In read tests, the TEAC CD-W512E turns in some of the best scores we've measured for a burner. Although Ricoh's MP9120A is a hair faster overall, it's also significantly louder. The TEAC manages speedy CD reads in spite of its nearly silent operation, making it one of the only burners we'd consider as a main CD reader. In addition, the CD-W512E offers excellent DAE speed and quality-a small notch slower than the competition, but rock solid, even with severely scratched CD-DAs.
As a writer, the CD-W512E shines with performance equal to or better than the fastest 12X burners. Only Yamaha's 16X drive is faster in our tests. As a rewriter, the TEAC is unparalleled, while in packet-writing tests it offers performance approaching the best we've measured.
The only fault we find with this drive is the lack of BURN-Proof technology (we'd love to test the CD-W512EB, TEAC's BURN-Proof version ). However, given the lower price and outstanding overall performance of this drive, we feel it offers a bit more bang for the buck than our now former Leaderboard champ, Plextor's 12/10/32A.
For those who do not need or desire BURN-Proof or JustLink technologies, TEAC's CD-W512E offers the best combination of performance and value we've seen to date.