by February 4, 2002 0 comments

High-end permanent data storage comes to desktops with this latest offering from HP. HP’s DVD-Writer dvd100i can write to DVD-RWs, CD-R or CD-RW discs. It is rated at 2.4X DVD write, 8X DVD read, 12X CD write, 10X CD rewrite and 32X CD read speeds. It can be used to archive data, make DVD discs which can be played back on many DVD players and DVD-ROM drives, serve as a mode of transferring up to 4.7 GB of data via DVD-RWs or simply work as your CD writer.

Rs 36,500, this drive is on the expensive side

DVD-Writer dvd100i
Price: Rs 36,500
Ment for: 
Features: Read and write DVDs and CDs, IDE interface, internal drive
Pros: One solution for data storage as well as DVD-at-home
Cons: Software cannot write from image files, cannot control write speed
Contact: Hewlett-Packard India, Bangalore. Tel: 080-5216121—25.

It is an IDE connected, internal drive that fits into an empty bay in your PC cabinet. The software installation requires one reboot and then detects your drive. The complete software installation occupies around 142 MB of hard disk space.

We tested the drive for its performance with all kinds of read and write operations. Here are the results. CD read tests were conducted with a 74 min test data CD and the drive gave an average read speed of 25X (starting with 14.5X and going up to 33X at the periphery). However seek times for data on the CD were a little longer than some of the other drives we have reviewed. It showed a random seek time of 104 ms and a full seek time of 233 ms. For audio CD extraction tests, the drive scored full marks in DAE quality and also supports Accurate stream function. For checking the DVD capabilities, we used a 4.37 GB single layered DVD. The read speed average stood at 5.8X (starting with 3.3X and ending at 7.7X). We also checked the DVD write speeds. Transferring 4.33GB of data onto the DVD-RW took 23.5 min. This comes out to an average of 2.5X DVD write speed, which is as claimed.

Utilities to work with your drive are loaded in the System tray and can be invoked any time. The actual writing engine is in collaboration with Veritas software. The software bundle comes with HP DLA for DVD Data discs, HP RecordNow for copying and writing data and audio CDs and DVD discs, HP Simple Backup for backing up data on CD or DVD, Sonic’s HP MyDVD Video for creating your own DVD movie discs in conjunction with a camcorder and a video capture card. The burning software however has a couple of drawbacks. You cannot control the writing speeds, not can you burn from an image or make a bootable disk. We tried using Nero 5.5 with the drive but it could not be identified.

Right now this drive comes with a big price tag of Rs 36,500. Also considering that DVD-RW discs are not easily available too, you might want to wait and watch for the technology to become cheaper.

Ashish Sharma at PCQ Labs

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