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Pioneer BDR-203

*Est. $210
July 2009
by ConsumerSearch
Pioneer BDR-203

Best Blu-ray and DVD burner

  • Burns Blu-ray Discs
  • Good value for a Blu-ray burner
  • DVD-RW and CD-R burning disappointing
  • No LightScribe support
Where to Buy

Pioneer's BDR-203BK is hailed as perhaps the fastest Blu-ray burner on the market. Testers say that it can burn BD-R and BD-R DL discs at up to 8x speed, even on discs not rated to burn that fast. Rewritable Blu-rays can be burned as well, but at a more modest speed of 2x. DVD and CD burning speeds (16x and 32x, respectively) are also somewhat slower than on drives that lack Blu-ray support, but experts say that's common. If you are more interested in a drive for watching movies rather than recording to Blu-ray blank discs, the Pioneer BDC-2202B5PK (*Est. $135) is worth considering. It's a good -- though not great -- performer with standard DVDs and CDs and can play back but not record to Blu-ray Discs.

The Pioneer BDR-203 BK gets favorable and thorough professional reviews from testers at and also recommends the Pioneer drive, though the review is general and very short.

Where To Buy
Optical Quantum OQBDR06WIP-H-25 6X 25 GB BD-R White Inkjet Printable Single Layer Blu-Ray Recordable 25-Disc Spindle

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Our Sources


The Pioneer BDR-203BK gets an Editor's Choice award at The site's reviewers say it is the fastest Blu-ray burner yet, and can burn BD-R media as fast as 8x. DVD and CD speeds and quality are not as spectacular, but even there finds little cause for concern.

Review: Pioneer BDR-203BK, Editors of, June 4, 2009

2.'s guide to computer hardware Mark Kyrnin lists his top current Blu-ray drives, and the Pioneer BDR-203 is named as the best Blu-ray burner. His brief description says the drive is the fastest Blu-ray option, and that it is a "solid" performer when dealing with DVD and CD media as well. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)

Review: Best Desktop Blu-ray Drives, Mark Kyrnin, Feb. 19, 2009


Wendy Collins at points out that the Pioneer BDR-203BK is, first and foremost, a Blu-ray burner -- write quality and speed in that format are cited as excellent. Blu-ray and DVD movie playback is also praised as "near-silent." However, Collins notes that the drive is slow in reading from or writing to CD media, and that writing to DVD-RW discs could be better.

Review: Pioneer BDR-203BK, Wendy Collins, May 4, 2009

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