If you want to back up files, record CDs, and watch DVD movies on the road, Sony Electronics suggests you travel light: The companys new CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drives are ultra-slim (measuring just 5.1 by 5.3 by 0.7 inches) and lightweight.
Available with either PC Card (model CRX85A/A1) or USB 2.0 interfaces (model CRX85U/A2), the compact combo drives offer 20X maximum CD-R recording, with Sonys Power-Burn technology to prevent buffer underruns and ruined discs; they also deliver 8X DVD and 24X CD-ROM reads.
The PC Card drive comes with a Windows software suite including CyberLink PowerDVD for watching movies; Bs Recorder Gold and Bs Clip for creating data backups and custom music, data, and video CDs and accessing CD-R or -RW discs like floppy disks; Dantz Retrospect Express backup; and ArcSoft PhotoBase, PhotoStudio, and VideoImpression image and video editing. The USB 2.0 model, which is backward compatible with USB 1.1 (with 6X write speed), adds Macintosh software as well.
Shipping in December, the drives cost $329 each.
Eric Grevstad is managing editor of sister site, Hardware Central.