Lite-On External USB 8x LabelTag DVDRW eNAU608-111

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
February 21, 2011
Manufacturer
Lite-On
Product Page
eNAU608
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243070
Lite-On External USB 8x LabelTag DVDRW eNAU608-111
The eNAU608 combines the media compatibility of the less expensive eNAU108 model with addition features for personalization and data side labeling.

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Page 1
Introduction

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It was a few months ago that we reviewed the Lite-On »eNAU108-111 drive and in that review we mentioned the waining use of optical media. Sure, your next computer may not even have an optical drive, but what happens if you need one? External drives work well when you don't have an optical drive and new ones have some very interesting features. The eNAU608 has a feature called LabelTag. Remember DiscT@2? The technology is back for a second chance at life. This drive has some other features that set it apart from its cheaper sibling, as well. Personalization comes to the forefront with this drive.

About Lite-On

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Lite-On IT started of as a business unit within Lite-On Technology Corporation in 1995. By that time the market for Optical Disc Drives (ODD) was growing very fast, and to be able to play a significant role in this, Lite-On Technology decided to establish a dedicated business unit to produce high quality CD-ROM drives. A large manufacturing facility was established in China to meet all demands and Lite-On soon became Taiwan's biggest CD-ROM drive manufacturer, and number three worldwide.

Due to the growing success in the ODD market, Lite-On IT transformed from a relatively small business unit to an independent subsidiary of Lite-On Group, producing over 1 million drives per month. In 1999, the foundation of Lite-On IT Corporation as the youngest member of the Lite-On Group was a fact. Besides headquarters in Taipei, branch offices were established in the United States (California) and Europe (The Netherlands).

In the years to follow, Lite-On IT continued its growth in the ODD business, by setting extensive distribution networks in the United States and Europe. With the introduction of more ODD products, like CD-RW, DVD-ROM, COMBO and DVD-RW drives, Lite-On IT increased it's production from 1 million drives per month in 1999, to no less then 5 million drives per month in 2005. With this unique achievement Lite-On IT became the world's second biggest ODD manufacturer.

http://us.liteonit.com/us/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=44&Itemid=118
Page 2
Packaging

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The Lite-On retail packaging is red on the front. It is a nice eye-catching design for the store shelves. Most people will probably be buying this online, though.

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The rear of the packaging is a bright blue and gives you more information on what the drive can do. This drive is all about personalization.

Specifications

  • Ultra lightweight and slim
  • USB powered: no power adapter needed
  • Personalized drive with preprinted interchangeable top cover inserts, or design your own
  • Support LabelTag: conveniently create circular label on data side of disc without using special media
  • Support LightScribe direct disc labeling technology
  • SMART-BURN(*1) avoids Buffer Under Run error, automatically adjusting writing strategy & running OPC to provide the best burning quality
  • SMART-X(*2) function adjusts CD-DA / VCD / DVD data extraction to a fastest allowable speed according to both data request rate from host and disc quality
  • Plug & Play, and emergency manual eject function
  • Supports DVD+R / DVD+RW / DVD-R / DVD-RW / DVD+R DL / DVD-R DL / DVD-RAM / DVD-ROM / CD-R / CD-RW / CD-ROM format
  • Support both 8cm and 12cm discs of CD and DVD family
  • Support Fixed packet, Variable packet, Disc-at-once, Session-at-once and Track-at-once
  • DVD read compliant: DVD single/dual layer (PTP/OTP), DVD-R (3.9GB/4.7GB), DVD-R multi-borders, DVD-RAM, DVD-R DL, DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW
  • CD read compliant: CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM/XA, Photo-CD, Multi-session, Video-CD, CD-I FMV, CD Extra, CD Plus, CD-R, and CD-RW
  • Conform to Orange Book: Part 2 CD-R Volume 1, Part 2 CD-R Volume 2 Multi Speed, Part 3 CD-RW Volume 1 (known as Low Speed), Part 3 CD-RW Volume 2: High Speed, Part 3 CD-RW Volume 3: Ultra Speed
  • DVD+/-R 8X maximum
  • DVD+R DL 6X maximum
  • DVD-RAM 5X maximum
  • CD family 24X
  • 2MB Buffer
  • MTBF (Life) 60,000 POH
  • Dimension 5.5 (W) x 5.2 (D) x 0.6 (H) inch
  • Weight less than 0.70 lb
  • Amazon Link


Compared to the eNAU108, the eNAU608 weighs slightly more and has LabelTag and LightScribe support. Basically, this drive is all about customizing the optical media and the drive itself to your taste.

Marketing Summary

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The eNAU608 features both LabelTag and LightScribe direct disc labeling technologies for their DVDs or CDs.

The eNAU608 is a slim and portable external 8X DVD writer wrapped in an elegant slim case that offers an easy and convenient solution for sharing photos, creating home videos or backing up data. The compact and lightweight design is ideal for laptops and netbooks and is USB-powered so no other cables or adapters need to be carried, making the eNAU608 a perfect companion for professionals, students and people on the go.

Customizing the eNAU608 is simple. A basic software utility is included with the device allowing users to personalize the top cover inserts that fit the users’ style and personality. As an added bonus, an assorted colorful pre-designed inserts are included with the drive for users to choose from.

http://us.liteonit.com/us/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=300&Itemid=87 (From the PR)
Page 3
Package Contents

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Lite-On includes the USB Y-cable and some literature and software along with the eNAU608.

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One of the personalization options is to change the top of the eNAU608 to whatever you'd like. Lite-On includes 4 reversible cards (8 pictures total) for you to use. You can also print your own and stick it in the top. The top slides off by pushing down and back. You can leave the pictures out for a normal black look.

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The USB 2 Y-cable is the same type found on the previous reviewed drive. We haven't needed to use the extra power connection, all of our computers provided enough power from a single USB port. Still, you never know and it is better to be safe than sorry. We also used USB extensions since the cable is pretty short. This was no problem.
Page 4
eNAU608

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We opted to leave the black and white heart pattern since that's how we roll. In all honesty, we much prefer the normal electronic look of a blank face. Since the product is all about personalization, you can print out your own pictures and place them in the top for everyone to see. Using most of the patterns, the Lite-On logo is barely visible in the top right of the drive.

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The eNAU608 is basically the same size as the »eNAU108, but it has more height and a bit of extra girth due to the customizable top. The internal drive is also different, but it is still a standard laptop sized drive. The writing on the face of the drive is a gray color instead of the bright white. LabelTag and LightScribe logos are on each side of the front face. Thankfully, there is a large eject button. Most laptop sized drives has a tiny release button.

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The back of the eNAU608 has the mini-USB connection. It is the only connection for this drive as it gets its power from the USB host.

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This drive was manufactured in November of 2010. The drives were announce last year and we saw them at CES. There are four rubber feet to keep the drive from moving around while on a desk.
Page 5
Testing

Remember that this drive isn't targeted at the performance market. We are here to test how well the drive works in the intended use cases and since this is a value segment drive, we through value media at it. Actually, that's all we buy. Like the eNAU108, this model proved that inexpensive doesn't mean cheap. The drive won't be winning any contests for speed, but that's not the point. As long as the eNAU608 burns reliably, it is fine in our book. All the data we burned was read without issue.

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We also had to test the new LabelTag feature of the drive. LightScribe has been done and gone, but LabelTag allows you to put a label on the data side of the disk. The process is pretty simple. Once the data is burned to the disk, the drive then calculates how much space is left for a label. Using this space, the drive burns the label "pattern" as a normal burn process. The result is that your disk has an unmistakable imprint on the data side telling you what it is. This is great for archiving. There are a few drawbacks. The first is shown in the picture. The contrast you get from some dyes will not be that good. You can see it, but it is faint and you need to hold it a certain way to get it. This is a plain CD-R. No special media is required

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DVD+R media shows up a bit easier. We didn't burn too much data to this disk, but if you fill up the disk entirely, you won't be able to put a label on it. It is actually eating into the usable data space of the disk. A large label like the one we put is using a couple of GB on the disk. The software also doesn't allow the use of RW disks. It only allows write once and then closes the disk after writing the label. We'd be interested to see if the RW disk is still usable after going through the LabelTag process. We don't see why it wouldn't be.

The Nero software that was packaged with the drive worked with Windows AND Linux. Included on the CD is the Nero For Linux Version 4. This is a welcomed sight to see companies package in software for Linux. Unfortunately, Nero for Linux works fine for doing the majority of the burn tasks, but to get LabelTag support, you'll need to use the Windows version. Still, it is nice to see that the Linux version was on the disk.

Conclusion

The eNAU608 retails for a bit under $60 (Amazon Link) at the time of posting. You are really paying a premium over the less expensive sibling, but you are gaining the personalization features and the ability to label the data side of the disks. Remember, this is normal media. You don't need a special disk like for LightScribe. Sure, LabelTag has some drawbacks, but the technology is interesting. For a generic slim drive, we still recommend the eNAU108. Road warriors will probably want to stick with the »eNAU108, as well. If you want the full range of features and the personalization abilities, the eNAU608 is the drive for you.

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

Comments

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