Now that Firewire and USB 2.0 are frequently found on computers, external CD burners work almost as well as their internal brethren. Philips has found a way to improve on the external CD burner, with the JackRabbit32. This external drive lets you burn CDs, watch DVDs, and much more.
When connected to your computer, the JackRabbit32 can act as either a CD Burner or a DVD Player. In the former, you can burn CD-Rs at 32x and CD-RWs at 10x, or read at 40x. Any software you might need is provided, including Roxio Easy CD Creator 5 (or Toast 5 for Mac OS X) and PowerDVD.
With Philips Thermo Balanced Writing, the drive will automatically analyze the disc and burn it at the best speed for the highest quality. To avoid coasters, Philips incorporates their own BURN-Proof technology called SeamlessLink. If the 2MB buffer is empty, the drive will pause burning, giving the buffer time to refill, and then resumes.
In the latter, you can watch DVD movies, including 5.1 digital surround sound. But a computer isn’t required for DVD playback. The JackRabbit32 includes video out ports, so you can connect it directly to a television. The included remote will also prove useful here, and help it compete with stand alone DVD players.
When attached to a display, you aren’t limited to just DVDs; you can also view pictures, listen to music, and configure the drive with the on screen display. While you’re away, you can use it to play audio or MP3 CDs, where you can fit up to 12 hours of CD quality music onto a single disc.
If you don’t yet have USB 2.0 or Firewire, you can still use the drive, although the speeds will be severely decreased. That gives you some time to find a Firewire/USB 2.0 card without having to keep it in the box.
The JackRabbit32 will be available in January 2003, and will cost $299.