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
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
. 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.