Grab on the best external CD/DVD drives and get yours now!
Every passing day, laptop manufacturers are competing in order to make a powerful laptop that leaves every other brand behind and is also lightweight. And for achieving a thinner and light-weight laptop, they have considered removing the standard built-in DVD/CD drive.
Today rarely any laptop has a built-in DVD/CD drive. This leads to the ever-growing demand for CD ROM external drives in this era. The CD ROM external drives are usually portable and they connect to your laptop via a USB port so they are also called USB DVD drive. Like ordinary usual CD/DVD drives, they perform the same functions like reading, writing, or copying any optical disk.
We have compiled a list of the best laptops that come with a CD ROM external drives here.
Best External DVD Drives to Buy in 2022 by Category
Best Overall – LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Super Ultra Slim Portable DVD Writer Drive GP65NB60
‘The unique balance of price, performance, and compatibility that LG GP65NB60 provides is unmatched by any other DVD drive we reviewed.‘
Best Budget – External CD Drive By Novapolt USB 3.0
‘Novapolt’s DVD drive offers insane value at its budget price.’
Best for Linux – Pioneer BDR-XD05B 6x Slim Portable USB 3.0 Blu-Ray Burner
‘Despite being small and light this drive supports BDXL and works like a breeze on Linux machines.’
Best for MacOS – Pioneer Electronics USA Slim External Blu-Ray Writer (BDR-XU03)
‘Surprisingly the best DVD drive for Mac is not Apple’s USB SuperDrive and for good reason. Unlike Apple’s drive, the BDX-XU03 has support for Blu-Ray while costing less.’
Best for Windows – Dell DW316 External USB Slim DVD R/W Optical Drive
‘Dell’s DVD drive is sleek and smart and comes with a useful software suite you can install and use on Windows.’
Buying Guide – Choosing the Best External DVD Drive:
For your convenience, here we have listed some important features that you should consider before buying a DVD external drive. This will help you find a reliable product and you won’t regret it later. We have considered the same factors in our reviews below to rank each of the product options.
The first thing you should take into account is the read and write speed of any DVD driver. Today most external DVD drivers or external CD drivers come with the USB plug-in version. Make sure your CD ROM external drive supports USB 3.0 as this is faster than the old USB 2.0 and is also backward compatible.
Mostly all external DVD drives work fine with Windows and Mac OS. If you have a somewhat older version of either of the mentioned OS or any other, remember to check if this DVD drive is compatible with your version of OS. Besides, many of them do not support Blu-Ray.
Although, today many external DVD drives are portable and offer high mobility. But still, there are some which you can only use at home and cannot carry around. It is better to have a small, compact, and portable one so that you can easily use it anywhere you want.
Since optical disks are rotated inside CD/DVD drives and its noise can easily be heard when you’re either writing or reading from a disk. So if you do not want to be annoyed by the sound it makes which reading/writing, make sure to go with the best external DVD/CD drives that use noise reduction technology.
The price of an external DVD drive depends upon the features it provides you. Mostly it ranges from $20-$200. The cheaper the price, the less reliable the drive will be (most of the cases). If you want to ensure the solid tough design and high speed, you might want to spend some bucks.
The extensive caring of electronic gadgets applies to external DVD drivers as well. Mostly the external DVD drives are fragile and they must be handled with care. Many of them are made of plastic. If good quality plastic is used, it can be durable and reliable. Usage of proper and quality material make the best external DVD drives.
Most devices come with a 1 year or up to 2 years of warranty period. Make sure to buy the DVD external drive with a warranty card, so that it can be replaced if it has any manufactured faults and errors.
The external drive CD/DVD also comes in handy if you have a PC or laptop with a broken built-in DVD drive. If you’re intending to buy the best external CD or DVD drives in terms of speed, design, cost, and viability, you’ve come to the right place.
Here we have captured the best external CD or DVD drives for PCs and Mac and provided you with enough information on every gadget and as well as given you Buying Guide above so that you can get the best one for your device.
For readers, not interest in reading a lengthy article, here is the quick review:
11 Best External DVD Drives to Buy in 2022
|Product||USB version(s)||Works on Windows?||Works on Macs?||Transfer Speed||Shop at|
|1.||LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Super Ultra Slim Portable DVD Writer Drive GP65NB60||2.0||Yes||Yes||480 Mbps|
|2.||Pioneer BDR-XD05B 6x Slim Portable USB 3.0 Blu-Ray Burner (Black)||3.0||Yes||Yes||4.8 Gbps|
|3.||Dell DW316 External USB Slim DVD R/W Optical Drive||3.0||Yes||Yes||4.8 Gbps|
|4.||Asus ZenDrive Ultra Slim USB 2.0 External 8X DVD Optical Drive||2.0||Yes||Yes||480 Mbps|
|5.||Cocopa USB 3.0 External CD/DVD-RW Drive, Superdrive For High-Speed Data Transfer||3.0||Yes||Yes||4.8 Gbps|
|6.||Pioneer Electronics USA Slim External Blu-Ray Writer (BDR-XU03)||3.0||Yes||Yes||4.8 Gbps|
|7.||Apple USB SuperDrive||–||Yes||Yes||–|
|8.||Sea Tech Aluminum External USB DVD+RW,-RW Drive for MacBook||2.0||Yes||Yes||480 Mbps|
|9.||VersionTECH USB 3.0 Portable DVD External Drive Compatible with Apple Mac and Laptop||3.0||Yes||Yes||4.8 Gbps|
|10.||External CD Drive By Novapolt USB 3.0||3.0||Yes||Yes||4.8 Gbps|
|11.||Samsung USB 2.0 Ultra Portable External DVD Writer Model SE-218CB/RSBS||2.0||Yes||Yes||480 Mbps|
1. LG Electronics 8X USB 2.0 Super Ultra Slim Portable DVD Writer Drive GP65NB60
LG is one of the finest and top manufacturers of great laptops and other electronic gadgets. Their external DVD drives are considered one of the best due to their slim design and portability. They are great to buy since they’re quite cheap and have many cool features unlike many other drives on this list.
Although it comes with a USB 2.0 which seems quite absurd, they are still very reliable and fast (up to 480 Mbps). This USB DVD drive is 3.0 compatible and has M-Disc support. It is just 14 mm in height which makes it quite mobile and easy to carry.
The best part of this external DVD drive is that it lets you enjoy your videos on a TV via a USB connection. It also comes with a noise reduction technology which will reduce the noise depending upon the media you’re transferring from or to it. Its plug and play on PC and Mac so you can start using it from the get-go.
When it comes to the size, it is almost as small as it can get at 5.6″ x 0.6″ x 5.4″ inches so you can easily carry it around. It’s pretty quiet in operation. According to a long-term user, the drive still runs perfectly after 2 years of use and burning around 200 DVDs.
LG used plastic to manufacture the body of this DVD drive. It helps lower the cost. However, it does not give a premium look like the sixth item on our list by Pioneer Electronics that uses a magnesium build.
It supports various types of Disc formats such as DVD + R, RW DVD-R, and RW DVD-RAM. Just for $28.99 and a 1-year warranty, this is one of the best CD ROM external drives you can buy. It works smoothly and eases the copying/transferring of data.
Pros & Cons:
|Slim Design (14 mm) almost as thick as a pencil||Absence of USB 3.0|
|Solid Build Design||Plastic build feels a bit substandard|
|USB Powered so no need for another cable|
|TV connection is supported|
|Great value for money|
|Dimensions||5.6 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches|
2. Pioneer BDR-XD05B 6x Slim Portable USB 3.0 Blu-Ray Burner (Black)
If you are running a Linux OS, you might want to consider this external DVD drive. It works right of the box on Linus and some versions of Windows. This drive is also compatible with many other versions of Windows and Mac as well. It sets itself apart by being one of the smallest and lightest DVD drives that support BDXL. Its height is about 14 mm and weighs about 230 grams only.
However, unlike the LG GP65NB60 reviewed above, this DVD drive needs software installation on some platforms before it can be used. The software suite comes with the product.
The ultra-slim Pioneer BDR-XD065B can read and write in various formats such as BD-R triple-layer, BD-R quad-layer, BD-RE triple-layer, and Blu-Ray discs, and that too up to media of hundreds of GB. Moreover, its interface is USB 3.0 which is a plus point that makes it faster.
It extracts enough power from the laptop via a USB port and hence does not require an AC adaptor. Apart from being slim, this drive is super fast, with 6x2 writing on BD-R dual layers and 4x writing speed on triple and quad layers. However, it can be noisy when performing at full capacity.
One of the key features of this external DVD drive is that it comes with two smart modes or functions called Auto Quiet mode and Power Read. With Auto Quiet mode, the drive adjusts the disc rotation speed to reduce noise whereas, in Power Read mode, it can effectively provide smooth movie playback even if the disc has some fingerprints or minor scratches on it.
Although with all these features, the price tag is quite hefty at $159.99 making it one of the most expensive DVD drives we reviewed. The drive comes in a clamshell design which means it opens from the top to place the CD/DVDs. This design is great if you have limited horizontal space on your desk.
Pioneer provides a limited warranty of 1-year for the BDR-XD065B for parts and labor.
Pros & Cons:
|Slim and Lightweight (230 grams)||Expensive|
|USB 3.0 makes playback and transfers more smooth||Can be loud at high speeds|
|Fast/Speedy||Requires some extra third-party software|
|Auto Quiet/Power Read Feature|
|Dimensions||5.24 x 5.24 x 0.58 inches|
3. Dell DW316 External USB Slim DVD R/W Optical Drive
Dell is a leading tech company that produces quality and reliable products as well as DVD external drives. It is pretty slim and does not compromise on its speed. It can quickly burn all your discs.
Now you can perform other various operations as it comes pre-loaded with Cyberlink Media Suite. This means that unlike the Pioneer BDR-XD05B reviewed above, you don’t need to separately install the software suite.
This external drive is one of the most portable ones and weighs about 250 grams. You can easily carry it around with its small form factor of 5.41 x 5.67 x 0.55 inches.
It has a quite simple design yet elegant one with rubber pads at the bottom for better grip. No external power is required for this, as it gets sufficient power from the USB connection. It has a 24x CD and 8x DVD read speed. Although the plastic build is prone to collecting fingerprints which is annoying. But the overall quality is above average.
This is quite easy to handle as it does not require extra drivers. You simply have to plug it in and use it. It is best for computer amateurs.
Dell DW316 is an excellent value for money with 2-years limited warranty along with its slim, unique design and durability. This really can be proved worth and is highly recommended. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac.
Pros & Cons:
|Slim, elegant design with a small form factor||Does not support Blu-ray|
|CyberLink Media Suite pre-installed||Supports less formats compared to some other DVD drives|
|Affordable price even with USB 3.0||The plastic body collects fingerprints|
|Easy to use|
|Dimensions||5.41 x 5.67 x 0.55 inches|
4. Asus ZenDrive Ultra Slim USB 2.0 External 8X DVD Optical Drive
If you own a slim and smart laptop without a built-in CD/DVD drive, Asus ZenDrive might be your choice. With only 13 mm thickness, it is a perfect partner for your slim laptop. Its DVD reading and writing capabilities go up to 8x speed. It works on both Mac and Windows.
It comes with a variety of advanced features such as backup and other storing features and supports M-Disc format. The M-Disc technology helps users to protect their data and ensures maximum preservation of data and media.
Asus ZenDrive is slim and comes with attractive concentric circles designs which set it apart. However, the casing is not very stiff. This is a problem because if you accidentally press on the top while it’s operating, it might stop accepting disks at all. As a result, the casing is low quality especially compared to the magnesium build of Pioneer BDR-XU03 reviewed at number six.
This external drive has Cyberlink Power2go 8 Software which encrypts your data while you’re reading or writing from the disc and also simplifies the burning process. The nicest thing about this DVD player for laptop is that it has a very efficient and strong backup solution that is compatible with Windows and Mac and as well as for Android (Nero Backup).
Although USB 3.0 is absent and unlike most other DVD drives on our list, it required two USB 2.0 connections to work. The second wire is attached along the end of the wire. This makes it easy to connect both the wires if your laptop has at least two USB ports on the same side. Otherwise, you’d need a USB extension cable.
Above all, it is ultra-slim and one of the thinnest drives amongst all mentioned here.
Pros & Cons:
|Slim, Sophisticated design||No USB 3.0|
|Reasonable price but looks expensive||Pretty fragile (needs proper handling)|
|Great Backup with Cyberlink Power2go 8 Software||Might need some extra connections|
|Supports M-Disc||Does not support Blu-Ray disks|
|Dimensions||7.1 x 7 x 2.4 inches|
|Drive Type||DVD+R DL|
5. Cocopa USB 3.0 External CD/DVD-RW Drive
Cocopa is an excellent external CD drive with a smooth textured-type design that prevents fingerprints and provides a good grip unlike the Dell DW316 reviewed above. It incorporates USB 3.0 but a little larger than some other DVD drives on this list.
With a USB 3.0 interface, this external DVD drive ensures that your data is transmitted to the optical disc securely and swiftly. USB 3.0 is also less prone to data corruption and is much better than USB 2.0. This device is backward compatible with USB 2.0 too.
Cocopa external CD drive works on plenty of platforms such as Windows, Linux, and almost all versions of Mac. It is simple to use. All you have to do is to plug it in and use it. No extra drivers are required. It does not require any extra power source, only a USB connection to a PC or laptop is sufficient.
If we talk about the speed of this drive then it is no less than others. It comes with a whopping speed of 8X read speed for DVDs, 24X for CDs, and 8K burn speed for CDs.
The build quality is average considering the plastic casing but it is durable enough for a DVD drive.
It also supports noise reduction while reading and writing to disc which sets it apart from similar DVD drives. With its elegant design, it is a powerful and one of the best external CD drive that supports multiple media types and formats.
Pros & Cons:
|Noise reduction||No M-Disc Support|
|USB 3.0 interface||Less reliable|
|Works across different OS platforms||Compatibility issues sometimes|
|A little thicker and heavier than some other DVD drives|
|Dimensions||6.7 x 6.5 x 1.1 inches|
6. Pioneer Electronics USA Slim External Blu-Ray Writer (BDR-XU03)
The BDR-XU03 is an amazing CD/DVD burner that supports Blu-Ray and has a USB 3.0 interface. One of the fascinating features of this external DVD driver is that its body is made up of Magnesium, unlike other drives that are made up of plastic except for the Apple USB SuperDrive and Sea Tech drives reviewed below.
This drive supports BDXL discs and is also backward compatible with CD and DVD media. It can transfer data up to 6x2 speed for BD-R and BD-R DL media and 4x writing speed on BD-R triple and quad layers.
Like Pioneer BDR-XD05B, this Pioneer device also comes with the feature of Auto Quiet Mode and Power Read. It means that while burning your optical disc, its noise won’t spoil the pleasure of listening to music. Although it can be a bit noisy when running at full capacity.
Moreover, slight scratches on CD/DVD discs are no problem for this external DVD drive to read from. This drive lets you extract the data as accurately as possible.
The package also includes a plastic stand which is to support the DVD drive vertically. This is good if you have limited space on your desk. However, there is always the possibility of knocking it over by accident. Moreover, the stand is somewhat lighter considering the 8.6 ounces weight of the DVD drive.
This is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an all-in-one external drive. It does not require any extra power source. You will be surprised if you come to know its height, which is only 11 mm, the lowest amongst all mentioned here.
Pros & Cons:
|Smooth design with premium build||Expensive|
|USB 3.0 interface||Can be loud for large data files|
|Fast and reliable|
|Auto Quiet/Power Read Feature|
|Dimensions||5.24 x 5.21 x 0.47 inches|
7. Apple USB SuperDrive
Apple has its own name in the tech industry. Nobody can deny the quality, flexibility, viability, and durability of Apple products. Although they are quite expensive, yet they are no match for others.
Exclusively for Mac and Apple Laptops, Apple has introduced its own Apple USB External DVD drive. It has a great design, like all other Apple products. You can easily burn CDs and DVDs on this and backup your data as well.
Apple’s SuperDrive also works on Windows PCs but you need to install drivers after plugging it in for the first time.
This external DVD drive is extremely portable and you can easily carry it around and take it on tours as well. If you own a Macbook, you might want to consider this external drive is compatible with every Apple laptop. However, it does not work on some Mac versions like High Sierra.
Like the Pioneer BDR-XU03 reviewed above, the DVD drive does not use a plastic casing. Instead it sets itself apart with a sleek aluminum build. Although there is a strange design choice made by Apple that is misleading for users. The Apple logo is on the bottom so most users end up trying to connect it the wrong side up. The right side up is the plain side.
It does not require any extra power source as it extracts the power from your Mac’s battery. The bottom line is that although the build quality is good, if you are looking for maximum features out of a DVD drive, this is a pricey option which does not offer all the features.
Pros & Cons:
|Signature Apple compact and minimalist design||Some built-in issues|
|Noiseless in operation||Expensive|
|Decent performance||Blu-ray compatibility is missing|
|Dimensions||8.1 x 2.8 x 7.8 inches|
8. Sea Tech Aluminum External USB DVD+RW,-RW Drive
If you think Apple USB SuperDrive is quite expensive and you want another way around, Sea Tech might be your choice then. Made up of an Aluminum casing, this external DVD drive is just as fast as other drives at a reasonable price. Its design is at par with Apple’s one and will look good with your Mac. Although it is not as durable as Apple’s SuperDrive.
You can burn your data on CD or DVD disc quite easily with this one. It is simple to use. Moreover, if you need any technical support, Sea Tech got you covered with this too. If you are not really tech-savvy, you can call upon them for help.
Sea Tech has come up with a sophisticated design and tried to match Apple’s product level so that you won’t hesitate to buy it for your Mac. This is also the best option for your Mac if you don’t want to spend a premium on the Apple SuperDrive. Although it does not support USB 3.0 it is still worth it.
It sets itself apart by providing both USB and C port cables in the package.
Apart from its cool design, it also works efficiently and swiftly. It is powerful and reads/writes disc quickly. For your Mac, this isn’t really a bad option. This can be regarded as one of the best external cd drives for Mac. It is also compatible with Windows. It works on both platforms without needing any installations.
Pros & Cons:
|Sleek Design||No USB 3.0|
|Aluminum Casing makes it stand out from the plastic DVD drives||No Noise Reduction|
|Plug and play with Mac and Windows||Speed is just okay|
|Premium external DVD Super-Multi drive|
|Dimensions||7.8 x 7.4 x 1.97 inches|
9. VersionTECH USB 3.0 Portable DVD External Drive
Most of the laptop manufacturing companies hardly consider built-in DVD drives for laptops in order to get portability and lesser weight. It really gets hectic to get a good external DVD drives as you have many options.
VersionTECH comes with a USB 3.0 interface which means faster transmission of data. Along with its slim design, it is also plug-and-play and does not require any extra source of power. It comes with a USB to DC cable in case there is insufficient supply by the laptop.
VersionTECH has an aluminum casing and looks quite nice with your laptop. Although, the build is not as sturdy as Apple’s SuperDrive reviewed above. It uses advanced burning techniques which makes reading and writing quick and easy. It works on both Mac and Windows.
Sometimes Mac may not detect the device but it is compatible. If this happens, a quick reboot can fix the detection issue. Moreover, the eject button does not work when using iTunes. Instead it works by ejecting using the software. However, this may be due to iTunes and not a fault with the drive.
Apart from this, it is also less prone to errors and uses noise reduction technology. In addition, it protects from shocks quite well. These nifty features set it apart from similar DVD drives in the market. It’s just 15 mm thick which is not the thinnest but it still makes it quite portable.
This might be your choice if you are looking for a simple tough DVD drive with powerful reading and writing speed. It has a lot to offer against its price.
Pros & Cons:
|Aluminum Casing gives a sleek and refined look||Issues with Windows 10|
|Slim Design makes it portable enough to carry around||Build quality is not the best|
|USB 3.0 Interface|
|Advanced burning techniques|
|Dimensions||5.91 x 5.59 x 0.59 inches|
10. External CD Drive By Novapolt USB 3.0
With Novapolt’s USB 3.0 interface, you can quickly transfer your data to and from the DVD/CD drive. It requires no external power source and is easy to use.
Novapolt’s external CD Drive is highly optimized and compatible with Windows (including Windows 10) and with Linux and Mac 10 OS. All you need is to connect this to the PC’s USB port and use it.
The earlier versions of this drive came out with the slower USB 2.0 interface. Other than that, the product has also evolved in design although it is still a bit clunkier compared to other DVD drives on our list. As a result, it is not as portable as we’d like.
It guarantees a stable and fast transmission of data due to its copper mesh technology. It is also backward compatible with USB 2.0. This drive has a ballistic speed of 24X for CD and 8X for DVD dual layers.
Along with the compact design, it is highly powerful and has a very high speed of transferring data. It is a very reasonable and reliable external DVD/CD drive that offers the plug-and-play ability, along with other awesome features.
With all these features you’d expect its price to be high. But it’s the best budget option for DVD drives on our list. Though you can feel some cost cutting in the plastic casing. It is a bit flimsy and users need to be careful not to bump it while its in use. Otherwise it might stop working.
Pros & Cons:
|Most affordable DVD drive on our list||No M-Disc Support|
|USB 3.0 Interface||Fragile, build is a bit flimsy|
|Plug-and-play on most platforms|
11. Samsung USB 2.0 Ultra Portable External DVD Writer
Samsung has a name in the smartphone and electronics industry. No doubt Samsung manufactures reliable long-lasting products.
Although this external DVD driver is on the expensive side, you cannot deny the flawless build quality of this product. It can be used for both Windows and Mac. Like other drives, it is also simple to use and is plug-and-play.
It also comes with a noise reduction technology and alters the speed of the rotation, depending upon various defined circumstances. It incorporates smart power technology and does not require any external power source.
Although the connection is USB 2.0, it is compatible with USB 3.0 ports as well. According to a long-term user, Sarasota2k4, the drive is performing great even after 2 years of use.
Along with the cool and slim design, with a textured top that prevents fingerprints. The top of the drive is pushed inwards by the eject button. This makes it easier to press it without the drive blocking your finger. It supports various disc formats such as DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-ROM, etc., and has 8X DVD read/write speed.
Overall it’s good value for money and is bug-free. You can get this one if you’re a Samsung fan.
Pros & Cons:
|Nice looking design||No USB 3.0|
|Works on both Windows and Mac||Expensive|
|Smart Power technology|
|Dimensions||5.8 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches|
Honorary Mention: LG Electronics GP70NS50
LG’s aluminum-cased GP70NS50 comes in a premium build similar to the Apple SuperDrive. It sets itself apart from all the other DVD drives on this list by having a slot mechanism which is albeit shared by the Apple SuperDrive. It evolved from previous models by becoming even thinner making it more portable.
When it comes to speed, although the interface is USB 2.0, the writing speed is of 8x is on par with almost all the DVD drives on our list. It runs quite too. You’d hardly notice much noise from it. The drive works like a breeze on Windows, Macs, and even televisions so you can enjoy your favorite movies on the big screen.
While the overall design is stellar the eject button is way too small. Sometimes there is not enough friction from the drive’s rubber pads on the bottom and you have to hold the drive in place when pressing the button. At its price point, the support for M-Disk is also a plus.
Pros and Cons:
|Minimalist tray-less design||No USB 3.0|
|Works on both Windows and Mac||A little bit expensive|
|Noise reduction and low vibration||Included software is of no use|
Some people are still not comfortable switching to USB flash or cloud service. This article will surely help those who still use an optical disc. Since today companies no longer consider DVD drives while manufacturing laptops, so there is surely an utter need for external DVD drives to serve the purpose.
We have done our job in providing you with the best information available to us so that you can buy the best external DVD drive without any regrets in the future. We have also added the pros and cons of each product along with its description which you might want to consider before buying. So wait no more and get your external drive now!