The Artec CHA-52 performs well enough to put itself into contention for a Leaderboard spot.
In summary, its strengths include:
- 52X transfer rates that actually exceed specifications
- Dirt-cheap pricing
- Consistently high read speeds with a variety of pressed media
- Excellent copy speeds
- Excellent DAE speeds
- Good CD-DA playback error correction
The drive's weak areas:
- Shallow tray makes removing discs difficult
- Slow access times compared to the competition
- Suspect DAE quality
- Mediocre CD-RW read speeds
Were it not for the DAE issues, the CHA-52 would overtake leaderboard champ Afreey. Its remaining strengths make for an impressive CD-ROM drive. As it currently stands, though, we only recommend this drive to those who will not use it for audio extraction.