1 April 2005 | 0
The Philips Jack Rabbit is a handy little device. A DVD player, CD Rewriter and a standalone MP3 CD Player in one, the device is the perfect item for the PC user who has (almost) everything.
As a CD-Rewritable drive, this device performs remarkably well. It is easy to set up and install on your computer; the software is included on an accompanying CD ROM and the device itself communicates with your computer through a USB 2.0 cable. In no time at all, I was burning data to discs and backing up all my files with relative ease. Using USB 2.0, the CD Rewriter will reach speeds of 32x; it is backwards compatible with USB1.1, but it is slower to burn your CDs at 4X. The 40x read speed is quite impressive.
The device also uses EasyWrite, a new standard for writing to CD RW discs that allows you to ‘drag and drop’ files to the CD, treating it almost like a large capacity floppy disk.
The next test was to use the drive an as a DVD player. It’s easy to set up; simply connect a few conveniently colour-coded leads to the TV and the DVD player and you are ready to go. As a DVD player, this is one of the most compact devices I have come across. Its dimensions of 34 x 174 x can only described as minimal and I barely noticed it sitting next to my television.
When you are using the DVD player with your PC or notebook, it’s worth noting that USB 2.0 is a must, as USB 1.1 is apparently too slow.
The device comes with a compact remote control, so users can do the full couch potato thing whenever it takes their fancy. The JackRabbit can be connected to a Dolby Digital Decoder for that full surround sound, home cinema experience. Dim the lights, make some popcorn and you may as well be there.
You can also use the device to show your digital images (jpegs) to family and friends on your TV. An S-video cable is also included with the package.
Aesthetically, the machine is quite attractive. Apart from its compact size, the Jack Rabbit also boasts a stylish silver outer casing and some funky blue to alert you to its current status (on, off, etc).
The bulkiest thing about the Jack Rabbit is the power cord. Unfortunately, it is not powered by the USB port on the computer that you hook it up to; having to bring the power cord everywhere you go may cut down on its portability when you are using it as a CD-RW drive for your notebook. One of the best features of the JackRabbit is the ‘Blue Button’ function. One touch of the button will upgrade the drive with the Lates firmware, direct you to the Internet support pages or launch your favourite application automatically.