So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
- DVD-RAM Support, Great variety of formats, Fairly quick
- DVD-RAM speeds slow
For single-layer 4.7GB formats, this drive is superb, producing some stunning times. It's also very well-priced and, for these reasons, should be a hit. However, those who are more interested in using 8.5GB double-layer formats will find better deals elsewhere.
Price$ 89.00 (AUD)
For some time now, LG has been churning out prized DVD writers. Combining raw DVD+R speed with decent performance across a range of other formats, LG writers have tended to seal the deal with their enviable price tags, and if that's not enough, LG can promise support for a standard not covered by any of the other manufacturers: DVD-RAM.
We've long been lamenting the baleful reputation of the rewriteable DVD-RAM format, since it is much easier to use than DVD-RW and DVD+RW. Unfortunately, speed has always been something of a problem for it.
In the case of the GSA-4167B, the eight-speed DVD+RW format is faster by far than the 5x DVD-RAM facilities, and you can expect to wait for an extra four or five minutes when copying over 4GB of data to a DVD-RAM. With the speed gap ever more apparent, we are finding it hard to continue extolling DVD-RAM's virtues.
However, for those who primarily want rewriteable optical media and aren't too bothered about speed, we would suggest it's still good to have a convenient format at the ready.
And thankfully, the LG is no one-trick pony, offering a great variety of formats. Even DVD-R DL is included, although you'll want to stick to 6x DVD+R DL for the fastest 8.5GB double-layer results. However, while it's quick, the LG is by no means the quickest writer available.
Indeed, whether you want the LG will depend very much on your priorities. For DVD-R DL or DVD+R DL, there are undoubtedly faster drives on the market. But should straight DVD+R or DVD+RW be your main focus, you won't find a better drive.
The LG copied 3GB of data to a DVD+R in four minutes and 49 seconds, and to a DVD+RW in five minutes and 47 seconds. That's fast.
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