CD Writers

Despite living in a world where hard disks are insanely cheap, and removable media incredibly small, the humble CD doesn't show any signs of being superseded the way it has replaced the floppy disk. Although the CD was originally a read-only medium, the development of rewritable disks has meant that the floppy disk is no longer necessary, besides the fact that its humble 1.4MB is not enough for anything but the simplest of documents anymore. Additionally, the competition in removable media has thinned, with things like ZIP, JAZ and Super Floppy disks no longer being cost-effective or as widely used as CD-ROM drives.

On the other hand, however, it is worth remembering that you can pick up an 80GB hard disk for under $300- that's equivalent to about 120 CDs. That works out to less than half a cent per megabyte, but blank CDs will still only cost you half of that and rewritables will work out about the same. Add to that the fact that a standard IDE hard disk can read and write at least 60MB per second, compared to only 5MB per second for CDs. Still, the fact remains that CDs are durable, portable, convenient, small and cheap.

Whether you are looking for a cost-effective backup solution, or you just want to share files with your friends, a CD writer is pretty much an essential ingredient of any PC these days. Whatever your reasons, there are a few key considerations to bear in mind when looking at purchasing a burner:

Advantages

  • CD media are very cheap
  • Recording speeds of 40x let you burn CDs in under three minutes
  • Portability
  • Compatibility with almost all computers and audio devices
  • Long shelf life (theoretically up to 100 years)
  • Buffer underrun protection means you can use your PC while you burn
  • CDs are more durable than magnetic media such as hard disks

Disadvantages

  • May require you to stop using your PC while you burn CDs
  • Rewritable disks are slower and more expensive than write-once CDs
  • Slow capacity compared to DVD writers, which are becoming more affordable

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

PC World Staff

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?