ASUS SDRW-08D2S-U Lite Review

ASUS SDRW-08D2S-U Lite Review

Besides the ZenDrive series, ASUS has also got a bunch of other optical drives. For some reason they have more complicated model names. Like the ASUS SDRW-08D2S-U Lite for example. But regardless of that, it’s still one of the most sold external CD/DVD drives on Amazon. Not to mention all of the high ratings it has received. So now it’s time for me to review it as well!

Technical Specification

  • Dimensions: 142×142×20 mm / 5.6×5.6×0.8″
  • Weight: 250 g / 8.82 oz
  • DVD Writing Speed: Up to 8x DVD+RW
  • CD Writing Speed: Up to 24x CD-R
  • Features: M-DISC
  • Compatibility: Windows and Mac operating systems

In The Box

  • ASUS SDRW-08D2S-U Lite
  • Mini USB to USB-A Y cable
  • Software bundle

Design

Out of all the optical drives that I have reviewed, the SDRW-08D2S-U Lite is the most modern and I guess “stylish” looking device? I mean it’s fully made out of this really glossy plastic that even has a diamond cut pattern on the surface. The drive is also available in both white and black colors. And compared to the ZenDrive U9M for example, it looks a lot less professional. It’s more fitting when you pair it to a typical home grade laptop. Which definitely has its place in the market.

ASUS SDRW-08D2S-U Lite Design

In terms of size it’s pretty standard though as it has an overall size of 142×142×20 mm / 5.6×5.6×0.8″. It is a bit thicker than the thinnest drives but not by much. Well at least not by so much that you’d notice it unless you place it right next to them. I’m guessing that the extra thickness comes from the fancy plastic cover that needs to be thicker because of the diamond pattern.

ASUS SDRW-08D2S-U Lite Front And Back

And you can tell that from opening the tray as well. The front of the tray has that same glossy plastic and you can see how thick it is. Which on the plus side means that it’s much stronger and more durable. And yeah it is a real solid device. The front panel has also got an indicator light, a pinhole for ejecting without power and a grey eject button.

Performance

The ASUS SDRW-08D2S-U Lite uses a Mini USB to USB-A Y cable. What this means is that in order to use this device, you need to connect it to two USB-A ports on your computer. Which is definitely not the ideal solution. Most of the best external DVD drives nowadays come with a single USB 3.0 cable, which means that you only need to connect to a single port. This is the preferable solution as laptops don’t have as many ports as they used to for example. Especially on the same side. That’s also the case with the U9M but fortunately ASUS has included a USB-C cable for that as well. That’s not the case with this device though.

Speed wise it performs just as well as any other similar drive. It has a maximum DVD read and write speed of 8x. For CD’s it’s 24x. So no it isn’t faster than any of the other external drives you will find. What are generally the differences between different models are features and how noisy they are. Well the SDRW-08D2S-U Lite doesn’t have any features so we are left with the noise. And well unfortunately there’s nothing special about that either. The drive does get really noisy when it works at full speed and at times it feels like there’s a plane taking off. I’d say that it’s noticeably louder than the ZenDrive series.

In terms of compatibility, the drive can be used on both Windows and Mac operating systems. ASUS has also included a CD that has 4 different programs: CyberLink Power2Go 8, CyberLink PowerBackup 2.6, Nero BackItUp and E-Green. Unfortunately, all of those programs are only compatible with Windows. So yes, you can still use the drive if you have a Mac but you can’t install the programs. Oh yeah and this drive is also compatible with M-DISC, which is basically just a longer lasting optical disc.

Conclusion

Overall the ASUS SDRW-08D2S-U Lite is an incredibly nice looking DVD drive. It’s made out of really good thick plastic that gives it a real solid structure. For me the main downsides are the Y cable and the noise. Sure, the ZenDrive U9M has the same cable but that model also comes with a USB-C option, which is a pretty common port nowadays. Plus there’s hardly a price difference between the two. So that’s why I would much rather go with the ZenDrive option.