For some users – those who don't want to open up their machines, for example, or anyone who needs to use one writer with several PCs – an external DVD drive is a better option than an internal model. But there's always going to be a speed sacrifice.
It's therefore not a surprise that, in many areas, the LG's pace can't match the best internal drives. While the two other drives here come with 18-speed DVD-R/+R capabilities, the GSA-E10L has to make do with 16-speed. Oddly, however, the DVD+R DL facilities stretch to 10-speed – an improvement on the H22N.
You get 12-speed DVD-RAM and, as an extra bonus, LightScribe. This allows you to print images to specially coated media. LightScribe is still slow (a reasonably high-resolution image requires 25 to 30 minutes) and lacks colour, but it's a handy feature to have for those special occasions.