Burning Power

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff | Posted May 01, 2001
by Joey Latimer

Backpack 4X CD-Rewriter
Rating 85

CD-Rewriters are arguably the first option that should be added to a computer system, whether it be a laptop, desktop, or server. Blank CD-R disks, which hold up to 650MB of data, can be found almost anywhere for under a dollar each(and less than 50 cents on sale). CD-RW disks, which can be re-written, sell for as low as $2 for 650MB. Compare this to the price of other removable storage devices, such as Iomega's Jazz ($99/1GB) and Zip ($15/100MB) drives, and it's obvious that CD-Rs and CD-RWs give a tremendous bang for the buck.

The Backpack 4 CD-Rewriter from MicroSolutions was designed as an easy-to-use and rugged solution for burning your own CDs. The package includes a four-pound Backpack Rewriter unit, cabling to hook it to a PC's parallel or USB port, Adaptec DirectCD, and Easy CD Creator software for burning CDs in formats including: CD-Audio, CD-R, MultiRead CD-RW, Photo CD, CD-ROM XA, ISO 9660, and High Sierra.

It took a painless 15 minutes to hook it to our Pentium III 600MHz computer via the USB port and install the software. Using the Easy CD Creator software we were able to copy, as well as, create audio and data CDs in about 20 minutes (for a CD containing about 600MBs of information). We first had to format the CD-RW disks to use the Direct CD program, which took about half an hour. Then we were able to drag and drop files using My Computer just as if we were using floppy disks or another hard drive.

Our only complaint about the Backpack CD-Rewriter was that it weighted more than our Fujitsu Lifebook laptop in its laptop case. That aside, the Backpack CD-Rewriter worked like a charm and churned out CDs at a rate of approximately three per hour. If thinking about buying this product be sure to understand that carrying it may be difficult. But we're confident you'll find the Backpack CD-Rewriter to be an indispensable add-on.

MicroSolutions
$229
800-890-7227
www.micro-solutions.com
Pros: Rugged; quick; easy to setup and use
Cons: Heavy for carrying in a backpack or with a laptop

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