Pawtec UltraSlim External USB 3.0 Slot-Loading BDXL 3D Blu-Ray Writer review

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Got that sleek new laptop that’s missing an optical drive?  Or maybe you just need to add Blu-ray writing?  The Pawtec UltraSlim External USB 3.0 Slot-Loading BDXL 3D Blu-Ray Writer may be just the thing you need.


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Technical Details

  • USB 3.0 Plug and Play – Works with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, and MAC OS X
  • Ability to read and write CD, DVD and Blu-ray discs
  • Constructed with industry-leading slot loading Blu-Ray writer
  • Watch 3D Blu-ray movie discs (Proper setup such as 3D TV/monitor and glasses is required to utilize 3D)
  • Sleek durable silver top ABS and polycarbonate plastic finish that does not dent or bend with an aluminum slip resistant bottom
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches ; 11 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds

Writing Speed

  • 24x CDR
  • 16x CDRW
  • 8x DVD-R
  • 8x DVD+R
  • 6x DVD-RW
  • 8x DVD+RW
  • 6x DVD-R DL
  • 4x DVD+R DL
  • 5x DVD-RAM
  • 6x BD-R Single & Dual Layer
  • 4x BD-R Triple & Quad Layer
  • 2x BD-RE Single, Dual, & Triple Layer
  • XL BD-RE Quad Layer

Reading Speed

  • 6x BD-ROM (Blu-ray Read)
  • 24x CD
  • 8x DVD
  • 5x DVD-RAM

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The Pawtec drive comes in a simple, fully-recyclable package that’s not much bigger than the drive itself.

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Pawtec on left, Apple on right

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Pawtec on left, Apple on right

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Apple on top, Pawtec on bottom

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Apple on top, Pawtec on bottom

Sharp-eyed readers will notice:  “Wait, that looks exactly like Apple’s USB Superdrive!”  And you would be right.  Behold, the Pawtec!  I mean, the Apple Superdrive!  I mean…  You can tell which is which from the bottom, and the small Pawtec logo on the side.pawtec bluray-08

The Apple USB Superdrive weighs in at about 11.2 ounces.pawtec bluray-09

The Pawtec is close behind at 10.4 ounces.  Although the Pawtec’s silver exterior is plastic (Apple’s is aluminum), they both feel very close in weight in the hand.

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Apple USB on left, Pawtec USB 3.0 (note blue) on right

Another difference is the USB interface.  The Pawtec uses the speedier USB 3.0 spec, and it is 2.0 compatible.  No USB 3.0 on the Apple drive.

The Pawtec worked exactly like its Apple lookalike, with the exception of having Blu-ray and 3D abilities, of course.  I do not have anything with 3D so I didn’t test this.

If you want a sleek, slot-loading external USB, which do you choose?  Well, if you have to have aluminum, get the Apple USB Superdrive.  It’s cheaper ($79) vs. the Pawtec ($179).  However, it may not work on Apple laptops that already have an optical drive built in.

The Pawtec works on both Mac and PC, plus features Blu-ray read/write, 3D capabilities (if you have the other equipment required to watch it), and comes with a USB 3.0 interface.  It also comes in black, if you prefer.  It’s more expensive than the Apple, but it’s definitely more flexible.

 

Product Information

Price:$179 MSRP
Manufacturer:Pawtec
Requirements:
  • USB 3.0 Plug and Play – Works with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, and MAC OS X
Pros:
  • Faster USB 3.0 interface,
  • Reads and writes Blu-ray discs
  • Sleek slot-loading design
  • Comes in silver or black
  • 3D Blu-ray playback
Cons:
  • Slightly expensive, you'll get asked why you paid $100 for this than you'd pay for the Apple lookalike device
Posted in: Computer Gear, Laptops and Gear, Reviews

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • aphoid October 31, 2013, 11:59 am

    It doesn’t, perchance, play back BluRay when hooked up to a Mac, does it?

    1
  • Andy Chen October 31, 2013, 12:01 pm

    Yes it will, but you’ll need a 3rd party app to view it. Apple does not have “official” support of Blu Ray yet.

    2
  • aphoid October 31, 2013, 12:11 pm

    Does it come with the software?

    3
  • Andy Chen October 31, 2013, 12:12 pm

    You only get what you see in the photos: The drive and the box.

    4
  • Pawtec October 31, 2013, 1:29 pm

    Hi All,

    “It’s cheaper ($79) vs. the Pawtec ($179). However, it may not work on Apple laptops that already have an optical drive built in.”

    Just to clarify the Apple Superdrive is only a CD/DVD drive. Our is CD/DVD and Blu-Ray, and it can read and write all 3 formats. Our drive does work with Windows and Apple Laptops with drive’s built in.

    Thanks
    Pawtec

    5
  • Andy Chen October 31, 2013, 2:20 pm

    Sorry I wasn’t clear, but it was meant to say that the Apple Superdrive may not work on Apple laptops with an optical drive built in. It’s a strange limitation.

    Obviously, the Pawtec has no problem with this, and of course, adds Blu-Ray.

    6
  • tivoboy November 1, 2013, 9:54 am

    Wow, that is an expensive external. Most externals that do all this functionality are about 80$ AND they include the software needed to run blu-ray on a mac? Is this one nearly 100$ just because it looks just like the mac version.?

    7
  • deslock November 2, 2013, 6:30 am

    I use a $39 USB blu-ray drive with OSX on my Mac mini. Its downsides vs this are (1) it’s a little bigger, (2) it loads via a tray instead of a slot, and (3) it requires two USB ports to power it.

    Since it was asked about:

    http://makemkv.com/ (extract blu-ray)
    http://handbrake.fr/ (compress to h.264)
    http://www.videolan.org/ (play)

    For the record, I pay for my movies (my attitude is that if the studios are going to charge reasonable amounts, I should give them my money). I bought the $39 drive to (1) convert blu-rays for tablet playback on family vacations and (2) make autoduck rifftrax of blu-rays.

    8

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