How To Choose The Best External DVD Player For Laptop

Some laptops no longer have a DVD player when you may still need them. That is why there are external DVD players.

To be more compact, current PCs get rid of certain components that are no longer overused. Among them, the DVD player. While we are in an entirely digital age, most of the content is dematerialized: movies are on streaming platforms, games on clients in the Cloud … It is therefore logical that the DVD player has become somewhat obsolete for them. most modern machines. However, it can still be used because you may need or want to read software, games, movies or music CDs on your computer. For this reason, it is advisable to purchase an external DVD player that connects to USB. Follow the guide established by Les Very Goods to find the reader that’s right for you.

Why Choose an External DVD Player

This is the first question we can ask ourselves. Indeed, if these have disappeared from laptops, or even sometimes from certain fixed towers (even if it is very easy to add one), why would you want to buy an external DVD player? There can be multiple reasons for this. Already, quite simply, to be able to listen to music on CD. Of course, with all online platforms it is practical to create an account to listen to your favorite artists. But not everything may be available online. And you may want to extract the tracks from your CD in MP3 just to have them on your computer. Or, you may want to burn data to a CD. Whether documents, videos, photos,

Finally, it is quite possible to use software or games that do not have a dematerialized version and require a disc to operate. It is not because we bought a state-of-the-art, ultrabook, thin and flat computer that we will only use recent software on it. It is therefore possible to remedy all these problems by obtaining a small external DVD player, which in addition will be powered via the USB socket which connects it to the computer. And when you are done with what you have to do with it, you put it away and your laptop is fully mobile.

1# The ASUS Powerful External DVD Drive for Laptop

Product Features

  • Two cables, USB and USB-C
  • The slightly futuristic design
  • Cord a little short

Product Description

ASUS plays the card of originality in terms of design with its external DVD burner drive. The manufacturer understood that the characteristics of this product are more or less the same and therefore bet on a futuristic appearance. It is possible to connect it via USB but also with a USB-C type socket to connect to a Mac. It is able to read and write CDs at 16x speed and DVDs at 8x. On top of that, anti-shock technology prevents it from jumping during reading and writing, which could damage the disc. The reader measures 9.5 x 2.5 x 6.5 inches which makes it a compact device. The two cables, USB and USB-C, are stored under the device so that they do not drag and destabilize the reader.

2# Amicool Best External DVD Drive for Mac

Product Features

  • Simple and efficient
  • The USB-C tip
  • Slightly plastic finishes

Product Description

Amicool is making a name for itself in the CD / DVD reader and writer market with its simple but efficient model. The player is sober with an entirely black design and a single button on the front to bring in / out the tray. A light diode indicates the activity, or not, of the disc so that it can be removed safely. The supplied USB cable is a 3.0 but comes with a tip to make it compatible with USB-C interfaces found on Macs. It reads and burns CD-R / W at 24x and DVD-R / W at 8x. It measures 15 x 16 x 3 cm which ranks it among the standards of the genre.

3# The Gotega External DVD Drive for Laptop

Product Features

  • An original design and color
  • USB-C tip for Macs
  • White and honeycomb design

Product Description

As we have already seen a little above, some manufacturers rely on design rather than on the performance, capped, of their player. This is the case of this model signed Gotega which opts for a white and honeycomb design of the most beautiful effect. As far as technical skills are concerned, we are on the classic with reading and write speeds at 24x for CDs and 8x for DVDs. The device plugs into USB but also has a USB-C tip for Macs. Underneath are four small non-slip feet that allow the player to stay in place when you press the “eject” button or when the jerks inherent in reading or writing are felt.

4# Rioddas External DVD Player for PC

Product Features

  • Efficient and Quiet
  • Accommodate both CDs and DVDs
  • Plug’n’Play technology

Product Description

Let’s finish our comparison with an external CD / DVD player from Kingbox. All dressed in black, its surface is slightly bumpy to give a little cachet to its design. The device measures 140mmX140mmX17mm for 350 grams and can accommodate both CDs and DVDs, whether for reading or burning. The cable can be stored underneath to take up a minimum of space and there is a single USB side for standard 3.0 and a USB-C side for Macs. This reader/writer is compatible with models from Windows 98 and up to now, and Macs from iOS 8.6 and above. It is a Plug’n’Play technology where you just have to plug it in and it is immediately operational. A beautiful support product that will support your compact PC lacking an optical drive.

5# LG Electronics Best External Blu Ray Burner

Product Features

  • Can read everything, and at suitable speeds
  • Can be used on Windows as well as on Mac or Linux

Product Description

For a few years now, blu-ray has gradually established itself in our daily lives. Video games are burned onto blu-rays, movies are released both on this medium and on DVD, and there are even 4K blu-rays with even better picture definitions. It is therefore normal to see the emergence of external readers and burners that support this support, such as the PiAEK model that we are offering here. The fact that it supports blu-ray does not mean that it leaves out other media, on the contrary. This product is versatile: it takes care of both readings / burning your CDs, DVDs, and blu-rays.

In reading it is able to read CDs at 24x, DVDs at 8x, and BDs (Blu-ray discs) at 2x for videos, 6x for data. The writing speed varies according to the formats, layers, and +/- but on average it varies between 2x and 24x. You will be able to play your movies, games, and data discs in all formats on your ultrabook or other portable PC without a drive. Be careful, however, this model does not work with tablets, for example, even if it is possible to plug it in. Indeed, their low voltage prevents them from making them work correctly and could even damage your equipment.

6# ASUS ZenDrive Silver/DVD Drive for Laptop Windows 10

Product Features

  • Five functions in one product
  • Plug and play technology
  • Limited to USB 2.0

Product Description

The ASUS offers here a 5-in-1 external drive for your computer, whether under Windows or MacOS. Indeed, in addition to being able to read your CDs and DVDs (and also to burn them), it is equipped with a USB-C port, two conventional USB ports, an SD card reader and a Flash card reader. . You can therefore use the DVD player as a versatile platform to work and transfer your data. Compatible formats are CD, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM, DVD-RW, DVD ± R, DVD-R DL, CDA, DVD-ROM, VCD, and SVCD. And the device, rather compact, measures only 15.40 cm x 14.30 cm x 1.80 cm. A good, versatile and affordable little product. Please note, however, that it cannot be used as an external DVD player for a TV or a tablet, its use is exclusively reserved for a computer.

7# The Asus ZenDrive U7M Best External DVD Writer

Product Description

  • Very fine
  • Easy to use
  • A little more expensive than the competition, for the brand

Product Description

Asus is a renowned brand in high tech for its various quality products, particularly in terms of computer components. It is therefore normal to find them with an external DVD reader/writer, the Asus ZenDrive U7M. This can be used simply by plugging in USB to your computer and allows you to read your discs as well as burn data on them. The DVD writing speed is 8x, moreover, there are two of 4.7 GB each delivered with the reader/writer so that you can take your first steps. It is a very compact model, with a thickness of 13 mm, which you can easily carry so that you have to read/save your data on the fly every time.

How do I choose an external DVD drive?

Product Strength

In addition to all the technical criteria, which we will see below, to choose your external DVD player, you must also take into account its robustness. Indeed, these devices are mainly used with laptops, ultrabooks, which are not provided. These PCs, because of their name of “portable”, are transported almost everywhere to be used nomadically. This means that, potentially, the external DVD player will also be transported everywhere, for occasional use.

It is, therefore, necessary that this one is a minimum resistant in order to be able to withstand the various voyages which it will make. Of course, a big part of its longevity will depend on the carrying case you put it in. But it must also be made with resistant materials. The most common failures of external DVD players are in the drawer. This locks in the closed/open position and must then be released manually. If the solution is quite simple to close it, to open it you need, most of the time, a sharp object to loosen the drawer.

Some models offer a push-button, but it is an admission of technical weakness at this level to offer one. Strength, therefore, is an important point. Unfortunately, there is no miracle recipe for finding an external DVD drive other than using it. Even if we advise you, in general, to turn to well-known brands or, failing that, to rely on the comments of users who have bought it before you.

DVD +/- R: what is it?

When you go to choose your external DVD drive, and even when you go to buy blank DVDs for burning (or CDs), you are going to come across information like + R or -R. There are also RW type CD / DVDs, but we will come back to this a little later. If the R is there to signify that the disc is Recordable, what do the + and – beside it mean? Well this is a very important indicator which tells you how well you can burn your DVDs.

If you take a DVD-R and burn something on it, whatever it is, you can only do it once. By this mean that once the burning is finished, an output strip is written on the surface of the disc. This means that you will not be able to add anything afterward. It will no longer be possible to burn it, it is final. So you understand that, in contrast, a DVD + R allows multiple burns so that you can keep adding data to the disc as long as there is room for it. Be careful, however, if it is possible to chain the burns together, they are just as definitive as on DVD-Rs, in the sense that you will not be able to erase what you have put on the DVD. That is the prerogative of DVD-RWs that we will see later. And of course,

Layers and sides of CDs and DVDs

By choosing your external DVD drive, you will have access to the list of CD / DVDs that it is able to support, in reading as in burning. You will see read speeds and also indications if these media are single or double layer and sided. Double-sided CD / DVDs are easy: it means there is a readable / burnable surface on each side of the disc. Where usually one side is reserved for the cover of a film or to write in the marker what the disc contains, here you can again burn data. So the CD / DVD is, in a way, reversible. This has the advantage of doubling its storage area, but it makes it extremely fragile.

The same goes for the layers, the layers. DVDs can have a single or double layer, ie two levels for playing / burning content. The first films to be released on DVD also suffered from a slight jump in the image when the reader went from one layer to another, as if in the cinema the projectionist changed reels. As with the sides, having a double layer allows the storage capacity of the disc to be doubled. Thus, a single-layer, single-sided DVD will have four times less storage space than a double-layer, double-sided DVD. So it can vary from 4.7 GB in the smallest case, up to 17.08 GB in the largest.


To choose your external DVD player correctly, you have to know what you need. Like internal drives, these can of course read DVDs, but it is also possible to opt for models capable of burning. This can be useful for several reasons: to save important files or photos, make backup copies of your movies or games, etc. The DVD remains a relatively large and practical storage space since it is easily transportable. Blank DVDs do not cost much to purchase and the burning speed of the machines has increased, aided by the 3.0 or even 3.1 standard of USB ports which allows faster transfer speeds.

But if you want a DVD player that just reads, that’s also possible, although most models today are versatile and very competitively priced.

Read and Write Speed

Reading speed is an essential criterion, whether reading or burning. Indeed it defines how often the lens will read the disc, which can affect the quality of the reading of a disc. Fortunately today the speeds are standard and even an external USB DVD drive can give excellent results. Thus, in burning, a reader can go up to 16x in speed and in reading in 16 or 32x. These are typical speeds that you will find on all models of external DVD players.

We spoke to you a little earlier about single and double-layer DVDs. Note that this may affect the burning speed. Indeed, we note, and this is normal, that a double layer DVD will be a little slower to burn than a single layer. Your best bet is to choose a DVD that can support the maximum speed of your burner, in order to optimize performance. They are no longer too widespread, but be aware that recorders with a speed of 1x burn a single-layer DVD in about 1 hour, against 1 hour 45 minutes for a double layer. For comparison, at the other end of the spectrum, a 32x burner takes care of a single layer DVD in 3 minutes and a double layer in 4 minutes. Between these two opposites, there is a large number of engraving speeds.

As we have already told you, you have to adapt your DVDs to your burner, or possibly its burner to its DVDs if you haven’t bought one yet. We advise you of course to take the most powerful and fast model, in order to save you precious time when using them.

Software and formats

If you plan to use your player as a burner, you need to look at compatible formats. Make sure they can read and write CDs and DVDs as well as DVD-Rs and DVD-RWs. These are very practical because they are re-recordable DVDs. This means you can burn them, erase them, and rewrite them at your leisure. You have to buy DVD-RWs, of course, but the savings are quite significant in the long run. And while all burners burn DVD-Rs, you need slightly more advanced models, common today, to burn DVD-RWs. So if it’s a feature that interests you, make sure it’s integrated into the description.

Burning and reading CDs / DVDs does not just happen and you need software to do it. And if today we find free solutions on the Internet, some readers are sold with more complete software suites. This can be interesting because they are often sold relatively expensive on the sites of publishers, or else offered in versions stripped of certain features. If you are looking for a turnkey solution, do not hesitate to opt for a reader / writer supplied with its software.


External DVD players are products that have become niche but still have a bright future ahead of them. Some brands are now selling ultra-compact laptops that separate from their optical drive to gain space. But many people still need it and have to turn to this solution which is more convenient than it looks. It is Plug’n’Play which does not require any installation: it is enough to connect it so that it is immediately usable. And if you don’t use it, you unplug it and put it away. It’s that simple.

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