Reviewers say that the 22x Samsung SH-S223Q is about as fast as any current drive. Testing reveals that it reliably burns DVDs (regular and dual-layer) and CDs, although media compatibility is limited when burning at the drive's highest rates. Additionally, while performance is generally reliable, some reviewers report higher error rates than desirable with certain brands of media. The Samsung SH-S223F (*Est. $30) is the identical drive, but without LightScribe support. The Sony Optiarc AD-7240S is another good choice in this price range. It is one of the fastest performers available when burning discs, but tests reveal some disc incompatibilities at the drive's highest speed.
Reviewers have looked at both LightScribe and non-LightScribe versions of this Samsung optical drive. MaximumPC.com gives the SH-S223Q high praise, while CDRLabs.com is impressed, but points out a few drawbacks. CDRInfo.com speaks well of the SH-S223F, and About.com takes a look at both the SH-S223Q and SH-S223F. A wealth of user reviews can be found at Newegg.com.
CDRLabs' editors are impressed by Samsung drives in general, and find the SH-S223Q no exception. They say that DVD read and write speeds are very good, though CD performance is a "mixed bag." Burn-quality issues with certain brands of discs are noted, as is limited compatibility with disc types at the highest burn speeds -- problems that the site hopes will be addressed in a future firmware update.
Review: Samsung SH-S223Q, Editors of CDRLabs.com, May 27, 2009
Katherine Stevenson doesn't note whether she is reviewing the SH-S223Q or SH-S223F model, leaving off any mention of LightScribe, which marks the difference between the two. She finds that the SH-S223 improves upon the SH-S203, its predecessor, and recommends it as a replacement drive for anyone with a significantly slower DVD burner.
Review: Samsung SH-S223, Katherine Stevenson, March 26, 2009
About.com provides a list of the top SATA DVD burners. Guide to computer hardware Mark Kyrnin names both variants of the Samsung SH-S223 to the list -- the SH-S223Q is named best all-around, while the SH-S223F is cited as the best drive for burning dual-layer discs, because it also burns DVD-R DL. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Best SATA DVD Burners, Mark Kyrnin, Feb. 18, 2009
The Editors of CDRInfo.com take a look at the Samsung SH-S223F. Although one bobble is noted, overall the site is quite impressed with the performance of the SH-S223F. While "fast enough for enthusiasts," editors say "it will produce worry-free burnings in the majority of your DVD and CD media."
Review: Samsung SH-S223F, Editors of CDRInfo.com, Dec. 19, 2008
Over 830 users weigh in on the Samsung SH-S223Q, and the drive gets an average score of four out of five. Seventy percent give it top marks, and the model is a multiple-time winner of Newegg's Customer Choice Award for CD/DVD burners. Speed and lack of noise are praised by many.
Review: Samsung SH-S223Q, Contributors to Newegg.com