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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
BDR-203 8X Blu-ray Burner Writer BD-RE SATA Desktop Internal DVD RW OEM Industrial Packaging

 (2 reviews)
1 New from $99.99


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

DVD Burners Runners Up:

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2 picks by top review sites.

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