On August 23rd of this year SR took its first look at a Lite-On optical drive: the LTR16101B 16/10/40 CD-RW. Though it offered middling performance in most areas, it did so with the lowest price tag we'd ever seen for a 16/10/40 burner, making it a top choice for budget-minded users. Since then we have looked forward to reviewing some of Lite-On's other models.
One of the manufacturer's most anticipated drives is a 16X DVD-ROM. The LTD163 one-ups competition from Artec and Pioneer by combining 48X CD read speeds with 16X DVD speeds. The aforementioned units top out at "only" 40X CD reads. In addition, reports indicate that the LTD163 can extract digital audio at up to 48X. With the exception of Kenwood's multi-beam CD readers, no other unit has surpassed 40X. Such lofty performance measures place the LTD163 in an enviable position. Does it live up to claims? Let's find out.