Adding a portable CD/DVD writer to a netbook is easy with LG's lightweight GP08 DVD drive
Like the Freecom LS Pro optical drive, the LG Electronics GP08-NU10 is a lightweight external disc burner, suitable for reading and writing most types of CD and DVD discs.
Where the Freecom is a model of industrial simplicity, LG tries to make its GP08 a little more streamlined. In place of aluminium, its case is sculpted from a glossy sandwich of white and black plastic, and the pop-open drawer is more discreetly blended into the casework.
Only one data port is offered, a mini-B USB 2.0 connector. Next to this is a socket for external 5V DC power. There's no additional power supply in the box; if your USB port doesn't provide enough power to keep the LG GP08 happy, you'll need to use an extra USB-to-5V power cable, provided within.
Unlike the Freecom, the LG GP08 was unable to burn a DVD-R disc without the aid of the extra bus power cable.
In place of Lightscribe label burning ability or useful FireWire ports, the LG GP08 tries to add another string to its bow with SecurDisc compatibility.
SecurDisc was devised by Hitachi, LG and Nero as a means to lock an optical disc using AES-128 encryption, and additionally use spare data space to add more error-checking information, bolstering data integrity beyond the usual checksum system used on standard optical media.
The downside of this proprietary system is that you'll be limiting yourself to which computers can actually read a SecurDisc-protected CD or DVD.
In our tests, Macintosh and Vista 64-bit users will find themselves entirely locked out of these discs.
The LG GP08 doesn’t have Freecom’s versatility of a FireWire connection or the option of Lightscribe. And the SecurDisc feature will limit which computers will play a disc if you decide to use this option. But it is lighter, cheaper and has softer curves than the Freecom LS Pro, which will be recommendation enough for many buyers.