The Panasonic LS-D521U is an internal IDE multidrive capable of writing to DVD-R and -RW (6x), DVD-RAM (2x), CD-R (32x) and CD-RW (24x) media. It comes with all the software you need to get up and running.
The DVD-RAM format’s large capacity of up to 9.4GB on a double-sided disc makes it an attractive proposition for users with a large amount of data that needs to be backed up and updated on a regular basis. DVD-RAM is touted as having a longer lifespan than any of the other optical re-write formats.
The LS-D521U has a tray loading mechanism whose caddy will accept DVD-RAM discs with or without a cartridge. A large status light will keep you apprised of the drive’s current situation.
When tested on a Pentium 4 3.06GHz computer system, overall we found the drive very reliable. Transfer speeds for the various media are listed in the table, along with the amount of data that was transferred in each test.
Panasonic ships this drive with its Pinnacle kit, comprising a FireWire card and editing software. This kit will set you back $799 (the drive alone is $699), but is well worth the extra outlay if you take a lot of home videos via a DV camera, especially as it comes with a full version of Pinnacle’s Studio 7 Editing software.
In brief: Panasonic LS-D521UE
The DVD burner is a very reliable multiformat drive that is reasonably priced. It is recommended for professionals or enthusiasts alike who have large data backup needs.
Phone: 13 2600
|CD-R (74min audio)||6min 32sec|
|Normal CD-RW format||4min|
|CD-RW test (500MB)||17min 15sec|
|DVD-RAM write test*||33min|
|DVD-R write test*||35min|
|DVD-RAM read test*||26min|
|DVD-R read test*||12min 51sec|
|* based on 4.02GB of data|