Double-Layer DVD: Philips, LaCie, Asus and LG


Both double-layer burners did not have any problems to speak of with any of our tests. Philips doesn't support any "minus" media yet, but claims it will rectify this situation by September. The external d2 from LaCie is definitely up to snuff, but far too heavy for mobile use.

In any case, we rate the performance data of the two new burners as good. We did not detect any compatibility problems with blanks on any of the four models we tested. However, we restricted ourselves to brand names - the result may well have turned out differently using no-name brands.

At the same time, anyone with a DVD burner with 2x or 4x write speed has no real reason to replace it with a faster device. Brand-name blanks for 8x speed are still a good deal more costly than 4x products. We shall ignore the subject of double-layer media. At prices of well over $10 per disc, the purchase of these blanks is difficult to justify for the time being. The "addition" of double-layer capability is thus uninteresting for two reasons: besides the steep prices, writing a DL blank takes a whole 45 minutes.

The conclusion for those users looking to buy a DVD burner in the next few days is different: it should definitely support 8x write speed, preferably for both DVD+R and DVD-R. We only see the double-layer capability as interesting if the drive you are considering buying is only slightly more expensive than a comparable single-layer model. At the same time, practically all DVD burners will be double-layer-compliant by fall anyway.