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The Drives

Watch Blu-ray And Burn DVDs: Three Low-Cost Solutions
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We received the lowest-cost 8x Blu-ray-reading combo drives from LG, Lite-On, and Plextor. Here’s a quick look at the rated performance of each model.

Blu-ray Combo Drive Basic Specifications
Read Speed (Single Layer/Dual Layer)
FormatLG UH08LS10Lite-On iHES208Plextor PX-B320SA
BD-ROM8x/8x8x/4x8x/4x
BD-R8x/8x6x/4x6x/4x
BD-RE4.8x/4.8x6x6x
DVD-ROM16x/12x16x/12x16x/12x
DVD-R16x/8x16x/12x16x/12x
DVD+R12x/8x16x/12x16x/12x
DVD±RW10x12x12x
DVD-RAM5x12x12x
CD-ROM, -R48x48x48x
CD-RW40x40x40x
Write Speed (Single Layer/Dual Layer)
 LG UH08LS10Lite-On iHES208Plextor PX-B320SA
BD-R/REN/AN/AN/A
DVD-R16x/4x16x/8x16x/8x
DVD+R16x/4x16x/8x16x/8x
DVD-RW6x6x6x
DVD+RW8x8x8x
DVD-RAM5x12x12x
CD-R28x48x48x
CD-RW24x32x32x
Common Features
 LG UH08LS10Lite-On iHES208Plextor PX-B320SA
LightScribe SupportYesYesYes
Buffer Size4MB2MB2MB
Underrun ProtectionYesYesYes
Over-burn supportNoYesYes
BitsettingYesYesYes
Mount RainierNoNoNo
Mounting Depth7.3"7.4"7.4"


Available as a bare drive for $100 or a retail box for $116, the UH08 from LG is probably the better deal since most users will require some kind of Blu-ray software to access its full capabilities. A high-gloss face plate frames the satin-finish drive tray cover.

Using a smaller 2MB buffer, Lite-On’s iHES208 is available for a lower $110 retail-boxed price. Lite-On even adds a silver faceplate to better match uncolored aluminum cases, although both faceplates use a rougher sand-cast finish.

With a Web price starting around $125, the retail-boxed Plextor PX-B320SA offers the same published specifications as Lite-On’s iHES208. Plextor uses a finer satin-finish faceplate, with a high-gloss cover on its drive tray.

All three drives include Cyberlink Blu-ray Disk Suite 6, but Plextor also includes a utilities CD. Similar utilities for Lite-On iHES208 can be downloaded.

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