Conclusion: The BDX-S500U is a good example of what we've come to expect from Sony's latest portable optical drives. This compact and lightweight Blu-ray Disc writer offers good looks, a number of useful features and some of the fastest reading and writing speeds available on a portable unit. Unfortunately, those looking for a truly portable solution will need to look elsewhere as the BDX-S500U's power requirements limit where it can be used.
Pros: Writes to BD-R and BD-R LTH media at 6x, Writes to BD-R DL media at 4x, Writes to BD-RE and BD-RE DL media at 2x, Writes to DVD±R media at 8x, Writes to DVD+RW media at 8x, Writes to DVD-RW media at 6x, Writes to DVD±R DL media at 4x, Reads single layer BD-ROM's at 6x, Reads BD-R media at 6x, Reads BD-RE and BD-R DL media at 4x, Reads single layer DVD-ROM's at 8x, Reads DVD±R media at 6x, Reads DVD±RW and DVD±R DL media at 6x, Reads and writes to DVD-RAM media at 5x, ...
Cons: Not USB powered, Questionable writing quality with some DVD-R DL media, Cannot set the book type of DVD+R or DVD+RW media, Does not support 99 minute CD-R media
Conclusion: The Sony BDX-S500U drive could be alternatively be equipped with an eSATA or a USB 3.0 port in order to perform as it should be without worrying about the hardware installed in your computer. Of course, the first USB 3.0 ODD drives are coming this year and Sony will probably also upgrade the Sony BDX-S500U. The Sony BDX-S500U can be purchased online at about $220.