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Review: The all-in-one and only drive you ever need
Over the past few decades, Lite-On has been regarded as an industry leader in uncompromising quality of design and consumer satisfaction in a variety of consumer electronics markets. Most notably, many have become familiar with their cutting-edge manufacturing processes in semiconductors, LEDs, and most notably the optical disc drive (ODD) market.
By 1995, the ODD market was a rapidly growing field in the modern personal computing space, and in order to establish a significant presence, Lite-On Technology decided to establish a dedicated business unit to produce high quality CD-ROM drives. A large manufacturing facility was established in China to meet all demands and Lite-On soon became Taiwan's biggest CD-ROM drive manufacturer, and number three worldwide.
Since then, the corporation has manufactured a variety of solutions including CD-ROM drives, DVD-ROM drives, CD-RW/DVD-RW combo drives and slimline DVD-RW drives for notebooks. Most recently, Lite-On has advanced its focus into the area of Blu-ray ROM optical drives and is currently experimenting with consumer demands across a broad spectrum of individually specialized markets.
For instance, the company began marketing into the field of Blu-ray writing for desktop PCs with the introduction of its LH-2B1S 2X Blu-ray Disc Triple Writer in November, 2006. Within less than six months, it had not only introduced its first external Blu-ray Disc Triple Writer, but had also received the highly prestigious Red Dot Design Award 2007 for its outstanding international product design. Over the last three years of the decade, the company has offered multi-optical format combo devices ranging from Blu-ray/DVD/CD reader, Blu-ray reader/DVD-RW burner and Blu-ray/DVD-RW burner with a progressive increase in seek times, interface speeds and buffer sizes.
Today, we intend to review the company’s latest and greatest internal Blu-ray reader/DVD-RW burner combo drive with emphasis on its performance advantages and its similarities with previously introduced Blu-ray optical drives. This will effectively allow us to analyze and hopefully predict a positive technology efficiency trend in the optical storage drive market and should be an indicator of Lite-On’s experience in the market.
On hand is the Lite-On iHES208 8X Blu-ray Disc Reader with DVD Writer Combo, provided to us from the company’s headquarters in Fremont, California. In perspective, the drive is loaded with 2009’s greatest technological advancements in the field of Blu-ray, DVD and CD optical reading capabilities and features a compelling specs sheet to undergo our approval. The drive is a half-height internal Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD reader with support for BD-ROM, BD-R, BD-R DL, BD-RE SL, BD-RE DL, BD DVD-ROM, DVD ± R, DVD ± RW, DVD ± DL, DVD-RAM, DVD+R9, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM XA, CD-PLUS, CD-I and CD-DA.
Basically, if you have a 12cm or 8cm disc, this drive will more than likely be capable of playing it. This is not uncommon on most drives, however. What we are more interested in are the read and write speeds of the Blu-ray and DVD laser diodes and buffer on the drive respectively. Below is a chart containing a specification sheet of the three drives we will be comparing.
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