Creative Blaster CD-RW ED2400 and TDK VeloCD

If you're looking for a solid, portable, external CD burner with buffer underrun protection and dual connectivity (and don't mind forking out $699), look no further than Creative's Blaster CD-RW ED2400.

This drive, weighing little less than 2kg and fitted with a curvy metal exterior casing, is capable of 24x write and 10x re-write speeds, the fruits of which it transfers to your computer system via its FireWire connection. Using the drive via its USB connection will drop both the write and re-write speeds to 4x.

Keep in mind that FireWire provides transfer rates up to 6000Kbps (40x), while with USB it's up to 900Kbps (6x). If you don't have FireWire, it also comes with a USB.

On the other hand, if you are after a very fast internal IDE burner with funky software, TDK will do amazing things to your system. The $399 retail package that arrived from TDK contained everything you need " to install your drive, including an Installation User's Manual, a fold-out setup guide and a fold-out Quick Start guide" for the bundled CD" Blender Software suite. Installation is straightforward and simple, and you'll only have to start fiddling if you need to re-jumper the drive from a Master to a Slave.

Apart from Nero and InCd, the bundled software features a program called Digital Mixmaster Audio Recording. This uses an interface offering 24 controls over ripping, recording and playing music. It took a little over 2.5 minutes to rip a music CD to the hard drive and just 3.25 minutes to burn it.

Expecting clicks and whirrs after such a high-speed burn, I tested the burnt CD on several domestic CD players - revealing the disc to be flawless.

Creative Blaster CD-RW "ED2400

Excellent versatility and portability, but hefty price - in line with other FireWire drives on market.

Price: $699.

Phone: (02) 9666 6100.

URL: www.australia.creative.com.

TDK VeloCD

This excellent package burns flawless CDs quickly.

Price: $399.

Phone: 1800 651 917.

URL: www.tdk.com.au.

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