Storage Options 6x BD-R External Slimline Blu-ray Writer review
Despite the success of Sony’s Blu-ray in the format wars, uptake has been slow in the PC arena. Laptops and even all-in-ones with the drives built in are still an exception to the rule, and they command a premium.
Storage Options’ external writer lets you add that capability to any system, including the ability to, and its slim, sleek good-looks make it a potentially good partner for laptop and all-in-one owners.
The drive certainly has appealing versatility. It will write to BD-R and BD-RE discs, read from BD-ROMs, and the USB 2 device can also cope with the usual selection of older DVD and CD-based media. It isn’t the fastest drive, though: while BD-R discs can be written at 6x speed, more affordable BD-RE media can only be written at 2x speed (around 9MB/sec). At those speeds, it will take at least 47 minutes to fill a 25GB single-layer disc.
Some software is included to help create discs. Despite its name, CDBurnerXP works on Windows 7 and Vista, but it isn’t particularly advanced: five modes allow for data and audio discs to be burned, copied or erased and, while it’s undoubtedly useful, the range of options is broadly similar to what you’ll get in free packages such as ImgBurn. More disappointingly, there’s no Blu-ray movie playback software included, something you’ll need to budget an extra £35 or so for.
Add that to a price of £136 exc VAT and it looks a rather expensive upgrade, but it turns out that compared to a small group of rival devices, the Storage Solutions is actually quite reasonable; Buffalo’s USB 3 version and LG’s eSATA drive are both around £30 more. If you need to author Blu-ray discs that makes the Storage Solutions drive a sound purchase. But do investigate the possibility of an internal upgrade first.
|Optical disc technology||Blu-ray writer|
|Blu-ray write speed||6x|
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