Back to 6/96 Reviews HW: Lumina 2000
Up to Table of Contents
Ahead to 6/96 Recommended

6/96 Reviews HW: Axonix ProMedia 6XR

Complete listing of June 1996 reviews

CD Drive Is Portable, Purrs at 6X

By Joel T. Patz

Finally, there's a portable CD-ROM reader that lives up to its claim of 6X performance. The ProMedia 6XR CD-ROM reader from Axonix is a 1.25-pound drive that connects to your laptop via a Type II PC Card. It measures 1.75 by 7 by 6 inches. In my tests with an Epson ActionNote notebook, it achieved an average access time of 238 milliseconds and an average data-transfer rate of 839KB per second. Not quite the 900KBps required for genuine 6X performance, but close enough.

Power, Ready and Speed lights on the front of the unit indicate its readiness, disc access, and whether an audio or data CD-ROM is being used. There are also buttons with VCR markings for playing, moving to previous and next tracks, play/pause and stop (for CD audio). On the unit's side is a headphone jack, an on/off switch and a thumbwheel for adjusting volume.

The device comes with a cable with thumbscrews that you connect to the unit itself, and a PC Card connector that attaches to a PC Card socket. I used the optional AC power cord.

You'll need to run two setup programs. The first installs System Soft's CardWorks, a program that provides information about the cards in your PCMCIA slots. The second installs the actual device driver. I installed the ProMedia reader on a system with Windows 95, but the drivers warded off the New Hardware Detected message. The drive was available from Explorer when I rebooted.

The lightweight ProMedia 6XR drive requires no caddy. The unit drops into sleep mode after five minutes of inactivity. The drive, which uses a 256KB cache, can handle CD-ROM XA, CD audio, multisession Photo CD, Video CD, and is CD-I capable.

There were some errors in the documentation (the "Start" button is actually labeled "Finish"), but everything else worked as promised. Axonix offers toll-free technical support, though I never needed it.

Performance of most portable 6X drives is usually disappointing. The ProMedia 6XR comes the closest I've seen to true 6X speed.

Info File
Axonix ProMedia 6XR
$409 (street)
Pros: Weight; performance
Cons: Short power cord
Platforms: Windows 95, 3.1x
Axonix Corp.
800-866-9797, 801-521-9797
WinMag Box Score 3.5

Back to 6/96 Reviews HW: Lumina 2000
Up to Table of Contents
Ahead to 6/96 Recommended