SAN FRANCISCO (07/26/2000) - After being socked in at 4X for well over a year, CD-Rewritable speeds have suddenly soared, climbing recently to 8X, and now to loftier 10X heights with Plextor Corp.'s PlexWriter 12/10/32A--an all-around barnstormer of a drive.
The US$329 PlexWriter's overall performance is remarkable. This shipping unit garnered the fastest CD Tach speed rating in the history of PC World's Online Top 5 (21.6X); wrote our 430MB test image to CD-R in 5 minutes, 14 seconds; and copied 100MB worth of files to CD-RW in a record-setting 1 minute, 32 seconds.
The PlexWriter set another record by extracting our 250MB audio test file in only 1 minute, 52 seconds. One caveat: To achieve the higher CD-RW write speeds, you'll need 10X-rated media.
The PlexWriter incorporates a new technology licensed from Sanyo called BURN-Proof, which can realign the write laser at the precise position where writing was interrupted by a buffer underrun. This capability virtually eliminates discs ruined because of data streaming problems, according to the company.
The device ships with two utilities: Adaptec's Easy CD Creator 4.02 mastering software and DirectCD 3.01 packet-writing software. Toll-free tech support is available on weekdays.
--Jon L. Jacobi
PRO: Fast 12X CD-R and 10X CD-RW write speeds, ultrafast digital audio extraction.
CON: Technical support is not available on the weekends.
VALUE: The time this drive saves you easily justifies its price.
Street price: $329