Plextor PlexWriter PX-716A DVD Burner

Plextor PlexWriter PX-716A DVD Burner

Plextor_DVD.jpgHoly smokes! Plextor pulls out all the stops with its best drive ever

Month Reviewed: April 2005
Verdict: 10 Kickass
URL: www.plextor.com

Put on your party hat, because if Plextor’s PX-716A DVD burner doesn’t make you want to get naked and dance a jig, then you’re either a hopeless Luddite or dead.

We’re not all that surprised that the PX-719A turned in a record-breaking time writing 4.25GB to a single-layer DVD+R disc in 5:50 (min:sec); we’re accustomed to cutting-edge speeds from Plextor, and that’s only a second faster than the results from NEC’s much cheaper ND-3500A. What really amazes us is the unprecedented speed with which the PX-716A writes to double-layer media. The PlexWriter broke the 20-minute barrier writing 8.3GB of data to a DVD+R DL disc in just 18:16 (min:sec) by writing at 6x to media rated for 2.4x speed! That’s almost triple the media rating, which made us suspicious about the compatibility of the disc with set-top players. Our fears were unfounded—the disc performed essentially the same as DVDs burned by other drives on our five set-top players. The PX-716A even makes rewriting speeds look attractive—we filled a DVD+RW in another record-breaking time of 14:32.

But Plextor drives aren’t just about sheer speed. The PX-716A is bundled with Roxio’s excellent Easy Media Creator 7 suite, but the bundled PlexTools software is where the real action is. Here’s where you have access to a staggering number of options, such as setting the book type for DVD+R/W to make them more compatible with set-top players, all the way down to minutiae like tweaking the speed at which the drive tray opens and closes. You also get such familiar Plextor features as GigaRec, which can squeeze up to 1GB on a 700MB disc (although these discs are readable only on Plextor drives) and the ability to password-protect a disc if you want to burn your diary to CD.

In addition to a drive that can burn a double-layer DVD-Video in less time than it takes to eat a bowl of Top Ramen, you get double-digit access time and even an extra black bezel. This isn’t just the best drive Plextor has ever made—we think it’s the finest optical drive we’ve ever held in our hot little hands. --Logan Decker

+ Party hats: Fastest burn speeds ever, unprecedented “overspeed” capability, and features galore.

- Dunce caps: “Plextor” sounds like a bad comic book arch villain.

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