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Packaging and Unboxing:
Upon delivery, the Lite-On iHES208 8X Blu-ray Reader / DVD Writer Combo was packaged in a blue and white box that weighed in at an average proportion of what we would expect from an internal optical drive. The informational contents included a 19-page user manual in three languages, a quick installation guide, a straightforward faceplate replacement guide, and the Lite-On Terms and Conditions warranty information note. The company was kind enough to also package a standard red colored Foxconn SATA cable and a CyberLink BD all-in-one software solution for burning, playing and labeling discs.
The drive itself looks like any standard 5.25-inch internal optical drive, complete with a black faceplate featuring the brand name and various proprietary technologies supported by the drive.
Specifications and Pricing:
It is important to keep in mind that the most crucial aspect to any optical drive review is the price vs. performance comparison made between various competing offers. The Lite-On iHES208 features all the quirks of a Blu-ray reader as well as a DVD and CD Writer, and as such we were compelled to compare it against two Blu-ray reader solutions with no DVD writing capabilities – one from Lite-On itself and one from Sony.
“The iHES208 is a great solution for those looking for the advanced technologies of Blu-ray in home entertainment,” said Christine Hsing, Marketing Manager at PLDS. “The drive will not only allow them to play high-definition content such as Blu-ray movies, it will also let them easily share data files, presentations, home videos and other image files on DVDs or CDs.”
The Lite-On iHES208 was originally priced at a $159.99 MSRP value back at launch in April 2009. However, it is now available for a smooth $109.99 from Newegg, Amazon, TigerDirect and B&H Photo. In comparison, the company’s iHOS104 4X Blu-ray reader is currently priced at just $59.99, creating a theoretical $50 price difference for the added DVD writing capabilities on the former option.
At the same time, we have decided to include our Sony BDU-X10S 2X Blu-ray reader into the price vs. performance comparison mix. Seeing that the drive has been out since January 2008, it should prove interesting to compare the technological advancements of Lite-On’s 8X and 4X drives to one of Sony’s originally noteworthy internal Blu-ray solutions. At launch, it was priced at $199.99 and is now out of production, but currently sells for around $79 on eBay and various etail outlets.