In May, I picked up a cheap Dell Inspiron 6000 refurbished from Dell; it was pretty much built up exactly the way I wanted it, except it included a CD Burner/DVD Reader instead of a DVD burner. Having a DVD burner is pretty much a necessity when taking digital pictures on trips; I generally shoot at least a couple gigs of pictures, and burning that onto CD’s is annoying. I’ve been watching the DVD burners for this laptop on eBay and such, but they generally go for $115+ – more than I wanted to pay. Then, I saw a SlickDeals ad for a NEC ND-6650 slimline drive at NewEgg (for $70), with a notation saying it was compatible with most modern laptops. “No way!”, I said. I pulled the drive out of my laptop, and compared it with NewEgg’s pictures, and it looked gosh-darn-near identical. I then bugged one of my coworkers who had a DVD burner in her 6000, and found that it was a NEC ND-6500. It looks like this drive may just work! I decided to pull the trigger and pick it up, and it arrived today.. swapped it in, and it works great. The only problem is that it had a different bezel on it that wasn’t flush to the outside of the case, and had a bit of a gap that would let crud get into the drive. I just swapped the bezel from my old drive onto my new drive, and it’s perfect again. And now I can burn DVD’s without a DVD-RW notation on the outside of the drive – amazing! Time to go wow all my friends.. err, wait a sec, they will just laugh. Ah well.
In any case, thanks to SlickDeals and NewEgg, I saved about $50 on a laptop-size DVD burner.. yay!