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(Pocket-lint) - Portable can mean two things. One that you can slip it in your pocket, take it anywhere without a care in the world, the other is that is might just be possible to grab it in a fire.

The Iomega CD-RW 48x 24x 48x DVD-ROM 16x is unfortunately the latter. While the word “external” may imply an out-of-tower experience, the weight and sheer size of this device certainly means that the desktop is where it will sit and where it will stay.

If however you are not looking for a portable device, but simply an out-of-tower experience then this drive will offer just that. Housed in a sleek black case the CD-RW/DVD Combo drive connects to your PC or Mac via a USB2.0 socket. This obviously has its advantages and disadvantages. Advantages being that you can hot connect if you so wish and that most PC have a USB connection (although connecting to the older USB 1.1 port will cause slower transfer speeds of 6-speed recording and barely 24-speed reading).

The drive itself is very smooth and gives the impression of a solid build quality. However don’t expect to run in stealth mode as the drive itself is very loud when it boots into action.

The drive comes with Iomega’s own CD burning software - Iomega Hot Burn Pro, CinePlayer, Iomega Automatic Backup, and Music Jukebox. However you’re free to switch to another suite such as Roxio or Nero subject to drive support.


If you've run out of space within your tower or desktop machine this device works well as a stationary add-on machine. It's also pretty fast, 48x write, 24 re-write and 48x read for the CD element of the drive and the full 16x read speed for DVD-ROM. In real terms this equates to burning a 60-minute music CD in around 3 minutes. Depending on where you stand, the software supplied in the box isn't the best in the world, but then it does provide an out of the box solution. That's something which we think is not only useful but a must. This package isn't as portable as you might believe, but it is external and if that is on your shopping list this device certainly fits the bill. Good but large.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 13 November 2003.