If you’ve opted for a laptop without DVD burner, or merely run out of room in your desktop PC, Amacom are hoping that you’ll come looking its way. The Powerhouse of its range, the DVDi Burner offers dual format recording for the DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW formats as well as supporting a host of other variants including: CD CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-Extra, CD-I, Mixed-Mode CD, Video CD, Photo CD, CD-TEXT, Bootable CD, Multi-Session, DVD DVD-ROM, DVD-Video.

Speeds are comparative with standard DVD burners- this player isn’t breaking any records, and you can expect write speeds of 8x for DVD+R/-R and 32x for CD-R. It can rewrite blanks at 4x for DVD+RW/-RW and 16x for CD-RW. Finally read speeds for various media are as follows: DVD+R / DVD-R / DVD+RW / DVD-RW 8x, CD-R/CD-ROM 40x, CD-RW 32x, DVD-ROM 12x. The latter set of Read Speed figures will only be relevant to portable users though, as desktop owners will use commonsense regarding the fastest DVD/CD reader in their PC which may not be this unit.

Style wise the player itself is a rather large and bulky unit with no attempts being made to make this look anything other than 5 1/4 drive in a protective casing a al Iomega and the predator range. Instead it prefers to concentrate on the task at hand - copying - rather than looking pretty.

Once you’ve got over the size of the beast, you’ll notice that the DVDi Burner is connected to your PC via a 2.0 USB or FireWire cable. Not only does this mean that there are no drivers are required to get you up and running- offering a great plug and play experience, but also the transfer rate isn’t jeopardised.

Included in the box is a host of DVD burning packages to give you an out-of-the-box solution. Amacom rather than create its own proprietary packages has turned to 321 Studios and Pinanacle for its software accompaniment and wisely so, While we here at Pocket-lint don’t rate Pinnacles packages that well - especially its Instant Copy software - it’s good to see offerings from 321 Studios. Packages in the box include: Instant VideoAlbum, Pinnacle Studio 8, Instant PhotoAlbum, Instant CD/DVD 8, and DVD X Copy.

Verdict

If you are looking for an external dual format DVD recorder the Amacom DiViD Burner certainly offers value for money- In fact the software costs more than the recommended retail price. However while the player professes to be portable is more akin to a tank than something you'll happily lug from home to office to home on a daily basis. Nevertheless it's a good solid unit that doesn't get above its station.