Sony has blitzed its DVD-burning competition with the release of the DRU-810A - the fastest dual-layer burner we have tested.
The DRU-810A will replace the similar-looking DRU-800A, which also has a clear front panel. The speed boost comes with the upgrade to 8x DVD+R DL, but DVD-R DL is still only 4x.
Using 2.4x DVD+DL media, the DRU-810A burnt 7.9GB in 15min (8.7MBps), beating its nearest competition, the ASUS DRW-1608P2S by 2min. Again, in the DVD+R tests, the DRU-810A blitzed the field. It burnt a full 4.09GB in 3min, a transfer rate of 22.72MBps, leaving the competition in its wake. The Lite-On 1635S comes the closest to it, but is still lagging two-and-a-half minutes behind. Even the ASUS, currently at number one in our Best Buys charts, was four-and-a-half minutes behind. Transfer speeds to the hard drive were suitably impressive at 15.5MBps, just behind ASUS.
Not only was the burn quality very good, the dual-layer discs worked in most DVD players except an older Pioneer 107 (this is due to the book type setting not defaulting to DVD-ROM).
The one drawback is that the DRU-810A is missing DVD-RAM compatibility, which is a fairly sizeable omission considering what Sony's competitors are offering at up to $50 cheaper.
But, if speed is your primary focus and missing DVD-RAM compatibility is not a problem for you, then the DRU-810A is a great buy.
VERDICT: This unit is phenomenally fast when burning DVD+R, which seems to be one of the most common applications for your average user.
SPECIFICATIONS: CD-R 48x, CD-RW 32x, CD-ROM 48x DVD+/-R 16x, DVD+RW 8x, DVD-RW 6x, DVD+DL 8x, DVD-DL 4x, DVD-ROM 16x; 2MB Buffer; Nero Express 6, InCD 4, Nero Vision Express 3, Nero Showtime 2.