I picked up the internal version of this burner, but returned it because I already had a DVD and CD rewriter in my new computer. I called HP about the availability of the external DVD burner about a month ago and the receptionist/clerk didn't have any concrete information as to when it would be available. Have you actually seen the external burner somewhere?
(Reading through all the literature and reviews about the internal HP, the external burner should be exactly the same. Everything I've read about it has been very positive.)
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