ThinkPad UltraSlim DVD Burner Review

ThinkPad UltraSlim DVD Burner Review

When I think about professional grade computers, I immediately think about a brand called Lenovo. Their ThinkPad T series laptops are highly rated by professionals all over the world. And they are especially known for their design and build quality, which has pretty much remained the same since the IBM days.

The downside is that external devices never look “right” next to their laptops. And maybe I’m weird but I like to have everything in same style. If that’s something you care about as well, then this is the correct review for you! Lenovo has created an ultraslim external DVD drive that looks exactly like their T series laptops! But unfortunately, it’s also much more expensive than its competitors. So let’s see if it’s actually worth it.

Technical Specification

  • Dimensions: 154×136×13 mm / 6.1×5.4×0.5″
  • Weight: 235 g / 8.29 oz
  • DVD Writing Speed: Up to 8x DVD+RW
  • CD Writing Speed: Up to 24x CD-RW
  • Features: Attached USB-A cable
  • Compatibility: Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems

In The Box

  • ThinkPad UltraSlim DVD Burner
  • USB-A Y extension cable
  • PowerDVD
  • User manual

Design

As I mentioned at the start, if you have a T series laptop then this is the device for you. There’s a ton of available external drives for DVDs but none of them look anything like this. This drive has everything that you’ll also find on a ThinkPad. From the matte black casing to the embedded ThinkPad logo. And the build quality matches that as well.

ThinkPad UltraSlim DVD Burner Design

The overall shape it still pretty standard. With the difference that there’s a nudge at the front. It’s actually a pretty nice touch from Lenovo as it adds character. Plus they have cleverly fitted the eject button in there as well. So it doesn’t stick out from the body and it’s still easy to push. Next to that there’s a small LED indicator light and an emergency pinhole. And yes, the tray slides out when you push the button.

ThinkPad UltraSlim DVD Burner Front Back

What is pretty unique about this drive is the backside. This DVD drive does not have any ports. Instead, it has a pretty short USB cable attached to it, which has its own slot at the back. So you don’t need to worry about losing it when you bring it with you. Plus the cable hides into the body as well, which makes it even more compact. And what I like the most is that it’s a flat cable. It shows the premium build quality yet again.

Lenovo markets this external drive as UltraSlim and it’s true. It has an overall dimension of 154×136 mm / 6.1×5.4″, with a thickness of 13 mm / 0.5”. It also weighs 235 grams / 8.29 ounces. I’m actually pretty surprised how they have managed to keep the size this small despite having the cable slot. I recently reviewed another drive by Amicool and they had a similar solution. The only difference is that their device is much bigger. So great job by Lenovo.

Performance

The Lenovo UltraSlim is a simple plug and play DVD burner. You basically have two options for connecting it. Option number one is taking the attached cable and plugging it into a USB 3.0 port. Since it’s a short cable, you’ll need to have your computer right next to it. The option number two is by using the included extension cable and connecting it to two USB 2.0 (or 3.0) ports. This is a Y cable so the downside is that you need two available ports.

ThinkPad UltraSlim DVD Drive Cables

If you have a laptop then the first option is definitely preferable. Once you do that, the drive will pop up under “This PC” and you can use it right away. You don’t need to download or install any software. Which is the case with pretty much every external drive. You can also use it on Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems as well.

The read and write speeds are also the same as on other USB DVD burners. You can expect a maximum read and write speed of 8x for DVDs and 24x for CDs. So paying extra does not bring you faster transfer speeds. In terms of noise level it’s average as well. You can definitely hear it when it runs on full speed. But that’s normal for every drive.

Conclusion

The only real reason to buy the ThinkPad UltraSlim DVD burner is if you have a Lenovo laptop. It looks absolutely fantastic next to it. For any other reason though, I can’t justify the price difference. You can get at least two other external drives for the price of this one. And sure you can argue about the overall build quality but the difference isn’t that big. At least not big enough to justify the price difference. So if you have a ThinkPad laptop, then this is the USB drive for you!