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Serious Burn: Copying CDs In Just 3 Minutes

Aopen CRW 1232A: Praiseworthy All-Rounder

The AOpen CRW 1232A is a 12x/10x/32x device and only costs $ 85.

This is how the AOpen burner looks straight out of the box.

Taiwan-based AOpen is well-known in the market for its motherboards. For $ 85 the customer gets a good device for all-purpose use that doesn't push the envelope in any respect. In the test it showed no problems: in 7 minutes and 14 seconds, the CRW 1232A wrote the 705 MB image without error. Copying a commercial CD (with 506 MB of content) took 5 minutes and 2 seconds. Worth mentioning - the AOpen can write to media at a maximum speed of 12x. One advantage is that the burner can read audio CDs (DAE - digital audio extraction) at 32x speed. That means there are no built-in constraints (GEMA restrictions) as is the case with several of the competitors' models.

The short access times are also exemplary: for full access, the CRW 1232A only needs 217 ms and is thus the fastest in this test. The actual burn process shows a few deficits: AOpen has no 1x write speed and no automatic laser calibration, but could be easily overlooked when considering the low price. On the other hand, one aspect deserves criticism - read errors occurred on the outer range of the media when it read our test data CD to the point that the transfer rate suddenly dropped. The chart below shows this in a striking manner.

In addition to the NERO Burning ROM burner software, the package includes two blank CDs (CD-R and CD-RW) as well as audio and IDE cables.

Accessories included.

AOpen's read speed along the radius of the test CD.

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