Burners finally seem to be catching on. It doesn't seem so long ago that improvements in writing and rewriting technology moved at a snail's pace compared to other computer components. While CPUs, video cards and hard drives are obsolescing themselves every 6 months or less, write/rewrite technology has typically held much longer life cycles.
We've now reached an age, though, where 16X write speeds are already breaking into the market mere months after the maturation of 12X writers (with 20X and 24X drives already on the horizon!). Yamaha was the first to market with their CRW2100E. Despite numerous issues uncovered by a variety of both online and print reviews, the drive's early introduction undoubtedly aided its popularity. Of course, Yamaha's bold move caused other manufacturers to scramble to get their 16X writers to market ASAP. First came Sanyo's OEM drive (CRD-BP1400P), followed closely by TDK's veloCD 16/10/40 and Plextor's PX-W1610TA.
While we would like to examine Sanyo's and TDK's products, Sanyo's OEM status and TDK's seeming lack of interest in supplying us with a review sample keeps us from exploring these possible gems.
Fortunately, both Plextor and Hyper Microsystems are on our side. Unaware that we already had a PX-W1610TA en route from Plextor, Hypermicro sent us an unsolicited retail box. We're grateful to both; given the opportunity, we always prefer to test two of each model as it helps us to determine whether or not unexpected results are normal.
Let's examine the specs.