Red-Hot Stuff: 11 DVD Burners Reviewed

Traxdata RW1300

Firmware: 1.05

Since Traxdata's main customer base is in Europe, where it is known mostly for its media and consumables, it may not be available in the US. Not to worry - it's the same thing as the NEC 1300A. A quick look at the specifications will dispel any doubts you may have: writing to DVD+R and DVD-R at 4x, DVD+RW at 2.4x and DVD-RW at 2x.

The RW1300 completed our write tests with all four DVD formats within our ETA. We didn't encounter any problems until we tried playing the burned DVD+R and DVD-R in our hi-fi DVD players. The DVD-R worked fine from the onset, while the DVD+R just balked in the Cyberhome, Redstar, Toshiba and Yamakawa players - as we had experienced with many other drives in this round-up.

The times for reading out the DVD movies were slightly above average, with the only dark spot being the fact that the Traxdata burner could not read out the scratched 5th Element DVD. It needed almost 16 minutes to successfully read out all the DVD media we had burned. While not particularly fast, it's still acceptable.

Like many of the other drives in this round-up, the RW1300 burned CDs at an unspectacular 16x in around five minutes. Creating an SVCD image from a Mode-2 CD took a satisfactory six-and-a-half minutes - a time that several competitors were still able to beat. The Traxdata managed to read out our two music CDs in the same amount of time; it didn't seem to make any difference whether we had an original or burned copy in the drive.

The Traxdata took its own sweet time to recognize DVD+Rs, not giving us access for around 30 seconds. Other DVD formats - and, unfortunately CDs - sent the drive spinning for only 20 seconds. But the Traxdata isn't alone with this problem; many modern drives suffer from this shortcoming.

To our disappointment, the website offered neither information on the drive nor any firmware updates. However, since the burner bears the original label from NEC, we would expect that Traxdata buys in the devices and simply resells them to the final consumers.

  • Very informative review. Tedious reading and loading it though...It would have been nice to see a chart or graph at the end of the article with all the drives together. This loading page after page after page sucks big time. too much other crap. Otherwise, I did find what I was looking for. Thanks Tom's Hardware!