Verbatim – Omnia 4x review

high-speed re-writeable DVD+RW drive
Photo of Verbatim – Omnia 4x

Verbatim is very proud of the fact that it is currently the only firm in the world that designs, develops and manufactures high-performance, high-quality, CD-Recordable, CD-ReWritable, DVD-Recordable and DVD-ReWritable media products. And breathe… Thus it comes as no surprise that the company has now sought to advance to the next generation of 4x DVD ReWritable drives.

With DVD+R and DVD+RW being touted as possible overall winners in the DVD format war, this would be a good time to get on board if you’re thinking of installing an internal DVD drive. If, on the other hand, you’ve opted for the DVD-R and DVD-RW formats, then you’d do better to go either for drives that specialise in that area or for a dual format drive (like the SONY DRU-500AX, for instance).

Installation of this ATAPI/EIDE DVD+RW drive is simplicity itself as it comes with all the necessary cables and a basic manual that is clear and uncluttered. The Omnia is particularly designed with the home movie-maker in mind. It offers a whopping 4.7GB per disc storage capacity and the accompanying software includes Sonic MyDVD Video Suite, Arcsoft’s Showbiz and CinePlayer, which will allow you to record, edit, add titles and slideshows, and play back all those vital holiday memories.

In case you’re wondering whether your home DVD player will be compatible with the finished discs, fear not. Both DVD+RW and DVD+R discs recorded in the Omnia drive can be played back on a wide variety of newer DVD players. This also applies to DVD-ROM drives and it can also read DVD Video, DVD-ROM, CD Audio and CD-ROM formats.

Oh yes, music buffs aren’t forgotten either, as you can create new CD-R and CD-RW audio compilations using the Nero 5.5 and InCD burning software that comes with the package. All the backup software documentation is there on the installation disc and all the titles come with some form of tutorial.

Now for the essential question – how fast does it read and write? Well, it’s 4x for DVD+R and 2.4x for DVD+RW, rising to 16x for CD-R and a maximum of 10x for CD-RW. The reading speed for the audio formats reaches a max of 40x, while the DVD formats can attain 8x. Or, in English, fairly fast on all fronts.

The Omnia 4x employs the “JustLink” feature that’s designed to eliminate buffer under-runs so there’s no wasted recordable media when you’re creating new volumes. This feature works by writing data onto the disk in small increments, and it also permits ‘lossless linking’ which eliminates unusable portions of disc space. DVD+RW initial formatting takes around 2 minutes as the formatting happens in the background.

Verbatim supplies a ’4 pack’ of blank discs in each audio and DVD format to get you started.

Company: Verbatim

The Verbatim Omnia 4x is a good buy for those who want to copy large amounts of data - especially video clips and slideshows, etc. - to a user-friendly format that will play back on most DVD and DVD-ROM players. It comes with good documentation and a useful selection of software.