Asus – DRW-0804P review

dual-format DVD writer
Photo of Asus – DRW-0804P
£95 + VAT

It’s is a functional enough drive, but in some respects you’ll find that Asus’ new DRW-0804P is a little behind the times. The market leading write speed for DVD burners is currently 16x, while this unit clocks in at 8x. And then, in line with the growing trend for more aesthetically pleasing PCs, more and more drive manufacturers are providing alternative bezels. Not so here: the unit is beige, and it’s staying beige.

Still, there are no qualms when it comes to the package that Asus has put together here. The box contains the drive itself, necessarily cabling and screws, a slim but easy-to-follow user guide and a quick start book. There’s also some software, in the shape of the useful Nero OEM Suite 2.

This is basically a ‘lighter’ version of the excellent Nero 6 retail package, which itself is arguably the best such solution on the market. While a full version of Nero would have been preferable, given the price of this drive it’s hardly surprising that one hasn’t been included. What is surprising, and a little bit tight, is the lack of any blank media to set you on your way. Hardly an earth-shattering criticism, more a minor irritation.

All that aside, though, the drive itself is an excellent performer for its class. It’s a dual format unit that supports DVD+R (up to 8x), DVD+RW (up to 4x), DVD-R (up to 8x) and DVD-RW (up to 4x). On top of that, it can burn CD-Rs and CD-RWs at 24x, read CD-ROMs at 40x and read DVD-ROMs at 12x. It goes about its work briskly, and was happy to burn full, 4.7GB DVDs in under nine minutes. It’s certainly one of the fastest 8x performers we’ve come across.

Importantly, the drive’s access times are very quick, and across the period of our tests it didn’t generate a single duff disc, no matter what format we threw at it. This included some data intensive backups consisting of thousands of files.

Ultimately, the DRW-0804P is a highly capable, trustworthy DVD burning solution. It comes in a friendly package, is easy to get up and running, and is laden with writing speed and buffer under-run technologies to ensure that its core business – writing discs – is carried out with consummate ease. One or two minor niggles aside, this is a good piece of kit.

Company: Asus

Contact: 01908 217135


Verdict
This is a strong and apparently reliable drive, which may not be the fastest on the market but is unlikely to disappoint. A good package, although it would be nice to have some blank media in the box. All in all it's an effective, if unspectacular, optical solution.