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

Progress At Breakneck Speed

DVDs burners are getting better fast on two fronts. First, devices offering a 16x write speed are becoming available. Second, the first devices that can write two recording layers to DVDs are appearing in the stores. These are called double-layer burners.

However, speed kills. Unfortunately, the gains afforded by a 16x write speed also mean there are risks that a successful burn has been made, which can cause data to be lost. So, as before, you should stick with a maximum 4x write speed if you are burning a DVD for archiving purposes.

But besides this one flaw, however, the new devices can indeed do almost everything better. Not always technically, however, because at an average write speed, a current drive generally only distinguishes itself from a previous-generation model by offering compatibility advantages.

Surprises are also in store if prices are taken into account. An 8x burner can be had for as little as $80, while the Asus and LG models reviewed here cost just $100. Even Philips' double-layer device is a snip at just $115.