LiteOn eTDU108 External Slim DVD ROM

Oct 9th, 2009 | By

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LiteOn eTDU108 External Slim DVD ROM

: 10/9/09 – 04:02:12 AM


: Optical Devices

Page 1 : Index

: Lite-On

Lite-On is a very reputable manufacturer of optical disc drives. They have been around since 1995 and are one of the world's top manufacturers of CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray drives and writers. Today, we will be reviewing Lite-On's newest addition to their external DVD drive lineup, the eTDU108.


With DVD's slowly being phased out to the newer and better Blu-Ray discs, DVD's are still a reliable choice for backing up data and recording videos. The eTDU108 is designed for the recently popular netbooks, which usually do not have an internal DVD drive. With this product, netbook users can read discs on the fly. But will this portability come with compromise? Read on to find out!

Page 2 : Package and Contents

The outer package is cardboard, a very popular choice among many consumer products.


The front and back of the box details all of the features of the drive.


The side lists out the specifications.


Inside, the contents are protected by cardboard as well as plastic.


Included with the drive are the USB cable, instructions, and installation CD.


The drive itself is very light, and feels very hollow. Upon touch, it is apparent that most of the materials are very inexpensive plastic. I would be hesitant to throw this into a laptop bag, or into the pocket of a jacket due to the fragile feeling of this drive.

On top of the driver, there is a stop button you have to press before removing a disc. On the back, there is a groove where you can store the USB cable neatly.


The eTDU108 is a top loading drive, meaning that you flip open the cover and push the disc in by hand.


The USB port on the back is recessed which makes inserting the USB cable a little difficult and takes some getting used to.

Now that the drive is out of its box, let's skim through the specifications.

Page 3 : Specifications and Features

Here are some of the features listed on the Lite-Onwebsite:


And the specifications:


This drive seems very standard and can read many of the mainstream CD and DVD formats. DVD reading speed however is capped at 8X, which is expected from a drive that is powered solely through a USB port. The most amazing part of the specification sheet is the weight, which says the player weighs less than three quarters of a pound.

Now that we have had a taste of the eTDU108 on paper, let's install the drive to get some testing done.

Page 4 : Installation

The drive does not need any drivers, and can be used just by USB. Windows and Nero will recognize it as a DVD drive, and it is ready to use. The installation disc includes Nero software.

The installation process begins by inserting the installation disc.



The installation program will then take care of the rest.

Now that the drive is ready to use, run some tests.

Page 5 : Testing

The specifications of the system used for testing:


  • Gateway M-6864 FX Notebook

  • Intel Core 2 Duo T5750 @ 2.00 GHz
  • Ati Mobility Radeon HD 2600

For the duration of the test, the system will be running only on critical processes. We will be using Nero CD/DVD Speed for testing, version We will first test the eTDU108, then the internal DVD drive on the laptop, then with the Liteon EZDUB DVD writer which requires an external AC power source.

The first test is reading a DVD-R.




Internal drive



As you can see, the eTDU108 performed just as specified. It was rated at 8X DVD read, which is pretty much the exact same speed for the internal laptop DVD drive. However, the EZ-DUB, with it's dedicated power source, blows both drives out of the water with 18X speed.

The second test is reading a CD.




Internal drive



The eTDU108 again performed at the advertised speed of 24X. The laptop internal drive performed slightly faster, and the EZ-DUB again reaching a much faster speed at 49X. We can also note that the eTDU108 remained under the 150ms in random access time, which is good.

With both the laptop drive and the eTDU108, I notice that reading an audio CD takes much more time to skip songs. The EZ-DUB on the other hand appears to be much faster in this regard, so it is obvious that the eTDU108 sacrificed speed for portability.

While running these tests, the eTDU108 is also much louder than the other two drives. When the disc is spinning, there appears to be a slight vibration that is causing this noise.

Page 6 : Conclusion

With netbooks becoming increasing popular, external drives like the eTDU108 will start seeing a demand. Being small, light, and only drawing power solely from a USB cable, the eTDU108 is a very strong product for what it was built for: a portable solution to the missing netbook optical drive.

The access times are faster than the advertised speeds. However, having no external power source and very small size is limiting the reading speeds. The slower results from the DVD and CD reading tests show that drives with a dedicated power source will be faster at the end of the day. But this does not make the eTDU108 an obsolete product, it can still do it's job of reading discs perfectly fine. Those looking for a very portable solution to an optical drive should take an in-depth look at the eTDU108.


  • Portability

  • No external power supply required


  • Slower reading speeds

  • Fragile feeling
  • Loud operation

I would like to thank Lite-On for making this review possible.

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