I apparently inadvertantly posted my message below to the CD-ROM forum; could've sworn it was a CD-ROM/CD-RW forum last night when I posted it! Oh well....I'll now put it here in the CD-Writer forum where it belongs.
Anway, I've been reading the posts in this forum now for a few days. It seems that a couple of people are really badmouthing AOpen's burners...and I understand this is justified entirely if you've personally had a less than stellar experience. I don't think there's really any brand that can claim a perfect track-record, not even Plextor, but of course, some are more reliable and peform better than others.
With that said, I've been doing A LOT of research online in the past several days, looking into burners because I'm soon to upgrade from my old HP 2x2x6x which has served me well for the last couple of years, but it's of course slow, taking 45 mins. to burn one music CD.
I'm at this point leaning toward getting the newest AOpen burner, the CRW1232A (the upgrade model with JustLink 'burn-proof' technology). I think this model probably has any bugs worked out that people may have encountered with the earlier CRW1232 (no 'A') model. In fact, there's even a brand new CRW1232Pro model which adds DDS (Dynamic Damping System) which a tech rep at AOpen told me results in the unit having only 1/3 the vibration of previous models. That may indeed be a worthwhile feature to have, but still, it may just be a frill that's really unnecessary unless it can be had at little extra cost (not sure how much more they charge for this unit, it seems too new and doesn't seem real available yet).
Anway, all I've got to say is that all I've read from a wide array of sources that have OBJECTIVELY tested out these AOpen 12x10x32x burners is that they are very strong performers.
I hope all these links work for those interested...because the URLs are copied directly from the pages I've read these articles on just now.
I think anyone with a rational, objective mind--after reading these reviews--will have the opinion that this particular AOpen burner is, for the most part, a very solid performer. And considering it can be had for about $129, a great value. Since AOpen is one of the world's largest manufacturers of original-equipment computer-related hardware (manufacturers buy from them and install at the factory), as well as offering retail versions that 'people on the street' can buy, it stands to reason that this company is not going to ignore quality issues. After all, if they habitually made crap, it wouldn't be too long before manufacturers would abandon them entirely, and this isn't the case. As I've said, they are huge and very successful.
They're tech support has been very prompt and helpful via e-mail with me in answering all my questions, too.
This is not saying that everything is or would likely be 'peachy-keen' if and when I buy one of their drives. But after doing my research, the only negatives I've seen about this drive is from a couple of people posting to this forum that probably had a lemon. That can occur with any company's products--it's not uncommon for a batch of marginal quality units to be produced, for one reason or other, by ANY manufacturer. As consumers we'd like to believe this could never happen but don't kid yourself. It happens with ALL manufacturers, even Plextor. It's unfortunate for the buyers, though. But still, if AOpen had unleashed a few of these suspect drives in the past, I think it's pretty unfair to chastise them so severely and say their burners are ALWAYS going to be 'crap' and 'a pile of feces' (taken directly from some of the posts in this forum). Like I've said, if you had a bad experience, you've got the right to feel that way, totally understood. But it's kind of funny how this unit has never missed a step for any of the reviewers above, and they've done some very strenuous, tough tests on them. I'm thinking the bad reviews on here may be related to early units, perhaps, or simply 'lemons' (which can happen with any company's equipment).
In fact, I've had a 32x CD-ROM by AOpen in my computer from day 1 (over 3 yrs. now) and it's performed flawlessly. If I should buy an AOpen burner, I'd expect a replacement promptly if it turned out defective. It's not rocket-science to make this happen when one buys something. I can only think those that have problems getting a replacement are perhaps too abrasive in their dealings with the company, thereby encountering resistance, naturally.
Anway, I know this post has gotten way too long, but I just wanted to offer up the other side of the coin on this AOpen 'burner' issue. And no, I don't work for AOpen or own any of their stock...lol
The trouble with most online reviews is that the reviewers don't have time to thoroughly conduct tests, and they seldom test a device like a CDRW on more than one platform before writing the review.
Case in point, I bought the AOpen 1232 solely (stupidly) on the advice from the review on TomsHardware. I've had lots of problems with it, not limited to the fact that it will not copy a cd. It's fine if I want to burn a data cd, but I can't copy a cd. I've tried using the bundled NTI software, Nero, and CloneCD. None of them work in copy mode.
Now your mileage may vary. I have a 1000mhz T-Bird, with an Asus A7V. All I'm saying is that the AOpen drive simply doesn't perform one of the main functions for which it was purchased. Also, AOpen's tech support is a joke -- a list of authorized retailers.
That site also has a 'message boards' section.....lots of decent information there, too. I've noticed that even the official reviewers of the site frequently post helpful information and replies to that forum. That's refreshing.
The other person that replied to my original post that seems to be having a problem copying CDs (or CD-Rs, or whatever) just may be experiencing a problem with his own unique system configuration; that's a real possibility. Of course, it could be the drive's fault, but don't ever forget that just because something like that develops, it MUST be entirely the fault of the burner. Could be a system problem or incompatibility issue causing such symptoms, considering the array of different motherboards, chipsets, drivers, etc. It's too easy to simply take it out on the burner as the ONLY cause.
It's interesting that more than half a dozen professional review sites (that i've presented links to) have tested this CRW1232 (or CRW1232A) and only had good results. None that I can find has had problems with it. Of course, faulty defective drives exist, too...AOpen is likely no different than any other hardware manufacturer in that respect. Perhaps some of the message board posters have indeed gotten one of those...I just hope it doesn't happen to me!
Anyway, for people perhaps thinking of buying this drive, the above link to a very extensive, detailed review will likely be very interesting. It most definitely was for me. Within the next couple of weeks I'll be ordering up this AOpen CRW1232A drive, and I do hope I have a good experience with it. In any case, I'll surely post my findings at a later date on here, and I'd hope anyone else purchasing this and properly installing and using it would do the same.
I think u're right. Reveiwers are not usually dealing with slightly older or various systems. And since those systems have been around before the burner - which has the compatability problem ? fair enough if the technology is new and not compatable with previous systems, but these burners aren't new tech & seem to work on a select few (old or new) configurations.
BOZ u are sounding like an AOpen agent - how about gleaning a few brief important facts/advantages (seeing as u've researched 'em & all) u certainly write enough for a review as it is.
You must be very lucky. Me and my friend both brought an hp 7200i when it just come out. I think it is the same model as yours. We boutght it base on reviews from computer magazine. My break only last about an year. My friend's CDRW died in 6 month. We did not even use it that much. Magazine and Online review is not that important when you talk about CDRW since CDRWs rate at same speed will have very small difference in performance. I think previous experience from other user is more important since they will tell you the reliability of the CDRW and the problem they have with the CDRW.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by upec on 04/29/01 10:21 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
Hey....I'm no 'agent' for AOpen, as you have implied! LOL
I've stated before I've got nothing to do with the company. The only reason I've personally stated good things about the AOpen CRW1232A drive is because I've only been relaying the information I've found on the web about it--mainly reviews by either computer magazines or web-only organizations.
I've yet to find a bad review on this unit, and believe me, I've tried. I just can't find one by the reviewers. Of course, I HAVE read some bad things about these units from people on message boards. And I'm a bit concerned about that like anyone else would be. I guess at the end of the day it all comes down to one's own 'comfort level' with a certain brand and/or model as to whether the purchase will be made.
While I have read much good stuff, I've also read about some users with bad experiences. I don't really care what one buys, whether a car or a toaster, or a CD-burner....the occasion is ALWAYS going to be there for a bad experience. One generally just has to hope for a good experience.
In this case, that's what I'm going to hope for because after reading about this unit extensively, I'm relatively confident that it's worth the $125 that I'll have to pay to get my hands on it. If it turns out to be a piece of sh*t, well, you can bet I'll kick myself in the a#s and wished I'd have bought something else. But you know what they say...the best way to learn is from personal experience :-)
And with that, that's all I'm going to say about this 'burner', at least until I buy it, install it, and begin to use it. I'll surely be back to post my findings when I do so...