The drive came with a fairly decent bundle of media and documentation.

Dantz Retrospect (Demo), Roxio DVDMax Player, Easy CD & DVD Creator 6 and one DVD+R are included in the box. Typically, we favor Nero over Roxio in terms of bundled burnware, but the contents were acceptable. Undoubtedly, ASUS’ DRW-040P/D and Gigabyte’s W0404A both come with far better bundles. One CD+R seemed kind of weak too, as most of our combo drives at least come with one DVD+R and one DVD-R. Fortunately for Plextor, there are a lot of things they are better at than bundling media.

The included documentation was excellent. However, it is clear that ASUS, Pioneer and NEC have a little more experience with “short and sweet” type documentation. One interesting item we found was that Plextor’s 60-page manual continued to misidentify DVD-R as “DVD minus R” (it’s “DVD dash R”, according to the DVD-R forum).

Click to enlarge.

Compared to some of the other DVDR drives on the market, the 708A deserves an award for design. Most noticeable is the black stripe in the front of the unit. Ejecting the tray reveals that the inner contents of the unit are black. While it might be a stretch, the 708A manual claims that the tray components are black to reduce optical distortion on the read lasers.

Similar to the Pioneer A06, Plextor cut a few holes in the rear of the unit for exhaust.

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  • Moonbeam - Saturday, September 13, 2003 - link

    In the sentence:

    " As far as performance is concerned, the drive out-performs the ASUS DRW-0402P/D and the Pioneer A06 in virtually every way. Media recognition, compatibility and just raw burn times were all better on the A06."

    I got the impression the author meant, instead of that last AO6 to put 7o8A.

  • KristopherKubicki - Saturday, September 13, 2003 - link

    #6 - Correct I didnt mention Sony, but thats because Sony doesnt make their own drives =). I have an upcoming review to deal with that.

  • tazdevl - Saturday, September 13, 2003 - link

    Couple things... I have a Sony 510A, 510UL and the Plex 708A. Buffer size is pointless. Those comments regarding the buffer size that folks are making and are mentioned in the review don't mean squat. Buffer underrun prevents coasters from happening and based on the review it's obvious it's doing its job. A 8MB buffer is just a way to differentiate a drive from its competitors for ignorant consumers that have "bigger is better" Best Buy logic.

    -R has greater compatbility at this point with all DVD players. +R has compatibility issues with some older players. That's the nice thing about having a dual format drive. One format doesn't work, try the other.

    Lastly the reviewer forgot to comment on Sony as being one of the DVD burning elite. They set the standatd for the industry when they released the Sony 500A/X which was the first dual format burner on the market for months. Also, with firmware 2.0F that enabled 4X burning for both formats (nice free bump for consumers), they started the speed wars in the DVD burning market.
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, September 13, 2003 - link

    Anyone who buys a dual format drive is foolish. DVD+R only drives allow booktype settings to be set to dvd-rom, increasing compatibility SIGNIFICANTLY. Once the drive becomes dual format however, the feature gets scrapped.
  • Mday - Saturday, September 13, 2003 - link

    2.4x DVD burning is over 3MB ps. obviously 6x or 8x is 2-3 times that, or roughly 6MB to 9MB per second. with a 2 MB buffer, that's less than 1/3 of a second time. in computing terms, 1/3 of a second is a lot of time. however, since when do programs that access disc space only last 1/3 of a second...

    sony has an 8MB buffer. while burning at 4x, and with certain programs running, it hardly dips below 90%. of course i do implement a hefty disk cache and memory cache for nero as i burn. i would like to see nero have more than just 80 MB max dedicated for buffering in system memory.
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, September 13, 2003 - link

    I'm waiting for 8X DVD-R burners to come out. DVD+R discs do not work on any of the IBM T20-22 Laptops we use at my office. All of them play DVD-R fine so I consider that a negative towards +R. My friends DVD player from Sony works great with -R but not +R as well.
  • Budman - Saturday, September 13, 2003 - link

    My 2X burner's getting slower. :(
  • AgaBooga - Saturday, September 13, 2003 - link

    Its good to see 8x burners. I want to see how this affects the current 4x burner prices...
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