Good things come in small packages: Waitec Action 8/ LiteOn 851S

A Speedy Underdog

The Action 8 from Waitec (marketed in North America as LiteOn 851S) is a new DVD burner that bears the magical number eight. This obviously refers to its write speed, but things are actually a little more complicated than that. A DVD+R can be written at 8x DVD speed or 11.08 MB/s, a DVD-R usually at 4x DVD speed.

Real 8x devices (plus and minus standards) are on the drawing board, but haste is neither necessary nor sensible: For one thing, the write quality at 8x speed is adequate at best. For another, most up-and-coming full-grade 8x burners already feature such powerful lasers that they are technically equipped for dual layer DVDs as well. Ideally, the burner will be upgraded later into a dual layer device. But with the Action 8, however, this will certainly not be possible.

Turning our attention to the features offered by today's devices, we can see the Action 8 for what it actually is: a 4x burner with a handy 8x option for DVD+R. The latter is really no more than an option because the blanks for it remain few and far between. A foray to four stores turned up just a single medium for us to test.