Toshiba's latest SCSI DVD-ROM is a very solid performer overall. CD speeds are right in line with other 40X units we've tested, and it turns in DVD scores second only to Pioneer's 16X ATAPI drive in our (admittedly young) database. We like that Toshiba is improving their digital audio extraction speeds, but these days, 12X minimum DAE should be standard. We hope to see Toshiba work towards this and add support for accurate streaming. For those who are concerned with noise, the Toshiba is by far the quietest 40X drive we've yet tested.
On the down side, the wide variation in Winmark scores across our four test CDs made us a bit edgy. Most units we test manage very similar scores across the four discs, but the Toshiba's scores deviated by nearly 17%.
Finally, we were happy to see DVD speeds approach the drive's 10X rating. Those who own software apps on DVD will be pleased to know they are getting full advertised speeds with this drive.
There's really no glaring weakness in the SD-M1401. Even its $150 sticker price is pretty reasonable considering the SCSI interface and 10X DVD speeds. For those who already have SCSI-based systems and are looking for a good DVD-ROM, the SD-M1401 will make a fine addition.