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In this report

DVD Burners: Ratings of Sources

Total of 12 Sources
1. CDRInfo.com
As of July 2009
Optical Storage Reviews
by Editors of CDRInfo.com
Our AssessmentCDRInfo.com is a British website operated by journalists and engineers. The site reviews DVD drives as they become available. Reviews are more objective than most, and the testing is comprehensive and superbly documented. Products are not ranked, but the very best are singled out for Editor's Choice recognition. Among recently reviewed drives, the Pioneer BDR-203 makes the cut. The editors say it is the fastest BD burner available, and that it performs well on DVD and CD media, too. The reviews tend to be too technical for most consumers, but the conclusions are straightforward.
2. CDRLabs.com
As of July 2009
Hardware Reviews
by Editors of CDRLabs.com
Our AssessmentCDRLabs.com is operated by people with full-time jobs in the computer industry. CDRLabs has reviewed and rated 12 DVD burners in the last year, and all are rated at least seven out of 10. One burner, the Sony Optiarc AD-7240S, is named a Best Buy; the site's editors liked the Sony model for its 24x DVD write speeds. Although the reviews are technically detailed, they are easier to read than the reviews at CDRInfo.com. On the other hand, review copy follows a set template that can make cross-reading reviews confusing and tedious. Testing is comprehensive and fully documented.
3. CDFreaks.com
As of July 2009
by Editors of CDFreaks.com
Our AssessmentCDFreaks.com reviews more drives than any other source and its write-ups are incredibly long and detailed. However, the site offers neither ratings nor rankings. One drive in the past year has received a Safe Buy designation: the Pioneer DVR-116DBK, which reviewer Wendy Collins finds to be an excellent all-around drive. Most other drives are summarized as being good products, but lists of pros and cons are reasonably balanced. The full reviews reveal distinctions that may matter to prospective buyers. CDFreaks.com is one of the few reviewers to address noise.
4. MaximumPC.com
As of July 2009
Optical Drives
by Katherine Stevenson
Our AssessmentMaximumPC.com's reviews are on the short side and can be superficial at times, but they are very well balanced and cover most of the important considerations. Testing is done, but is less comprehensive than that of some other reviewers. Charts comparing performance to that of competing drives are helpful. Ratings can be generous relative to the copy, but cover a satisfactory spectrum. Reviewer Katherine Stevenson's recent top picks for DVD and Blu-ray Disc burners, respectively, are the Samsung SH-223 and LG GBW-H20L; both get MaximumPC.com's Kick Ass award based on write speed and value.
5. ExtremeTech.com
March 11, 2009
Four PC Blu-ray Drives Reviewed
by Loyd Case
Our AssessmentExtremeTech.com likes to focus on extremely expensive, high-end products, and in keeping with that approach, the four DVD burners reviewed in this article (the LG GBC-H20L, Plextor PX-B310SA, Sony BWU-300S and Lite-On DH-4O1S) are all Blu-ray drives. The review is thoroughly comparative, and the drives are rated. Testing is described and documented well, and results are easy to understand. The LG and Plextor drives are recommended on the basis of all-around performance, while the Sony and Lite-On models are judged too expensive. However, these are the only recent burners tested by the site.
6. About.com
Feb. 2009
CD/DVD Drives
by Mark Kyrnin
Our AssessmentMark Kyrnin, About.com's guide to computer hardware, compiles three charts listing his top IDE, SATA and Blu-ray burners, which are, respectively, the (recently discontinued) LG GH22LP20, Samsung SH-223Q and Pioneer BDR-203. The Samsung SH-223F, very similar to the Samsung SH-223Q, is also named as best DVD drive for dual-layer burning. A one-paragraph summary describes each drive. Kyrnin says the rankings are "based upon [my] research and experience," and no testing data is referenced. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
7. NewEgg.com
As of July 2009
CD/DVD Burners
by Contributors to Newegg.com
Our AssessmentNewegg.com is an all-around seller of computer goods that's popular with hobbyist computer builders. At the time of our visit, 17 drives had 10 or more reviews, and several had accumulated hundreds. Drives from Sony, Samsung and LG get some of the highest scores from users. Newegg is an excellent place to learn about each drive's relative noisiness/quietness and reliability.
8. PC Authority (Australia)
As of July 2009
Reviews: Optical Drives
by Editors of PC Authority (Australia)
Our AssessmentPC Authority, an Australian computer magazine, reviews only a couple of current burners, including the Asus DRW-1814BLT (which gets the maximum six-star rating, but a rather skimpy explanation) and the older Lite-On LH-2B1S Blu-ray drive. The reviews are as comparative as possible, given the limited frame of reference. Overall and sub-category ratings are credible and helpful. While this is far from a comprehensive, one-stop reviews source, reviews are balanced and refreshingly candid. PC Authority is worth checking if you are specifically interested in one of the reviewed drives.
9. HardwareZone.com
As of July 2009
Optical Storage
by Vincent Chang
Our AssessmentHardwareZone.com, which is based in Singapore, occasionally reviews optical drives, but the articles are extraordinarily informative. Testing is very good from a technical standpoint, and write-ups are thoughtful and analytical. Vincent Chang gives the discontinued LG GWW-H20L drive top marks, saying that "this is one optical drive that may just persuade you onto the Blu-ray bandwagon." However, no drives have been reviewed here in over a year.
10. Computer Power User
As of July 2009
DVD Burner Reviews
by Marty Sems, Robert Luhn
Our AssessmentComputer Power User occasionally reviews DVD burners. The reviews are cursory and uneven. Testing is good, but not as comprehensive as testing by the most thorough reviewers. Three Blue-ray drives are directly compared in the May issue: the Addonics Zebra ZBW-H63DEU (identical to an LG GGW-H20LK with an external casing), the LG Super Multi Blue BH08 and the Pioneer BDR-203. All drives are rated, but all recent ratings are either three, 3.5 or four, making it difficult to make comparisons. As with most high-end-oriented magazines, the focus is on Blu-ray drives.
11. Amazon.com
As of July 2009
DVD Burners
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentAmazon.com is a fine source of user reviews for many products, but not DVD burners. At press time, only 13 drives have as many as 10 reviews; most get one or two. The glut of listed models makes browsing difficult. Amazon.com is only useful for burner buyers looking at a particular model.
12. TigerDirect.com
As of July 2009
DVD Burners
by Contributors to TigerDirect.com
Our AssessmentCustomers of consumer electronics retailer TigerDirect.com submit reviews of products they've purchased and used. Lots of burners are listed, but few get more than a handful of reviews, making the site only marginally useful for buying advice.

DVD Burners Runners Up:

LG GGC-H20L/GBC-H20L *Est. $220

2 picks by top review sites.

LG Electronics GGC-H20L LightScribe Blu-Ray/HD DVD Combo Drive (Black)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $109.99 $79.99   
Average Customer Review:  
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