Dell DW316 Review

Dell DW316 Review

In the age of Cloud servers, DVD’s and CD’s are hardly used anymore. And that shows as the newest laptops no longer have any built in drives. Even the newer PC cases don’t have slots available anymore. And that’s exactly the problem I ran into as I still had some DVD’s I needed to use. So I got myself the Dell DW316 external DVD drive! It’s their best selling DVD drive and one of Amazons highest rated ones. I have been using the Dell DW316 for over a year now and I’m extremely happy with it. But more about that in the review!

Technical Specification

  • Dimensions: 145×137×14 mm / 5.7×5.4×0.6″
  • DVD Writing Speed: Up to 8x DVD+RW
  • CD Writing Speed: Up to 24x CD-RW
  • Compatibility: Windows and Mac operating systems

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In The Box

  • Dell DW316 external DVD drive
  • MiniUSB to USB cable
  • CyberLink Media Suite 12 Ultra


Out of all the available external DVD drives, one of the reasons why I bought the Dell DW316 was the design. I just like the way it looks. It has a clean flat design that we see more often with laptops as well. So it should look extremely good next to a Dell laptop. This is of course a personal preference of mine, I’m sure that there are people who have a different taste.

Dell DW316 External DVD drive

Besides that though, the Dell DW316 is definitely a compact external DVD drive with a dimension of 145×137×14 mm / 5.7×5.4×0.6″. It doesn’t take up much space and I just have it sitting on top of my PC. The bottom of the drive also has 4 rubber pads for keeping it steady on a desk. The front side has the drive tray. It has a small button that you need to push for it to slide out. There is also a tiny LED light that flashes when the drive is working.

Dell DW316 Tray

There isn’t really much else to mention about the design. In my opinion it’s a very simple but sleek external DVD drive with a fantastic build quality. After using it for over a year, the tray still slides out like the first day I got it. The only complaint I have is that I wish the entire drive had a matte black finish instead of just the top and bottom. The glossy sides are still kind of prone to fingerprints. But other than that, I really like the overall design and build quality.


The good thing about external DVD drives is that they are really easy to use. And that’s also the case with the Dell DW316. Just plug it into your USB port with the included cable and you are good to go. You don’t need to install any drivers or such as your operating system should automatically do it for you. After that just press the button the on the tray, insert your disc, close the tray and done.

Both the DVD and CD write speeds are really good. All of the highly rated external DVD drives have the same speed so it’s not like there is a faster option anyways. It’s probably limited by USB’s data transfer rate as well. The only negative thing is the noise. It’s normal for all DVD drives but the spinning sound can get kind of annoying if you are using it for a long period of time. Obviously it doesn’t make any sound when idle’d but still.

Besides the Dell external DVD drive, you also get a CyberLink Media Suite 12 Ultra disc. It bundles together different programs for burning DVD’s and playing them.


The Dell DW316 is a very good external DVD drive if you like the way it looks. It has a fantastic Dell build quality and works like intended. I also think that it’s balanced in terms of the price, which let’s it compete with even the cheaper external DVD drives. At the end of the day, reliability matters the most and that’s what Dell is known for.