Upgrade your Combo Drive now - right now!


Stuck with the single-layer DVD burner that came with your Mac and you want to put more than 4.7GB of data on a DVD? Stuck with a Combo drive and you can't even burn a DVD? Sony's DRX-820UL/T is an ideal upgrade - it not only burns dual-layer DVDs, but also offers a speed increase over your old internal SuperDrive or Combo drive.


The DRX-820UL/T supports a wide range of disc formats: CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD±R, double-layer DVD+R, and dual-layer DVD-R. It comes with USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 connectors, and it even bundles FireWire 400 and USB cables (yay!). The drive also comes with Roxio Toast 6 Lite - a nice application, although it's a version behind the latest one available.


To test the speed of the DRX-820UL/T, we timed how long it took to burn data to certain discs, using FireWire 400 on a dual 2GHz PowerMac G4 with a SuperDrive capable of burning single-layer DVDs. Across the board (when applicable), the DRX-820UL/T was faster than the SuperDrive. When burning a 2GB digital video file to DVD-R, DVD+R, and DVD-RW, the DRX-820UL/T was 10 percent, 36 percent, and 15 percent faster, respectively. When burning 340MB worth of photos to a CD-R, the DRX-820UL/T was 30 percent faster than the SuperDrive. It took 45 minutes to burn 6GB worth of digital video files onto a double-layer DVD+R disc.


If there's one reason to knock this speedy drive, it's the noise. When you insert a disc, you'll endure a considerable amount of fan noise. The drive eventually quiets down, though, to unnoticeable levels.


The bottom line. At this price, there's no reason why you need to stick with your old SuperDrive or Combo drive.


CONTACT: 800-352-7669, www.sonystyle.com
PRICE: $159.99
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 9.2 or later for FireWire 400, Mac OS 10.2 or later for USB 2.0
Excellent burning speeds.
Noisy at times.





+ Add a Comment


I just bought the 830UL/T and absolutely love it. Speed is good, sound must have been improved because this drive is quiet, relatively.

It seems to take a while for discs to mount and in order to get absolute maximum speeds you have to enable "Turbo Mode" by holding the open/close button for a few seconds (I haven't tried this).

In the vertical position I found it difficult to load discs, and the tray seemed a little flimsy. I can't use vertical loading because I have several 3" cds that require the drive to be horizontal. Now the ugly product label shows on the edge of the drive but...

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