Lite-On eHBU212 review

12x external Blu-ray writer with USB 3.0 connection
Photo of Lite-On eHBU212
£148

With the boom in Full HD video, the need to record more and more data and video on a single disc has seen Blu-ray becoming the recordable media of choice. Following the trend, the new Lite-On eHBU212 is the company’s external Blu-ray burner to take advantage of the fast 4.8Gbit/s theoretical maximum of the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connection for faster backup and movie disc writing.

A straightforward, boxy design in jet black with white trimming, the eHBU212 measures 168x58x199mm (wdh), and weighs a sturdy 1.2kg.

Fast recording and 3D Blu-ray movies
Not only can the drive quickly burn single-layer 25GB BD-R Blu-ray discs at 12x, but also the double-layer 50GB BD-R discs at 8x, thus giving you ample room for 1080p Full HD movies – though you’ll need a USB 3.0-equipped machine (or you’ll need to upgrade your desktop PC with an add-in card) to take advantage of those speeds. Older machine will work at the (considerably slower) speed of USB 2.0.

As you’d expect, the drive itsels backwards-compatible with older optical disc formats, so you can also record data on to the whole DVD family (up to 16x), as well as CD-R (at 48x) and CD-RW.

The machine comes with the excellent CyberLink BD Solution package which contains everything you need to make WMA and MP3 music CDs, plus DVD and Blu-ray data discs and movies and PC backup discs. It also enables you to watch 3D Blu-ray movies on a suitably enabled monitor. LightScribe is also included, enabling you to finish off your CD and DVD creations when using the requisite discs by flipping them over and burning a stylish label.

Performance
Blu-ray movie quality was outstanding on playback, with vivid colours and strong contrasts – and not only were burn times impressively swift, but the machine was as quiet as a whisper.

The only addition we’d have liked to see is an eSATA connection for those PCs not yet equipped with USB 3.0, but the good news is that the eHBU212 is compatible with Windows 7 PCs and Macs – though the latter, without USB 3.0 support, only at the slower speed of USB 2.0.

Company: Lite-On

Website: http://www.liteonit.eu/

Contact: Lite-On on +31 40 250 8000

Positives
  • 12x USB 3.0 write speed thanks to the fast USB 3.0 connection.
Negative
  • Lack of eSATA connectivity for those without USB 3.0.

Verdict

Although this is at least £30 more expensive than Lite-On's internal equivalent, the eHBU212 has exceptional copying speeds thanks to its USB 3.0 connectivity  and the generous Cyberlink software lets you watch 3D Blu-ray movies with ease.