X marks the spot with the new Asus external Blu-ray combo drive... literally. With a shiny black exterior begging to showcase fingerprints like graffiti, the slim SBC-04D1S-U's bright star-like 'X' symbol could provide an interesting 'what the heck is it for' topic while playing Blu-ray movies or burning X-Files episodes on DVD.
Thanks to a special application, end-users can set the symbol's level of brightness in accordance to the inserted media, meaning a CD can be one level of brightness and a Blu-ray set for another. This serves as a cool gimmick to distract end-users away from the fact that this device doesn't burn Blu-ray disks.
Outside the spiffy 'X' symbol, what makes this particular external Blu-ray special is that it connects to and is powered via a USB port, making it ideal for enjoying high definition videos 'anytime and anywhere.' The vertical stand gives it a high-tech, Wii-like feeling with read speeds up to 4.8x for BD-ROM/R/RE; as a burner, the drive features 8x DVD burning and 24x CD burning speeds. According to the product page, Asus' Turbo Engine increases the connection performance between the USB cable and the external drive.
Along with this slim drive, Asus packed in a few goodies into the bundle such as the CyberLink burning software, and Disc Encryption to allow end-users the ability to password protect entire. The drive also features TrueTheater High Definition (TTHD), turning standard definition content into HD-quality images on high-resolution displays. Currently Asus has not confirmed future compatibility with Windows 7 and Mac OS X, however the drive does support Vista, XP, Windows 2000 and NT.