Plextor's PX-708UF External DVD±RW

Article Index
Plextor's PX-708UF External DVD±RW
The PX-708UF Drive and Bundle
Test Setup, Info and Media Compatibility
CD Read and Write Performance
DVD Read and Write Performance
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Product: Plextor PX-708UF DVD±RW
Provided By: Plextor
Media Provided By: Blankmedia

Introduction:
 
The quest for optical storage has been taken to a new high lately. The price of CDRW drives is practically through the floor, and DVDRW drives are dropping in price faster than Canada's beef prices. DVD-R and DVD+R media has really dropped in price, and this has allowed more people to use DVDs for regular data storage instead of CDs. The two biggest things that originally held back the wide acceptance of DVD burning was the price and the speed. Both have been overcome, as it is possible to snag a 8X DVDRW drive for under $200 CDN.
 
Back in November of last year, I was able to put the PX-708A through the paces. It was one of the first 8X DVD±RW's to market. Today, I'm taking a look at the external version of that drive: the PX-708UF. It supports both USB2.0 and Firewire, and could just be the perfect external DVD±RW for your laptop or desktop PC.
 
The classic opening Box-Shot.
 
Plextor's 8x series of DVD±RW drives come packed in fairly classy boxes. They've dropped the whole Silver-Sleek professional look, and gone with a eye-catching racier look. Proudly displayed on the front of the box are the drives speed ratings: 8X DVD+R, 4X DVD-R & DVD+RW, 2X DVD-RW, and 12X DVD Read.
 

Specs & Features:

 

There is always some confusion surrounding DVD±RW speeds. The following list of speeds taken from Plextor's web site should help clear things up a bit. You may notice the multiple listings of DVD Read speeds. While the PX-708UF claims to have a 12x DVD Read speed, that applies only to DVD-ROM, and Single-Layer DVD Video when "Speedread" in enabled. The full list of specs can be downloaded in a PDF here.

  • 8X (DVD+R only) 8.1-10.8 MB/sec
    4X (DVD+/-R,+RW only) - 5.4 MB/sec
    2.4X (DVD+R/RW only) - 3.24 MB/sec
    2X (DVD-R/RW only) - 2.7 MB/sec
    5X-12X (DVD read only) - 6.75-16.2 MB/sec
    3X-8X (DVD read only) - 4.05-10.8 MB/sec
    2X-5X (DVD read only) - 2.8-6.75 MB/sec (Playing DVD-Video)
    2X (DVD read only) - 2.7 MB/sec
    40X (CD write only) - 3-6 MB/sec
    32X (CD write only) - 3-4.8 MB/sec
    24X (CD rewrite only) - 3-3.6 MB/sec
    17X-40X (CD read only) - 2.71-6.0 MB/sec (Mode 1, Mode 2 Form 1 and CD-R)
    16X (CD write only) - 2.4 MB/sec (CD-R)
    14X-32X (CD read only) - 2.17-4.8 MB/sec (Mode 1, Mode 2 Form 1, CD-DA and CD-R)
    10X (CD read only) - 1.5 MB/sec (Mode 1, Mode 2 Form 1, CD-DA and CD-R)
    10X (CD rewrite only) - 1.5 MB/sec
    8X (CD read/write) - 1.2 MB/sec (Mode 2 Form 2 read only)
    4X (CD write/rewrite/read) - 600 KB/sec
  • Burst Read/Write 12 Mb/sec (USB1.1), 480 Mb/sec (USB2.0), 400 Mb/sec (Firewire)
  • Typical CD Random Access <100 ms Typical DVD Random Access <150 ms
  • Buffer 2 MB
 

Here is Plextor's "Feature List":

  • 8-in-1 Combo drive: 8X DVD+R, 4X DVD-R, 4X DVD+RW, 2X DVD-RW, 12X DVD-ROM, 40X CD-R, 24X CD-RW AND 40X CD-ROM
  • Lossless linking technology enables users to perform basic editing tasks directly on the DVD disc.
  • Buffer Under Run Proof technology prevents buffer under run errors.
  • PoweRec technology is a sophisticated write strategy providing superior quality recording at maximum speed for your chosen media.
  • Support DVD+RW background format.
  • Support DVD+VR format.
  • Horizontal or vertical mounting orientation.
  • Black CD tray minimizes jitter.
  • OS Support - Windows® 98SE/Me/2000/XPâ„¢
  • One-year full warranty. (parts and labor)
  • Unlimited toll-free tech support.
 
On the next page we'll take a look at the actual drive unit.