Surface Pro and Chromebooks Compatibility Issues with External DVD Drives

December 13, 2017

Microsoft surface is a series of touchscreen windows personal computers and interactive whiteboards designed and developed by Pegatron to be premium devices that set examples to Windows OEMS. It comprises four generations of hybrid tablets, 2 in 1 detachable notebooks, a convertible desktop all in one, an interactive whiteboard and various accessories all with unique form factors. The surface pro 3 and surface pro 4 computers which fall under the surface pro line of professional hybrid tablets and USB optional detachable keyboard accessories. The surface pro 4 uses a 6th generation Intel core i series processors and includes a stylus pen. On September 2015, Microsoft announced the "surface enterprise initiative", a partnership between Accenture, Avanade, Dell inc., and HP, to "enable more customers to enjoy the benefits of windows 10." As part of the partnership, Dell will resell surface pro products through its business and enterprise channels, and offer its existing enterprise services (including Pro support warranty and configuration and deployment) for the surface Pro devices it sells.

As with any of the super thin devices, tablet style devices, ultrabooks, and so forth, the surface pro 3 and pro 4 computers do not have internal DVD drives since we are in the era of flash storage and cloud syncing. To allow for playing of music, watching movies, reading or writing data using pre-recorded discs on a surface pro 3 or surface pro 4 computer, one must get a compatible external DVD drive. It should also be noted that you should buy only external DVD drives with external power supply as the USB port on the surface pro line do not supply enough voltage to power the drive. However, if a dock is bought, all the USB ports are powered and any external drive should work.

Upon research, it has been discovered that the Samsung SE-208GB is the most compatible and the best external DVD drive. The Pioneer BDR-XD05B is the best external Blu-ray drive, if it is needed. The DVD-only drive is highly recommended if you do not have plans to ever watch, rip or burn Blu-rays, because the Samsung is about one-fourth of the price of the Pioneer. But If you think you may ever need to access a Blu-ray disc, you are better off getting the Blu-ray drive because it burns and rips DVDs too. The Samsung SE-208GB is very fast plus its compact size, sleek design, low price and included software makes it the best option. Other compatible external DVD drives are the LG portable 8x slim DVD +/- RW External Drive with low power drain, Buffalo media station portable, BDXL Blu-ray writer BRXL-PC6U2B, Samsung USB 2.0 ultra portable external DVD writer model SE-218 CB/RSBS and Samsung portable Blu-ray DVD writer model SE-506.

The Chromebook operating system, is another device without an internal disc drive. Chromebook are laptop running the Linux based chrome operating system. The devices were originally designed to be used primarily while connected to the internet, with most applications and data utilising cloud technology. The original chromebook was an example of a thin client. The first chromebooks for sale by Acer Inc. and Samsung began shipping in June 15, 2011. Lenovo, Hewlett Packard and Google itself entered the market. Samsung launched a samsung Chromebook specifically for the Indian market that employed the company's Exynos 5 dual core processor. The initial hardware partners for chromebook development included Acer, Adobe, Asus, Freescale, Hewlett Packard (later HP Inc.), Lenovo, Qualcomm, Toshiba, Intel, Samsung and Dell.

While it is possible to connect an external usb dvd drive to a chromebook, you cannot currently watch dvd movies by default in the Chromebook operating system. Unlike simple movie file formats that you might find online, playback of dvd video requires special decoding software and codecs to work. Google has not licensed this software and included it with the Chrome operating system. Considering that no Chromebook devices ship with dvd hardware, it is unlikely that Google will license dvd video software and include it in the Chrome operating system. Of course, it would also be possible to watch video dvd movies using Crouton along with softwares like VLC, but this requires switching your chromebook into developer mode and installing a secondary operating system, something that is not recommended for everyday chromebook users. In summary, a chromebook external disc drive can read discs, but with only accepted file types. They allow playing of music files from accepted file types like mp3 and movies from accepted file types like mp4. It cannot burn files to a cd or dvd disc. Examples of compatible external dvd drives for a chromebook are the Samsung chromebook series 5 usb external dvd rw drive burner, Samsung 8x USB 2.0 external slim portable dvd writer. The following are file types that can work on chromebooks; They are .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt (read-only), .pptx (read only), .3gp, .avi, .mov, .mp4, .m4v, .m4a, .mp3, .mkv, .ogv, .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .webp, .zip, .rar, .txt, .pdf (read only; you will not be able to edit these files).

With the ubiquity of flash storage and cloud synchronization, external dvd drives have become our only way out when dealing with pre-recorded discs. With this in mind, we must never make the mistake of getting external disk drives that are not compatible with our different operating systems and models of computers.