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The Next Step, Hi-Speed USB 2.0

The Technical Specifications For The Impulse

Cable Length6 ft.
DimensionsHeight - 13.0"Length - 4.0"Width - 10.0"
HousingCase - Plastic
Humidity20-80% RH, (Non Condensing)
LEDsPower On - 1
Operating System SupportWin98, 98SE, ME, 2000, XP
Operating Temperature20 to 50 degrees (Celsius)
Ports1
Power ConnectionsAC adapter (included)
Power Consumption12V
Storage Temperature0 to 70 degrees (Celsius)
Transfer Rate480 Mbps
USB SpecificationUSB 1.1 and 2.0 compliant
Weight8.0 lbs.

IOGear does not make the CDRW drive; they produce the IDE to USB 2.0 adapter and case. The Impulse we tested uses a standard ATAPI-E/IDE LITE-ON 16102B CDRW for the drive. This drive does feature firmware that has been modified by IOGear to provide better cross-platform compatibility with USB. The 16102B was a very good drive selection for USB2 capability.

For the CloneCD users out there, this drive's capabilities are: Best Supported Write Mode - RAW-DAO 96; Best Supported Read Mode for Data - RAW+96; Best Supported Read Mode for Audio - RAW+96; Correct EFM Encoding of Regular Bit Patterns - yes. For people that are just looking for a drive to burn the occasional CD, this drive is more than capable.

The external case that houses the drive is heavy due to the on-board power supply. IOGear has clearly thought about this in advance, because they took the extra step of providing rubber feet on the bottom of the case to reduce movement. The look of the unit was nice, and we liked the choice of colors.

Overall, we found the package to be complete and upgradeable. (Upgradeable is something we didn't expect, as you will find out later in the article!) For the street price of about $180, it does cost more than your normal internal IDE CDRW, but currently IOGear is offering a $30 rebate on your purchase of the drive, which should help. As far as external CDRW drives go, the GCD161040 was a very complete package, definetely worth looking at.