Samsung SE-S084C Super Write Master Slim External 8x DVD Writer Review
By: Michael Phrakaysone


Portability is popular nowadays in the whole technology sector.  Everything we see is getting smaller than what we’ve seen before.  Take for example HDTVs.  They are getting thinner and thinner as the years go by.  We have small tiny MP3 players roaming the market, tiny USB flash drives and now even tiny netbooks and notebooks.  The problem with purchasing such a smaller notebook and netbook is the fact that you have to make some sacrifices.  One sacrifice is the exclusion of an optical drive.  You can alleviate that by mounting ISO’s on the computer but that requires space and average people may not know how to do such a thing. 

An external optical drive will solve these problems and today I will be reviewing one from Samsung that you may want to keep into consideration if you’re on the market for a portable optical drive solution.  Introducing the Samsung SE-S084C Super Write Master Slim External 8x DVD Writer Review.  Read on for a practical hands-on review.


  • USB BUS powered – No AC adapter for power needed!
  • 12cm and 8cm DVD disc support
  • Buffer Underrun Free
  • Free Nero Express Software Included
  • Manual Disc eject function
  • Firmware live update
  • MAC supported


  • Drive Type: DVD Writer
  • Enclosure Type: Slim External
  • Loading Type: Tray load
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Drive Mounting: Horizontal/Vertical
  • Average Seek Time: DVD-ROM = 160ms, CD-ROM = 160ms
  • Buffer Memory: 2MB
  • Supported Disc Formats: DVD-RAM, DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-R DL, DVD-RW, DVD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM, CD-ROM/XA, CD-Audio, Video-CD, Photo CD, CD-I (FMV), CD-Extra, CD-TEXT
  • E-Co Product: RoHS: Yes
  • Magic Speed: Yes
  • Automatic Ball Balancing System: Yes
  • Weight Balancing System: No
  • Firmware Live Update: Yes
  • Buffer Underrun Free Technology: Yes
  • Speed Adjustment Technology: Yes
  • Double O.P.C Technology: Yes
  • Tilt Actuator Compensation Technology: Yes
  • Product Dimensions (WxHxD): 141x19x157mm
  • Product Weight: 0.42kg

First Impressions

The Samsung SE-S084C arrives in an attractive corrugated box with the product shown in the middle of the package and features located on the back of the box. 

With your purchase of the Samsung SE-S084C, you will receive the following items…

  • Samsung SE-S084C Slim External DVD Writer
  • USB Y-Cable for extra power (I tested it with one USB and it worked fine but if it doesn’t work on your netbook with one, try with the second)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Software CD-ROM with user manual and Nero 8 Essentials


There’s not much to include with this bundle since it’s very straightforward.  If I was being picky, I would have suggested Samsung to include a blank DVD disc but none is really needed.  The USB Y-Cable contains two USB plugs but I’ve confirmed that it does work without any problems with one cable connected.  In the event that it needs more power with your netbook, two should be used which could be considered a con.  Also, including a stand that can allow the SE-S084C to sit vertically would have been welcome addition in the bundle. 

Let’s take a look at the optical drive shall we?

First thing I noticed was the glossy finish the Samsung SE-S084C provides. They always know how to make good looking products.  Second thing I noticed is the construction of this external optical drive is plastic and thus lightweight making it easier to carry around with a netbook. 

The whole outer shell is plastic and construction wise feels sufficient but definitely not as sturdier than some netbooks I’ve come across and that is because the plastic is not thick enough and it can bend if you press hard enough.  But I think realistically if you were to drop this in your netbook bag, I think it can withstand the abuse.  It’s a fairly solid unit.

The drive itself is reminiscent of something you find only in notebooks and not a desktop drive and that helps keep the bulk as little as possible which I think is the best way for portability reasons.

Coming to the front of device we have the front bezel, activity LED, eject button and manual eject hole release.  Regarding the look of the front bezel, definitely it is really bland and Samsung would have been better off spicing up the look by adding even inexpensive faux brushed aluminum laminate to make it look prettier. 

The top of the device has the Samsung logo and corresponding logos in the bottom left hand corner signifying that it’s a DVD writer than can handle DVD DL and rewritable media.  The front is covered by a plastic film that you can remove if desired.  I have say having something glossy as this, it’s hard to keep clean because it’s a finger print and dust magnet.

The bottom of the device is matte black in finish and showcases the drive label.  Four rubber feet fill the corners of the optical drive and really helps prevent slippage on table tops.

The rear of the device holds just the lone USB connector and some small vent holes for air to escape passively.

How it performs

Overall the Samsung SE-S084C slim external DVD writer gets the job done without any complications or problems.  It reads discs that I put in a couple of seconds and the drive is surprisingly very quiet and doesn’t really spin up all that often.  During my time with the Samsung SE-S084C burning DVD’s, watching movies, etc I never had a problem with the drive.  It really just gets the job done without any fuss.  All you hear is a small hum.

I tried the Samsung SE-S084C on my brothers 13” Macbook and it picked up the device and worked normally.

I did notice a potential problem for folks with weaker machines such as a netbook.  I noticed that on my personal Quad Core machine, during DVD burning, the Samsung SE-S084C did take up some CPU and memory utilization and made the computer a little slower.  This could be attributed to the fact that it is indeed a USB device and that the Samsung SE-S084C only contains 2MB of buffer.  I noticed when using my burning software of choice (Ashampoo Burning Studio) the buffer bar consistently toggled from full and empty, back and forth.  I never experienced this with my desktop burning drives but that is because those contain much larger buffer size.

Performance Results

I don’t have any other similar external DVD writer drives to compare the Samsung SE-S084C to but just for kicks I will compare the performance of this drive against my NU DBW-521 52x24x16x combo CD burner/DVD drive.  Yes I know its comparing apples to oranges but I thought I’d give you it anyway. 

The first test I conducted was an audio CD rip of “The Fray” comparing elapsed time to complete the rip and the maximum ripping speed achieved against my NU 52x drive.  I utilized ‘dBpoweramp Music Converter’ as my software of choice.

  • Samsung SE-S084C: Max ripping speed reached is x17 and elapsed time is 3m35seconds
  • NU DBW-521: Max ripping speed reached is x31 and elapsed time is 1m56seconds

In this test the Samsung is expected to lose since its claimed read speed is only 24x and it comes close with a maximum ripping speed of x17.  In the process of ripping, the Samsung SE-S084C is still quiet under operation.  Compared to the NU DBW-521 ripping at a speed of x31 and finishing first, the NU drive is a great deal louder spinning up and doing its thing.

Test two was a DVD burn test.  I burned a 4.35GB video file with the Samsung SE-S084C using Ashampoo Burning Studio 6 but with two types of media to see if it would make a difference.  The first DVD is an HP DVD –R 8x disc and the second is a Verbatim Certified 16x DVD –R disc.

  • Samsung SE-S084C (HP) elapsed time: 12 minutes, average writing speed: 4.6x
  • Samsung SE-S084C (Verbatim) elapsed time: 11 minutes, average writing speed: 5.1x


The thing I liked the most about the Samsung SE-S084C is its ‘quiet in operation’ attribute and is still speedy for the most part.  Although the DVD burning test showed that it did not quite reach it’s claimed 8x writing speed (its average was about 4.85x), it did reach a maximum ripping speed of x17 (its claimed read speed is 24x) which is sufficient enough for what is required from a product that will be used as a portable medium on netbooks or a macbook air.  And the fact that it goes for around $60CAD means its price is still within reasonable reach for most consumers although I feel that it’s still a little too pricey considering the enclosure is all plastic.

Pros and Cons

  • + Quiet operation
  • + Lightweight and portable
  • + Smallest footprint possible
  • + Glossy finish makes it attractive
  • + Good performance
  • + Works on a Mac
  • - Dust and fingerprint magnet
  • - Not the fastest DVD burn speed
  • - A vertical stand would have been welcome
  • - Could possible take up two USB slots for power (can work with one)
  • - Slows down computer a little
  • - Plastic construction isn’t the strongest
  • - Bezel looks bland
  • - Price could be cheaper



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