updated 09:40 am EDT, Tue September 19, 2006
Sony 18X DVD Writers
Recording DVDs has until recently been limited to a 16X speed, even for internal drives; external models at higher speeds are even less common. This bottleneck becomes less of an issue today with Sony's announcement of two new external drives that write single-layer DVDs at an 18X rate. A full 4.7GB disc can be recorded at this speed on standard 16X discs within 5 minutes, Sony says. The new drives can also write to dual-layer media at 8X. Models are differentiated primarly by interface and software: the USB 2.0-based DRX-830U is meant primarily for Windows users and includes the full Nero 7 suite for authoring DVDs and videos. In turn, the more advanced DRX-830UL/T includes both Firewire and USB 2.0 ports to improve support for Macs and ships with both Nero 7 and a Mac-only version of Roxio 6 Lite for DVD burning. Sony will sell the 830U in early October for $140; 830UL/T drives will arrive in mid-December for $150.