Asus SBC-04DIS-U Slim External Blu Ray Reader

Introduction and Specification

Introductionblu ray
 
High Def and Blu Ray are words we are hearing more and more often these days. With Blu Ray winning the format war and Blu Ray disc sales going through the roof, Blu Ray is becoming the 'must have' product in movie entertainment.
 
Frankly, I have to agree. Blu Ray is a superb format with excellent picture quality and top notch sound. Blu Ray hasn't been catered for a huge amount on the PC, but manufacturers like Asus are really starting to provide for the High Definition market and this is where they come in with the over-named Asus SBC-04DIS-U Slim External Blu Ray Reader.
 
It's great to see Asus start producing products that support the High Def format and their slim Blu Ray drive isn't only for PC use. With it's diminutive size and gloss black/blue LED design, it's perfect for a portable laptop Blu Ray drive for those who want high def on the go.
 
 
Specifications
 
Let's see how the drive stacks up when we check out the specs from Asus's website.
 
Write Speed
DVD-R: 8X,- (CAV)
DVD-RW: 6X,- (Z-CLV)
DVD+R: 8X,- (CAV)
DVD+RW: 8X,- (Z-CLV)
DVD+R(DL): 4X,- (Z-CLV)
DVD-R (DL): 4X,- (Z-CLV)
CD-R: 24X,- ( Z-CLV )
CD-RW: 16X,- ( Z-CLV )
DVD-RAM: 5X

Read Speed
BD-ROM/R/RE: 4.8 X max.
DVD-R(Single): 8 X max.
DVD-RW(single): 8 X max.
DVD+R(Single): 8 X max.
DVD+RW(single): 8 X max.
DVD-R(DL): 6 X max.
DVD+R(DL): 6 X max.
DVD-ROM (Single): 8 X max.
DVD-ROM (Dual): 8 X max.
DVD-RAM: 5 X max.
CD-ROM: 24 X max.
CD-RW: 24 X max.
CD-R: 24 X max.

Access time
BD: 240 MS
DVD: 200 MS
CD: 200 MS

Writing Mode
DVD-R & DVD-R(DL): DAO(Disc-At-Once)/Incremental Recording (Multi-Border Recording)
DVD-RW & DVD-RW (DL): DAO(Disc-At-Once)/Restricted Overwriting/Incremental Recording (Multi-Border Recording)
DVD+R & DVD+R (DL): Sequential Recording (Multi-Session Recording)
DVD+RW & DVD+RW (DL): Random Recording
CD-R/RW: DAO(Disc-At-Once)/TAO(Track-At-Once)/SAO(Session-At-Once)/Packet Recording (Multi-Session Recording)

O/S Compatibility
XP compatible
Vista compatible

Interface
USB2.0

Data Buffer
2 MB

Bundle Software
Cyberlink

Disc Formats
Write: DVD+/-RW,DVD+/-R,CD-R,CD-RW,DVD-RAM
Read: BD-ROM,BD-R,BD-RE,DVD-ROM,DVD+/-RW,DVD+/-R,Photo CD,CD-DA,CD-Extra,CD-Text,CD-R,CD-RW,DVD-RAM

Dimension (WxHxD)
157x142x21 mm

Weight
412 g
 
Whilst the write specifications aren't amazingly impressive, Asus have still supplied a drive that is capable of burning CD's and DVD's at a reasonable speed. I do not think that these will be massively important to those paying the premium for this portable Blu Ray drive as I would expect they are getting it to watch Blu Rays on!  
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Most Recent Comments

01-09-2009, 09:15:37

FarFarAway
Asus produces the worlds first slim external Blu Ray drive and we get our hands on it to take a good look at this rather sexy looking bit of kit.

Check it out

02-09-2009, 17:26:58

Rastalovich
Outrageous !

Have to be fair, they're taking quite a micky on the pricing of this unit. Whilst I can understand the styling and that it's probably aimed at those who either have a laptop/netbook without, or media center that's currently dvd only, - look stylish - but even so 150.

I'd have to look at a BR-ROM/DVDRW being in the region of 50 and a caddie/adapter being 20?? ish max/min. It's 80 or so worth of style, and as u say, probably lacking in the bundle department - although it'd probably be contract based. But having said that, there are some awesome BBC documentaries, atleast, that would show-off the capabilities. Other than that, if it was a BR-RAM.. it would turn it into an awesome piece of kit.

I look at the construction and I'm thinking a laptop drive in a fancy caddie.

I don't know that an audio connector would work in same way either. For a pc, many of them have atleast coax inputs, I know not many laptops do.

I dunno, good reviewage, but it's a big spend for not so much imo. Could be so much better for the same price I feel.

02-09-2009, 17:55:07

FarFarAway
Not sure what you mean about audio connector matey? Using the drive as a laptop addition you'd only be benefitting from the HD video and have to sacrifice the audio imo

If you look at laptop Blu Ray drives, the cheapest around is 120ish I believe (linky), so that ups the price somewhat. However, I do agree (and it's reflected in the conclusion), that the price is too much. Around 100 would most likely be a fairer price for a stylish 'lifestyle' device that plays Blu Ray.

02-09-2009, 18:09:21

Rastalovich
I was thinking about something as simple as a pin pass-thru for the hd audio pins u get on bare units. Pins to a phono socket or something. Could just be a jack, and supply u with a jack->phono lead.

Bit confusing perhaps cos the player I was thinking of for 50 or so is like a pioneer regular pc one, not a laptop one. But that's taking all the looks out of the equation and just being practical I guess.

Laptop ones are still quite expensive, so u can see their expense in that department, and keeping in with their slim design, only a laptop one would suffice.

02-09-2009, 18:36:32

FarFarAway
Soz mate you've lost me. Currently the only thing that passes HD audio (bitstream) is an HDMI socket or the dual USB interface on this drive.

An AV receiver can decode HD audio and send it out via an analogue connection (RCA out), but the HD audio has to be decoded by the Amp first and usually this is used to pass to a power Amp in a Pre-Power Amp situation with high end audio to power high end audiophile speakers. A PS3 or Blu Ray player (or one of these link link two cards) can decode HD audio then pass 6 channels (5.1), out using uncompressed linear PCM via Digital Optical or Digital Coaxial.

03-09-2009, 05:25:41

Rastalovich
Yeah on that drive, but the units essentially have the ability (although not wired up in most cases) to have the pins available ala the drive I got:

http://img.directcanada.com/images/P...DC-202BK_1.jpg

With these, similar to oldfashioned ide drives and their audio outputs, u can tap into these sources to channel a socket that a user can use for a decoder or whatever.

Generally, units since the adoption of SATA, have not put the headers for these onto the pcb and u'll just get a SATA & Power ports. Even tho the solder points are there.

As I mentioned tho, this would be an alternative build as ASUS have gone down the latop-in-a-caddie approach.

03-09-2009, 13:32:37

FarFarAway
And the sound output wouldn't be high def either as the bandwidth of those ports isn't the required 24.5Mb/sec afaik (correct me if I'm wrong)

03-09-2009, 14:59:36

Rastalovich
U know, I don't know the bandwidth.

But legend has it, u connect the pins to ur gfxcard to get hd audio through the hdmi output.

03-09-2009, 16:57:54

FarFarAway
Except that graphics cards can't bitstream HD audio afaik.

04-09-2009, 05:46:36

Rastalovich
HD audio on graphics cards has been around, or atleast promoted, since '08 some time. Never reviewed, never tested, never scrutinized.

Believe ATI cards came along with it first as a pass-thru, whereas nVidia stuck it on their cards, made it look like a fan header, and said nothing.

U go online to get any help about it.... mid '08 or so and there'd be nothing.

Just googling now and there are threads about it on the AV forums, even suggestions - how time has changed.

Deal being, I think this needs some study myself. No one has done anything worth linking about. Normally it's just stated that the cards have it and move along quickly to how fast this htpc gpu plays Crysis.

04-09-2009, 06:34:26

FarFarAway
Yeah agreed with you mate, never got any detail from ATI or Nvidia on it really and it would only work on HDMI enabled cards.

04-09-2009, 07:16:54

stevej696
Looks damn good but 150!

04-09-2009, 09:06:50

FarFarAway
Asus think the street price is going to be lower than 150, but it will have to come down a lot below that!

01-10-2009, 12:27:34

wtfmom
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='stevej696'
Looks damn good but 150!
What were you expecting? It seems reasonable to me for the quality they're providing.
Reply
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