So you've bought a netbook, but guess what, it doesn't come with a CD or DVD drive does it. What's the solution? Samsung believe its SE-S084 Super WriteMaster Slim External DVD drive is what you need.

Designed to be slim so it will slip into your bag easily, the external DVD drive is small, it's not "oh my god" small, but around the same size and thickness of a double CD case.

Being Samsung, this is a stylish affair with a gloss casing coming in a variety of colours from black to pink, ribbed side panels (presumably for extra pleasure) and a single eject button on the front of the disk tray.

Presuming that by the mere fact that you've plugged the drive into your computer you want it on, there is no power button. In fact, apart from that eject button, a single green status light, and the USB socket in the opposing spot on the rear of the drive, there are no other buttons or sockets.

Considering that you'll probably be expected to carry this around with you - it is slim after all - we are surprised by the overall build quality. The top of the casing has considerable give to it, so much so that if you press down on the top of the drive you can't close the DVD tray. We would have expected some reinforcing present.

Powering the drive is via USB rather than an additional power adapter, something that is welcomed. For users who don't have a USB 2.0 socket, the cable in the box allows you to plug it in to a secondary USB socket, although those sockets really need to be side-by-side. Additionally desktop users are likely to be disappointed by the short cable. It's okay if you are on a laptop or nettop, but there is no way this cable would get from the back of your tower PC under your desk to the top of the desk.

Once connected you're ready to go and with no drivers required for Mac OSX or Windows Vista (and Windows 7) the moment you slam in a DVD to play or write to you are ready.

Speeds vary depending on what you are doing, but the headline DVD writing speed is 8x for DVD+-R while it's 6x for DVD+R DL and 6x for DVD-R DL. It drops to 5x for DVD-RAM.

Other speeds include 8x for DVD+RW and DVD-ROM, and 6x for DVD-RW. Things get a bit zippier when it comes to CD writing with 24x for a CD-R and CD-ROM and 16 for a CD-RW.

Performance is as good as claimed with zero issues when we came to copying files to DVD and CD. Likewise transfer from a DVD to the computer was also as quick as you would expect.


While we were expecting a slightly more robust drive considering its thin travel-friendly form factor we can't complain on the overall performance of the drive.

It was quick, simple to set-up and a breeze to use. With a sub-£40 price point this should make a good accessory to your netbook, allowing you to watch DVDs, play CDs and generally give you some of that laptop experience you've been missing.