Philips is traditionally an early-adopter of new technologies, particularly those involving the CD and DVD standards which it has helped to specify from the start. This DVD+RW drive is compatible with the DVD+R standard, as well as the rewritable format, and is also capable of reading, writing and rewriting CD-based media. It can’t handle DVD-R, DVD-RW or DVD RAM standards, though.
The DVDRW228K slips into any standard 5.25-inch drive bay and cables up using the same leads as a regular EIDE DVD or CD drive would. Recent operating systems, like Windows XP, recognise the drive directly, though you will need to use the bundled software to write DVD+R and DVD+RW disks.
The drive itself is easy to operate and features attractive front panel lights, with blue for reading and red for writing and formatting. There are separate LEDs indicating CD and DVD media, and a good-sized eject button that is difficult to miss. There’s a front panel headphone socket and volume control, too.
The drive is rated at 2.4-speed for writing and rewriting DVDs and 8-speed for reading them. In CD mode this equates to 12x10x32, which is no better than average compared to its main rivals. Under test, the drive wrote a 100MB mixed basket of files in 36 seconds and read them back in just 31 seconds. Both these results mean you won’t be hanging around long for this drive to complete most everyday tasks.
The DVDRW228K is quiet in operation, with no more than a slight swish when it’s reading at full speed. It uses Seamless Link to eliminate buffer under-runs on recordable media, so ensuring accurate writing without data loss in most circumstances. It comes with a 2MB data buffer, which may sound big, but is less so when dealing with large amounts of data, such as video.
Philips bundles a good set of software with the drive. It starts with Nero and its UDF writing buddy, InCD, both of which now cope with writable DVD media as well as CD disks. Additionally, there are copies of PowerDVD, MyDVD and Pinnacle’s DVD editing package, Studio 7.
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