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CD Cyclone CD Revo FireWire

Saturday 14th April, 2001

The CD Cyclone’s CD Revo FireWire is an external CD rewriter with two advantages over the 8x4x24x drives we reviewed last year (Labs, 4 August 2000, p52) - it’s quicker and quieter.

Based on the Sanyo 12x10x32x CD-RW mechanism, it can write a full 74-minute CD-R in under eight minutes, including ‘finishing’, provided you’re using fast enough media. Unlike other CD-RW drives (the Sony 140XL comes to mind), it comes ‘sans fan’ and, although it makes a noticeable hum when reading CDs at 32x, it’s virtually silent when writing at 10x. The CD Revo uses a FireWire interface - thankfully, standard on all new Macs - which means it can read data from CDs at the full 32x, and the hot-swappable nature of FireWire means you don’t have to have it switched on all the time.

To make lugging the device around easier, the translucent casing is fitted with a handle at the rear. This is designed so you still have access to the two FireWire ports, power-supply socket and twin audio RC-out sockets. Thoughtfully, the On switch is at the top edge of the back, so you can switch it on and off without having to grope around too much.

The stackable casing comes in five flavours - Bondi, Ice, Ruby, Indigo and Metallic - and is less bulbous than its rival, the QPS Que!Fire, but doesn’t have a drive cover like the Sony CRX140EL-RP. This is actually a benefit: the Sony may look nicer, but getting its CD tray to open can be awkward.

The reason behind the slim drive casing and the absence of a fan is simple: the power supply is external, connected to the drive via a small DIN plug, which, in turn, is connected to the mains via a standard euro-cable.

The CD Revo comes with an OEM version of Adaptec Toast 4.1.1. There’s an update to 4.1.2 at www.roxio.com, which lets you use Sanyo’s Burn-Proof technology to prevent buffer underrun error when writing discs. Although, sadly, it isn’t compatible with the latest version of iTunes (1.1) or Retrospect.

NEEDS: Firewire port and Mac OS 8.1


CD Revo comes in five colours and benefits from having an external power supply.

Get Further Info
Rating 4
Manufacturer Cyclone
Pros Fast + Quiet
Cons Not compatible with iTunes + Awaiting fix for Retrospect compatibility
Price 286.84
Originally Published MacUser, Volume: 17, Issue: 07, p38