LG WP50NB40 Review

LG WP50NB40 Review

As surprising as it is, Blu-ray drives are still quite popular. Don’t get me wrong, I know that it’s a superior version of DVD’s but with the popularity of streaming services, I really didn’t think that Blu-rays would even get to pick up. Well I guess I was wrong since there’s a lot of incredibly popular drives that are used to burn and watch them. Which is why I’m going to review the LG WP50NB40. It’s an external Blu-ray drive that can not only be used to write Blu-rays on your laptop but can also be connected to a TV to watch them!

Technical Specification

  • Dimensions: 155×145×15 mm / 6.1×5.7×0.6″
  • Weight: 270 g / 0.60 lbs
  • Loading type: Tray
  • Blu-Ray Writing Speed: Up to 6x BD-R
  • DVD Writing Speed: Up to 8x DVD+RW
  • CD Writing Speed: Up to 24x CD-RW
  • Features: M-DISC, 3D Blu-ray, Silent Play, BDXL
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux and TV

In The Box

  • LG WP50NB40
  • Mini USB to USB-A cable
  • Software bundle

Design

Generally, most Blu-ray drives tend to be pretty big. But not the LG WP50NB40. It’s just as thin and small as the best DVD drives! Which was actually really surprising for me. It has an overall size of 155×145×15 mm / 6.1×5.7×0.6″. So as you can see, it’s as thin as your typical DVD drive. Definitely a step in the right direction for these portable Blu-ray drives. Nothing worse than having to carry around a heavy brick.

LG WP50NB40 Design

The drive is fully made out of black plastic, with a glossy finish on the top and a matter finish at the bottom. The glossy surface does look really nice but it quickly loses the appeal when you have been using it for a while. Simply because the glossy surface displays scratches and fingerprints easily.

Everything else is standard in terms of design. It has a disc tray that slides out from the front. So you do need space in front of it, where ever you decide to place it. Most probably next to a laptop so it isn’t an issue. The front panel has an eject button and opens up the tray, plus an emergency pinhole incase you lose power, and an LED light. The light is simply for showing that the drive is working and the lights will flash when it reads the disc. At the bottom you will find 4 rubber pads for keeping the drive stable. And we are left with the back side, which only has a single Mini USB port.

Performance

The best part about the WP50NB40 is that it comes with only a single cable. I’m sure that you have seen plenty of Blu-ray drives that also have an additional power cable. Or a Y USB cable with two connectors. This one though requires only one USB-A port on your computer! Which is extremely convenient and deserves all the praise. And the cable it self is around 30 cm / 1 ft long, which is generally enough. Should be enough to connect it to a TV as well.

And that’s a huge selling point for LG. Not only is the drive compatible with Mac, Linux and Windows systems but you can also connect it to your TV if it has a USB port. You don’t need to install and drivers or programs, just connect it and you are good to go. Or if you want to experience 3D Blu-ray, then you can install the included Power BD-DVD 3D software bundle on your computer. This of course means that you can only watch that 3D from the screen of your computer and not a TV. Also that software bundle is only compatible with Windows unfortunately.

As far as the performance goes, it’s good. It’s obviously not the fastest drive at writing Blu-rays as it has a single USB 2.0 connector. The max read and write speed for BD-R is rated at 6x, DVD’s at 8x and CD’s at 24x. So it definitely does its job. You won’t notice any lack of speed when you are playing the disc so it won’t really make a difference. And the speed for DVD’s and CD’s is the maximum that you can get. So installing programs with the WP50NB40 take just as long as with any other external DVD drive.

LG likes to add extra features like M-DISC and SilentPlay as well but those aren’t really worth writing about. I just want to add that SilentPlay doesn’t necessarily mean that the drive will make less noise. It just allows you to lower the speed of the drive so that the disc spins slower and makes less noise. So sure, it will be quieter but also take much longer.

Conclusion

The LG WP50NB40 is the lightest and most straight forward external Blu-ray drive. It’s as small and weighs as little as your normal DVD drive, which is actually incredible. Plus that you don’t need an external power source and can get away with just one cable. Not to mention the TV compatibility and support for 3D Blu-ray movies. The main downside is the price, which isn’t the cheapest. Plus it might be a bit too slow if you are more interested in burning Blu-ray drives instead. So it depends what you are planning to mainly use it for.