ASUS SBW-06D2X-U Review

ASUS SBW-06D2X-U Review

Over the years I have owned a lot of different ASUS products. Both my computers motherboard and GPU are actually by them. And so far I haven’t had any problems with the brand. Hopefully it will continue like that. Which is why I also like to review their optical drives. And they do have an impressive selection. Some of which I have already reviewed as well. And since I have been going over Blu-ray drives lately, then this time I’m going to cover the ASUS SBW-06D2X-U. It is their slim portable Blu-ray burner!

Technical Specification

  • Dimensions: 157×140×19 mm / 6.2×5.5×0.7″
  • Weight: 285 g / 0.6 lbs
  • Loading type: Tray
  • Blu-Ray Writing Speed: Up to 6x BD-R
  • DVD Writing Speed: Up to 8x DVD-R
  • CD Writing Speed: Up to 24x CD-R
  • Features: M-DISC, Vertical stand, BDXL
  • Compatibility: Windows and Mac OS

In The Box

  • ASUS SBW-06D2X-U
  • MiniUSB to USB-A Y cable
  • Vertical stand
  • CyberLink software

Design

I have used a lot of different external drives and almost all of them have looked pretty much the same. What I like about ASUS is that it’s not always the case with them. They have some drives that look really standard but then they also come out with models that look completely different. Take the BW-16D1X-U for example. While the SBW-06D2X-U doesn’t look that sci-fi, it still has some interesting and pretty unique design elements.

ASUS SBW-06D2X-U Design

Well on the first glance the drive it self isn’t that unique. It’s square shaped with an overall dimension of 157×140×19 mm / 6.2×5.5×0.7″ and it’s fully made out of glossy black plastic. There’s a tray at the front that slides out when you push the gray eject button. And there’s an emergency pinhole there as well. The interesting part about this drive, however, is that empty square hole that’s completely though the body. And because of this hole, the drive is also bigger in size than many of its competitors. So what’s the reason for that?

ASUS SBW-06D2X-U In The Box

ASUS has created this unique way to mount this external Blu-ray drive vertically. They have included a sleek plastic stand that blends in beautifully with the drive. That’s also the reason for the square hole. The drive can be attached to the stand and it locks to place, which means that you don’t need to worry about the drive falling over or coming off the stand. It basically keeps it safe. It’s a pretty nice solution for docking. I’m guessing that it’s why the SBW-06D2X-U won European Hardware Awards in 2016 as well. But as I mentioned before, the downside is obviously the bigger size, which can affect portability.

Performance

The ASUS SBW-06D2X-U can be used with and without the stand. Without the stand you just have the drive flat on a surface. Either way, you’ll need to first connect it to a computer if you want to use it. ASUS has included a Mini USB to USB-A Y cable. Which means that you need to have two available USB-A ports on your computer! And they must be side by side. It’s the biggest downside of these Y cables and the reason why I don’t like them at all. I wish more companies switched to USB-C already. It solves so many of these problems. Even most of the DVD drives still have this problem but there are also plenty of models that have a single USB 3.0 connector. Unfortunately, Blu-ray drives require more power and that’s generally not possible. Unless you are okay with lower transfer speeds.

Once you have it connected, the drive is ready to be used. You shouldn’t run into any problems as long as you have a Windows or a Mac system. Both of them support the drive and mine recognized it without any issues. After that just push the eject button and insert your disc. Now there is a difference between a Blu-ray and a DVD/CD. If you use a DVD or a CD then you don’t need any programs to use it. Just drop your files onto the disc in File Explorer. You can write your own DVD discs at a maximum speed of 8x and CD’s at 24x.

Transferring stuff onto a Blu-ray disc works exactly the same though the File Explorer. The maximum speed in this case is 6x. The difference comes to play when you want to watch Blu-ray media however. For that, you will need a video player that supports Blu-ray. Like VLC for example, which is a completely free program. Really popular as well! Or you can also install the CyberLink programs that ASUS has included. They work as well. Unfortunately though, they are only compatible with Windows and not Mac.

Conclusion

The docking style solution makes the ASUS SBW-06D2X-U one of the most unique external Blu-ray drives. There are other models as well that can be used vertically, like the Pioneer BDR-XS07UHD, but none of them are as stable or look as good. Even price wise the ASUS one is at a much better position. The only downside for me is the existence of the Y cable. It would be so much better if it had a USB-C instead. But if you have two available USB ports and want a good drive without breaking the bank, then the SBW-06D2X-U is worth taking a look at.