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Compare the Best Optical Disc DrivesMarch 2021

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique optical disc drives rating which considers: 3,600 expert & user reviews • 190 product comparisons • Score breakdown
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Internal Optical Drives
Disc drives meant to be mounted inside a computer
Retro Technology - 062 - CD Drive
External Optical Drives
Disc drives meant to be connected via USB
#1
Best Selling Optical Drives
The most popular optical disc drives on the market
Award Winning Optical Drives
Optical disc drives that have won industry awards
Latest Optical Drives
The newest optical disc drives on the market
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Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
Disc Loading Type
Type
Optical Drive Type
Available Colours
Release Date
#1

88

 Compare  Shortlisted
DELL logo

DELL DW316

999 Reviews
Very fast DVD‑RW write speed  Fast DVD‑R double layer write speed
Very fast DVD‑RW write speed
Fast DVD‑R double layer write speed

$42.06

Tray
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Sep 2016
#2

81

 Compare  Shortlisted
Asus logo

Asus BW16D1HT

1 Review
Very fast read speed (CD)  Fast CD‑R write speed  Track‑at‑once (TAO) 
Very fast read speed (CD)
Fast CD‑R write speed
Track‑at‑once (TAO)

$93.99

Tray
Info
Internal
Info
Blu-Ray
Info
Info
Jun 2015
#3

80

 Compare  Shortlisted
LG logo

LG GH24NSC0

144 Reviews
Fast CD‑R write speed  Fast DVD‑R double layer write speed Very fast CD write speed 
Fast CD‑R write speed
Fast DVD‑R double layer write speed
Very fast CD write speed

$29.68

Slot
Info
Internal
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Aug 2014
#4

80

 Compare  Shortlisted
Asus logo

Asus DRW24B3ST

 
Fast CD‑R write speed  Fast read speed (CD)  Track‑at‑once (TAO) 
Fast CD‑R write speed
Fast read speed (CD)
Track‑at‑once (TAO)

$38.78

Tray
Info
Internal
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Sep 2010
#5

80

 Compare  Shortlisted
Apple logo

Apple USB SuperDrive

 

$83.99

Slot
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Jun 2012
#6

77

 Compare  Shortlisted

Buffalo DVSM‑PT58U2V

1 Review

$39.99

Tray
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Jan 2015
#7

76

 Compare  Shortlisted

Asus SBC06D2XU

 

$87.99

Tray
Info
External
Info
Blu-Ray
Info
Info
Jun 2015
#8

75

 Compare  Shortlisted

LG GP70NS50

5 Reviews

$63.13

Slot
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Nov 2013
#9

73

 Compare  Shortlisted

Buffalo BRXL‑PT6U2V

 

$99.99

Tray
Info
External
Info
Blu-Ray
Info
Info
Mar 2015
#10

72

 Compare  Shortlisted

Transcend TS8XDVDS‑W

2 Reviews

$40.74

Tray
Info
External
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Dec 2014
#11

61

 Compare  Shortlisted

Lenovo 4XA0H03972

 

$73.98

Tray
Info
Internal
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Jan 2015
#12

60

 Compare  Shortlisted

Pioneer BDR212DBK

 

$79.99

Slot
Info
Internal
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Sep 2019
#13

60

 Compare  Shortlisted

HP 652241‑B21

 

$127.99

Tray
Info
Internal
Info
Dvd
Info
Info
Oct 2015

No matching products found.

 More Results

What Are The Best Optical Disc Drive Brands?

We looked at the reviews for every optical disc drive and used this to calculate the average overall rating of each brand. The top rated optical disc drive brand is LG with an average rating of 88%. Compare all award winning optical disc drives.

Rank Brand Number of Optical Disc Drives Price Range Average Rating
#1
LG Optical Disc Drives 23 $30 - $63
88%
995 reviews
#2
HP Optical Disc Drives 20 $30 - $128

Trending Optical Disc Drive Comparisons

LG
GP70NS50
$63.13
Two more awards
Better brand
VS
DELL
DW316
$42.06
$21 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
User reviews
are vastly
better
Apple
USB SuperDrive
$83.99
More popular
VS
DELL
DW316
$42.06
$42 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Four years
newer
Asus
BW-16D1
$93.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
Pioneer
BDR-212DBK
$79.99
$14 cheaper
Four years
newer
LG
GP70NS50
$63.13
Two more awards
Better brand
VS
DELL
DW316
$42.06
$21 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Three years
newer
Apple
USB SuperDrive
$83.99
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
LG
GP70NS50
$63.13
$21 cheaper
Newer by 18
months
Two more awards
DELL
DW316
$42.06
$38 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
Pioneer
BDR-212DBK
$79.99
Three years
newer
Asus
BW-16D1
$93.99
Better brand
19 months newer
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
LG
GP70NS50
$63.13
$31 cheaper
Two more awards
LG
GH24NSC0
$29.68
$50 cheaper
Better brand
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
Pioneer
BDR-212DBK
$79.99
Newer by five
years
Asus
SBC-06D2X-U
$87.99
Better Kagoo
Score
19 months newer
VS
LG
GP70NS50
$63.13
$25 cheaper
Two more awards
Better brand
LG
GP70NS50
$63.13
$17 cheaper
Two more awards
Better brand
VS
Pioneer
BDR-212DBK
$79.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Six years newer
Apple
USB SuperDrive
$83.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
Transcend
TS8XDVDS-W
$40.74
$43 cheaper
Newer by three
years
Asus
BW-16D1
$93.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by 19
months
VS
LG
GP70NS50
$63.13
$31 cheaper
Better brand
Two more awards
Asus
SBC-06D2X-U
$87.99
Newer by three
years
Better brand
VS
Apple
USB SuperDrive
$83.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Asus
SBC-06D2X-U
$87.99
Better brand
VS
DELL
DW316
$42.06
$46 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by 16
months
LG
GH24NSC0
$29.68
$11 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
Transcend
TS8XDVDS-W
$40.74
A little better
user reviews
Newer by four
months
LG
GP70NS50
$63.13
Two more awards
Better brand
VS
Buffalo
DVSM-PT58U2V
$49.99
$13 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
DELL
DW316
$42.06
Better Kagoo
Score
Six years newer
VS
Asus
DRW-24B3ST
$38.78
$3 cheaper
Better brand
LG
GP70NS50
$63.13
$65 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Two more awards
VS
HP
652241-B21
$127.99
Two years newer
Lenovo
4XA0H03972
$73.98
$54 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
HP
652241-B21
$127.99
Better brand
10 months newer
Apple
USB SuperDrive
$83.99
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
VS
Transcend
TS8XDVDS-W
$40.74
$43 cheaper
Three years
newer
View All Optical Disc Drive Comparisons
You can create your own side by side comparisons by clicking "compare" in the main table above against the products you would like to compare. Then click the big "Compare" button at the bottom of the screen to compare your selected products.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QWhat are the difference between the different disc loading types?
AThere are 3 main types of disc drive. Tray is the most common - a tray pops out, the disc is placed in and the tray recedes into the machine again. Slot disc drives just have a slot in the side to take the disc, whereas on top-loading disc drives the whole top of the device is hinged, allowing you to place the disc directly into the device.
QWhy does read-write speed matter?
AThe larger the read-write speed of the disc drive, the faster it will write data to the discs, and the quicker data can be read, meaning data access will be faster and smoother (less waiting for buffering video, for instance)
QWhat does 'internal' mean?
AInternal means the disc drive is meant to be mounted inside a computer, whereas external means it can be plugged in via USB and used there.

Optical Disc Drive Buying Guide

Optical disk drives cover a wide range of internal and external devices meant to both read and write a variety of removable media. This means they can be used to both read data from discs (i.e - playing a movie DVD or Blu Ray) and also writing or ‘burning’ data (i.e - creating a music CD from individual mp3s, or permanently writing files to a disk for distribution).

While most computers used to house CD and DVD drives as standard, drastically smaller devices and a move towards cloud-based streaming mean that disc drives are being used less and less. Indeed many modern laptops and desktops no longer contain a disc drive at all.

This means that even though it is legacy tech, it’s still worth keeping a drive handy for those times you want to read the data from an old DVD, burn a disc for a friend, or watch a movie when you don’t have access to Netflix. This guide will explain the major points of consideration when choosing an optical disk drive.

Mounting & Portability

The first important consideration is what type of drive you want to get. While all our drives read and write disks, there are 2 main types - internal and external. It’s important to note that generally speaking internal drives can’t be used outside of computers, and external drives have to be powered via USB, and can’t be mounted inside a desktop or laptop.

Internal drives: These are meant to be placed into the computer body itself and wired directly into the system for power and data. They are used mostly for either replacements, or if you are building your own computer from scratch. Because these drives have to fit into a specific bay, it’s important to make sure you get one that is the right measurements and compatible with your computer. This also includes the correct mounting for the machine you’re wanting to install the drive into.

External drives: These drives are meant to be plugged into a computer (usually via USB) to serve as a temporary drive when one is needed. These drives tend to be more expensive than internal drives, but can be used with any computer. They are especially useful for laptops, since the current trend in ultra-thin laptops mean that most modern models don’t have a drive built in. Because external drives are removable, they can be easily stowed away until needed, making them helpful if you only need to read a CD/DVD occasionally. They are also very portable, making them good for watching movies or accessing data on journeys where you may not have access to a stable net connection.

Media Support

There are 3 main types of optical media supported by the disc drives on our site - CD, DVD and Blu Ray:

CD: Traditionally used for music, and while rather a legacy format, there are so many CDs in circulation that you are bound to need to access one at some point. All disc drives will read and write CDs, but the downside is they hold the least information of the 3 types.

DVD: DVDs are generally used for movies, since they are higher density, so can hold far more data than CDs. DVDs are still widely used for movies and video games, and can also hold a large amount of information, making them useful for backing up lots of files. Nearly all of our drives support both CD and DVD read writing.

Blu-Ray: The newest and highest density of optical media on the market, Blu-Ray discs can hold an enormous amount of data in a single disc. They are primarily used for very high-quality movies. However because they are a new format, Blu-Ray writers are far more expensive than CD or DVD-compatible models. Moreover, not all drives support Blu-Ray reading or writing, meaning that you may find other users are not able to read the data on the disc.

Read/Write Speedas

Finally, read & write speeds measure how quickly data can be written from & to the disc. This is measures in bytes per second - the higher the speed, the faster large files (such as movies) will be burnt to the disc, or read from the drive. The read-write speeds are also affected by the USB version supported - USB 3.0 supported drives allow far higher transfer rates than USB 2 drives, so it is worth seeking out the newest drive you can for the fastest data transfer speeds.

Optical Disc Drive Retailers, Prices and Features

Optical Disc Drive Prices

In total we found 13 cd burners ranging from $29 to $128. A new dvd rewriter costs on average $70 and 80% of dvd (re)writers are priced between $39 and $100. The LG GH24NSC0 is the cheapest dvd burner at only $30, and HP 652241-B21 is the most expensive at $128.

Cd (Re)Writer Brands - Price Range

The average price of Verbatim dvd (re)writers is $42 which is the highest average price of all optical disc drive brands. Verbatim dvd (re)writers range in price from $0 to $127.

The second highest average optical disc drive price out of all brands is Transcend cd rewriters with an average price of $41. Transcend cd rewriters start at $41 and their most expensive optical disc drive costs $41.

Buffalo dvd writers range in price from $0 to $100, and the average price of Buffalo dvd writers is $37 which is the third highest average price of all cd (re)writer brands.

Dvd Rewriter Brands - Average Ratings

We have checked 22 expert reviews and 3,437 user reviews for cd writers and used this information to determine the average rating for each brand of cd burner.

Biggest Dvd Writer Retailers

The biggest cd writer retailer by number of products currently for sale is Adorama. We found 2 current cd writer offers from Adorama.

How Fast Do Cd Writer Prices Drop After Release?

New dvd rewriters drop in price by an average of 6% in the first 6 months after they were first released.

If you are prepared to wait then you could save an average of $0 on a typical $7 new cd writer by waiting 6 months before buying.

Disc Loading Types

The disc loading type refers to the mechanism by which the optical disc is loaded into the drive. Normally this is by placing the disc in a tray or by inserting it into a slot.

Tray is the most common disc loading type amongst new cd writers. We found 113 cd writers that are dvd burners that have a tray loading. We found 30 dvd burners that are dvd (re)writers that have a slot loading, making slot the second most frequently found disc loading type amongst new dvd burners.

Type

Type denotes whether the disc drive is meant to be placed internally into a computer, or used externally via USB.

Amongst new cd burners, the most popular type is internal. We found 83 cd burners that are internal dvd (re)writers. We found 52 cd burners that are external optical disc drives, making this the second most popular type amongst new cd burners.

Optical Drive Types

The drive type denotes what type of disc (CD, DVD,etc) the drive is capable of reading.

Dvd is the most popular optical drive type amongst new cd writers. We found 117 cd writers that are cd rewriters that have a dvd Optical drive type. The second most popular optical drive type amongst new optical disc drives is blu-ray. We found 26 optical disc drives that are dvd rewriters that have a blu-ray Optical drive type.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for Optical Disc Drives?

The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying cd rewriters. For each retailer it shows the total number of cd rewriters where they currently have a market leading price. The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying cd (re)writers. For each retailer we took all of their prices and looked at what proportion of those prices where the cheapest on the market. The cheapest retailer that we found was Adorama. 1 of their cd writer prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

Proportion of Cd Burners for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

Assessing how cheap each retailer is for cd (re)writers by counting the number of cheapest prices for that retailer, makes the retailers that offer the greatest number of cd burner prices more likely to offer the greatest number of cheapest prices. The chart below considers the proportion of each retailer's cd burner prices that are the cheapest compared to other retailers.

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