- It can burn to DVDs and CDs, as well as BD-R and BD-RE discs; it burnt BD-R discs relatively quickly
- Its DVD and CD performance is slower than that of a dedicated DVD burner
While adopting the Blu-ray standard is an expensive undertaking, this drive is a step in the right direction, which serves its intended purpose well. For users who want to create their own Blu-ray content, this drive is ideal. It can perform all the functions of a regular DVD burner, in addition to burning Blu-ray discs at relatively quick rate.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
For early adopters, Pioneer's BDR-202BK Blu-ray writer is a good choice. It's priced at just under $900, and it can perform all the functions of a typical DVD burner, as well as read and write to Blu-ray discs. In fact, it's an especially good tool for professional users who are looking to produce and distribute their own high-definition movies. Pioneer ships the drive with CyberLink BD Solution, which is a suite that allows discs to be burnt, movies to be played back and video to be edited and prepared for burning to Blu-ray.
Functionally, Blu-ray discs can be burnt to in the same way as DVDs -- simply drag and drop data into the CyberLink recording program and hit the burn button. When compared to DVDs, Blu-ray can hold up to 23GB of data stored on the one disc. This makes it the perfect medium for storing large data files and backups for music libraries, for example.
The BDR-202BK can write to Blu-ray discs at a rate of 4x, which is actually quite zippy. It even managed to burn to our 2x Verbatim BD-R discs at a rate of 4x. It took 23min 52sec to complete a 23GB burn, which is impressive considering it took longer to write 7.87GB of data to a double-layer DVD+R disc.
Indeed, its DVD specifications aren't as impressive as the specifications that can be found on a dedicated, sub-$100 DVD burner. It has a maximum burn speed of 12x for single-layer DVDs (18x is the norm for current-generation DVD burners), and this is the speed at which our 16x DVD+R Verbatim discs were burnt at. It took 7min 14sec to burn 4.1GB of data to these discs. Its DVD+R DL performance, too was a little slow. Although it's rated at 8x, it was only able to burn to our Verbatim discs at 4x. As such, it burnt 7.87GB of data in 26min 55sec.
The drive created reliable burns, and each one was subsequently read back to our test system without any problems. DVD+R discs took almost an identical time to be read back (7min 14sec) as they did to be written (7min 15sec), while DVD+R DL discs were read back faster than they were burnt (19min 49sec, as opposed to 26min 55sec).
However, it was much slower at reading back our burnt Blu-ray disc. Despite having a rated read speed of 5x for Blu-ray discs, which is faster than the rated burn speed for this type of disc (4x), it took 37min 10sec to transfer the data back to our 7200rpm hard drive. Blu-ray re-writeable performance, using the supplied InstantBurn 5.0 application, is also slow, as the rated write speed for BD-RE discs is 2x, and the read speed is 5x.
For watching Blu-ray movies, the BDR-202BK is ideal. Using the supplied CyberLink software, we ran the drive on a system equipped with an ATI Radeon HD2900 XT graphics card and a Samsung SyncMaster 275T monitor, both of which are HDCP-compatible products. Blu-ray movies played back smoothly at their maximum resolution.
Physically, the drive relies on a Serial ATA connection, which means it's easy to install and won't contribute much to the clutter of cables inside a PC, and it's a very sturdy burner. We tested it in our Lian-Li ATX mid-tower case and couldn't feel any vibration when the drive was at full speed.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Western Digital begins production of the world's tallest 3D NAND 'skyscraper'
- WD will make a record-breaking 14TB hard drive available next year
- Start hoarding SSDs: Prices are expected to spike as supply gets tight
- Intel's silence on Optane SSDs raises questions about launch and focus
- Seagate crams a massive 5TB into a portable hard drive
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCWeb Ops EngineerACT
- CCMidrange ProvisioningNSW
- FTSAP BOBJ ConsultantACT
- FTTelecommunications Services Manager - Voice/Data/UCQLD
- FTPerformance TesterACT
- FTBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCERP Business Analyst (Time Capture/ Management) - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCProject Support OfficerNSW
- FTPMO Specialist - PermanentACT
- FTChange Manager - Large Transition ProjectNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst - PeopleSoft HR/Payroll ProjectVIC
- CCUnix AdministratorNSW
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- TPSolution Architect - Office 365QLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)ACT
- FTTechnical Team Leader | ArchitectQLD
- TPDigital Project ManagerVIC
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT
- CCIT Infrastructure ArchitectNSW
- CCIT Support TechnicianNSW
- TPTest AnalystQLD
- FTLevel 2 Technical Support OfficerQLD
- CCADABAS Natural DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 required!!!!SA