What can we say? Sanyo's BURN-Proof technology, as licensed and implemented by Plextor, just plain works. Even our most stringent stress test could not create a coaster with this drive. Performance was excellent across the board...read speeds at 32X are closer to what we've come to expect from dedicated 32X readers, and writing performance was excellent as well. We were especially pleased with the 10X rewrite performance. Those who use CD-RWs a lot will notice a huge boost in performance. Keep in mind, though, that your existing media will still work at only 4X. You'll need to use the included high speed CD-RW until such media becomes more widely available. We've yet to see these in retail stores yet, only online.
Our complaints are few and far between. A single LED that varies its coloration according to what the drive is doing is a great concept. However, in practice we weren't as impressed. We had a difficult time telling between yellow (drive reading) and green (disc in drive, not being read). The amber write color was easily distinguishable, however. In our opinion, splurging for a second LED might've been a better choice. In addition, we feel the buffer could be larger. Sure, BURN-Proof will nearly always save the day, but an extra 2 megs (like most of today's burners have) would keep things running smoothly when the going gets especially tough. The pauses and slowdowns (as BURN-Proof kicks in) would be less frequent, and Sanyo's new technology wouldn't get as much of a workout. Of course, this only applies if you regularly abuse your system while burning CDs...in our experience most light-to-medium computing tasks aren't enough to drain the 2 meg buffer. Finally, we wonder why Plextor chose not to include CD Res-Q with this drive when it's included with the SCSI 12/4/32.
All in all, our opinion remains unchanged on Plextor's retail packaging. The included software (including Plextor Manager 2000), detailed paper manuals, and accessory bag of mounting screws, jumpers and emergency eject pin show a great attention to detail that we appreciate. In addition, our experiences with tech support and the quality of their website were all positive. Clearly, the extra money you may pay for a Plextor product goes into keeping up such perks and should be factored in when deciding whether to pay a little more for their products. For our part, we highly recommend this drive.