your quality disc.

Pros

  • The drive auto-closes to save power
  • This drive works effectively and efficiently
  • You use three simple steps to burn your disc
  • Your data is secured with a password when in this drive

Cons

  • Incompatibility with certain software

Buying Guide for Best Optical Drive

Getting another optical drive may seem extravagant, but sometimes it is unavoidable. For instance, you may want a combination of DVD-R/RW when you only have a DVD drive.

 It could also be that you are a gamer who would rather keep your game discs in the drivers instead of constantly swapping the discs, or you simply want to replace a malfunctioning or dead optical drive.

Whichever way you think of it, the possibility of upgrading your computer is always there as long as there is room.

Here is what to look for in the best optical drive.

DVD or CD?

There are two types of optical drives CD and DVD. You might want to get a DVD because all DVD drives can read CD’s hence no need to get a CD drive.

You then need to ask yourself if you want to record discs. There are quite a few recording standards in existence and most optical drives with recording ability support these standards.

As such, if you want to record CD’s as well, you will need a combo drive so check before buying.

ATA or SATA Interface?

ATAis themother of all optical drive and hard drive connectors. It stands for AT Attachment with the AT coming from a computer launched in the 80’s known as the IBM PC AT.

It is old and utilizes a boxy 50-pin connector and a flat ribbon cable. Other names used to refer to this cable include UDMA, PATA, IDE, and ATAPI.

SATA

The prevailing and perhaps the best yet standard for linking disk drives inside the console is the Serial ATA or SATA. It resolves some aggravating issues that exist with the ATA data cable.

SATA has variations with eSATA being the external version and Ultra ATA, which is an earlier version of the standard.

Important Tip to Remember

Go for an internal optical drive reason being that it is cheaper than an external one. Moreover, an external drive must have its own power supply, and be encircled in a case.

What about Blu-ray?

Currently, Blu-ray is the first-rate optical drive. Blu-ray discs store twice as much data compared to standard DVD’s but their cost is on the higher side.

Moreover, only a limited number of software is available on Blu-ray and this restricts you to watching Blu-ray movies on your PC.

Some experts forecast that Blu-ray will not succeed as the replacement for CD’s and DVDs. This is because the SSD or solid-state drive is coming up rapidly and will most likely be the preferred removable storage media.

Why should you buy an Optical Drive?

There are several benefits you stand to gain from buying an optical drive such as:

Play Timeworn Multimedia

You may want to think twice before cutting the additional cost if you have any old DVD’s or CD’s lying around.

Buying your favorite albums from CD stores can actually be a cheaper and useful option compared to streaming online.

If you are the kind of person who enjoys a particular kind of music and is not too enthusiastic about new music, CD music is quality and will not use up your valuable network bandwidth either.

Easily Write to Drives

We know that it has been years since you last wrote a disc or chances are that you have never done it before.

Nevertheless, that does not mean you should not do it. Disc drives are a cost-friendly, tangible, and disposable form of storage that other options in the market cannot offer presently.

Effortless Driver Installation

If it is your first time building a computer, an optical drive will allow you to install drivers directly from available discs.

Keep in mind though that the drivers are online so a new setup might require network drivers installed before it even connects to the internet. You do not need such complications.

 The best you can do is to have the optical drive at hand when you need to use it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few questions that commonly appear in respect to this topic. We believe they can be of help.

Are optical drives outdated?

Yes, they sort of are. Most hard drives are pushing more terabytes while optical storage is still stuck on gigabytes.

Using Blu-ray, DVD, and CD for storage of data is no longer worthwhile. The flash memory found in these drives is the same that can be found in the USB flash drives that rendered floppy discs obsolete.

Are laptops fitted with CD drives anymore?

Yes, but getting rarer with time. A few laptops available today come with in-built DVD drives that are able to read and write both CD’s and DVD’s.

Should I get an optical drive?

Optical drives have played an important role in the world of computing for a long time but the need for them is dwindling every day.

Why is it that new laptops do not have optical drives?

Most users now prefer to consume movies, music, and computer software over the internet instead of discs.

This makes optical drives obsolete for them. However, if you are old school, you can still get a laptop with an in-built optical drive.

Best Optical Drive Picked

In our view, the optical drive that gives the best bang for the bucks is the LG Electronics 8X External Drive. We love its unique, slim design plus it’s got some decent writing speeds.

Final Thoughts

Optical drives provide a dependable way of transferring content and storing files using highly advanced devices.

As you can now tell, there is something for you regardless of whether you want an external or internal drive.

In the end, you need to focus on getting the best product in the market always.

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