Teac – Pico-1 Copystation review

tiny stand-alone CD duplicator
Photo of Teac – Pico-1 Copystation
£410 + VAT

Usually, stand-alone CD duplicators are rather large devices, using desktop-size 5.25-inch CD-ROM and CD-RW drives with a hefty mains power adapter built in. Teac’s approach with this new duplicator is rather different. As you might expect from a company that manufactures CD-ROM and CD-RW drives for notebook PCs, Teac has come up with a duplicator based on those drives.

The result is a very compact CD duplicator that’s almost small enough to fit into a jacket pocket. The two drives are stacked above each other, with the reader at the top and the writer underneath. The former is a 24x drive, a CD-224E, while the writer is a CD-RW drive, a CD-W28E, which also reads at 24x while writing and rewriting at 8x. The drives are mounted in a lightweight grey box with an LCD panel on top. This panel, along with two buttons, controls the unit’s operation.

Once the CD to be copied and the blank CD-R or CD-RW have been inserted into the relevant drives, you can use the buttons to scan through the available options on the display. These include ‘copy’, ‘test write’, ‘compare’, ‘play audio’, and ‘rearrange audio’, the latter allowing you to arrange the tracks of an audio CD to suit your taste. It’s also possible to change the write speed to suit the particular CD-R or CD-RW discs that you’re using, and there’s a CD-RW erase function too.

Also included in the box is a pair of active speakers, in case you want to use the unit as a stand-alone audio CD player (it has two phono outputs for this purpose). There’s also a box of 10 CD-R discs. No software of any kind is supplied, though; this unit is not designed to be connected to a PC. It’s purely a stand-alone copier.

Company: Teac

Contact: 01923 225 235


Verdict
This is a simple, compact and elegant solution to the problem of CD duplication. It would be nice if there were some way of connecting the unit to a PC somehow, as is the case with competing duplicators, but that's a minor point for a single-output duplicator such as this. In any case, that would affect the price and compact size of the unit, which are two of its major selling points.