SATA interface, better-than-average CD/DVD specs, lowest price.
Still expensive, limited usefulness, BD burns take a long time.
As far as Blu-ray burners go, Lite-On’s Triple Writer comes across as the most forward-looking, with the simple inclusion of a serial ATA interface—a feature that’s been sorely lacking in all the other Blu-ray drives we’ve tested. Really, it should be standard issue with any so-called next-gen device, as parallel support will only get more scarce over time.
The Triple Writer also stands out with an illuminated indicator strip across its front bezel that informs you of drive activity and whether it involves BD, DVD, or CD media. Maximum theoretical write speeds for the three formats are 2x, 12x, and 32x, respectively. A 2x BD burn speed is standard in today’s Blu-ray drives; DVD and CD speeds are typically capped at 8x and 24x, respectively.
In our DVD burn test, the Triple Writer wrote 4.38GB of data to a single-layer DVD+R in 7:09 (min:sec), besting all previously tested Blu-ray drives by a good two minutes. As expected, the TW was with the pack in BD-R burns, taking a leisurely 46:41 to fill a 25GB write-once disc, but its performance with rewriteable media surprised us. All the other drives we tested took approximately twice as long to write to BD-RE as to BD-R—the result of a data verification process. But Lite-On feels confident enough with its Triple Writer to have disabled verification in the drive in order to increase BD-RE write speeds. In our admittedly limited tests, we had no problems reading the TW’s BD-RE discs.
In fact, taking into account the TW’s relatively low price, its SATA interface, and its superior CD and DVD write speeds, the Triple Writer is the closest thing to something we might buy—not that we’re even considering it.