Construction

We were immediately impressed with the amount and quality of the software bundled with the drive. Nu Tech bundled almost the entire Sonic suite, including MyDVD, CinePlayer, SimpleBackup and RecordNow (with Sonic DLA). One 4X DVD+RW was also included.



As mentioned in previous reviews, we tend to favor Ahead's Nero with DVD/CDR combo drives, simply because of Nero's established name in the CDR sector. RecordNow is capable of just about as many CDR features as Nero, although we still feel a little disappointed. However, for DVD burning, Sonic MyDVD is a fairly strong suite.

Documentation with the drive was a little light, with only a quick installation guide of 11 pages (virtually all of which were related to installing and using Sonic products). One thing that slightly bothered us was the lack of documentation that listed exact specifications for the drive. Later, it was revealed to us that the 3rd revision firmware (BX03) upgrades the drive calibration to 40X CDR speeds, so the absence of bundled specifications was most likely because the drive's capabilities were not fully programmed at the time of production.


Click to enlarge.



We have yet to see many DVDR drives with a lot of style, so the DDW-081's Spartan white finish and hard edges were no surprise to us. The industry standard play and eject buttons were oriented on the right, with headphone jacks and volume control on the left. The LED interface is also fairly straightforward — a blinking green LED denotes loading, solid LED for reading, and solid red for writing. We were a little dissatisfied that the intensity of this red/green LED is not very bright, and even in a dark environment, it can be a little hard to see.


Click to enlarge.


The DDW-081 did not come with any intake or exhaust holes. You may recall that most drives at least have some exhaust ventilation, and even in the case of Pioneer's 107/106 drives, there are intakes in the front of the unit as well. In our opinion, less places for dust to get in the drive is probably better.

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  • edbiegler - Thursday, April 1, 2004 - link

    Just bought one tonight. $99 at Computer Sonics in Seattle (Southcenter) The sales guy said the new firmware WILL support -R and +R at 8X. I haven't been home to try yet, but why would he fib. I'm running an AMD Athalon 650 w/ Win XP. Will keep you posted on success (or failure)

    Ed
    Reply
  • edbiegler - Thursday, April 1, 2004 - link

    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - link

    Thanks for the info Murse.

    Here is some updated information concerning Ricoh Disks.


    Media Information
    Region information N/A not a DVD-VIDEO
    Media code/Manufacturer ID RICOHJPNR01
    Format Capacity Not Formatted
    Free Blocks 405405696
    Free Capacity 4.38GB(4.70GB)
    Book Type DVD+R
    Media Type DVD+R
    Media Id Code Speed 4.0x 5540KBps
    Available Write Descriptor CLV 8.0x 11080KBps
    Available Write Descriptor CLV 6.0x 8310KBps
    Available Write Descriptor CLV 4.0x 5540KBps
    Available Write Descriptor CLV 2.4x 3324KBps
    Linear Density Blank Disc
    Track Density Unknown
    Number of Layers 1

    This was a Ricoh Labeled 4X that I pulled out of Best Buy yesterday. I have put the benchmark on the website.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • Murse - Monday, October 27, 2003 - link

    Nu Tech bitsetting utility available. No word yet on if it works. It was supplied by QSI in Taiwan.

    http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13245
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 24, 2003 - link

    The only place I could find the MCC 002 media was at Amazon.com. Was $58.99 for a 20 pack. Almost twice the price as the Memorex!

    Could someone post links to 4X media that is a good and is resonably priced?
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 24, 2003 - link

    livewarehouse has this drive for $139 including 3 day shipping >>


    http://store.yahoo.com/livewarehouse/dvnt33460.htm...
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 23, 2003 - link

    For everyone above, I copied the wrong DiskInfo for the MMC disk. It should be:

    Region information N/A not a DVD-VIDEO
    Media code/Manufacturer ID MCC 002
    Format Capacity 4.38GB(4.70GB)
    Book Type DVD+R
    Media Type DVD+R
    Media Id Code Speed 4.0x 5540KBps
    Available Write Descriptor CLV 8.0x 11080KBps
    Available Write Descriptor CLV 4.0x 5540KBps
    Available Write Descriptor CLV 2.4x 3324KBps
    Data area starting sector 30000h
    Data area end sector 23053Fh
    Linear Density 0.267um/bit
    Track Density 0.74um/track
    Number of Layers 1


    Cheers,

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • Murse - Thursday, October 23, 2003 - link

    Nevermind...just copy and paste the link from #15 and it will take you to the right price. Their site is kind of screwy, after adding it to my cart, I had to hit "update" to get it to stay in there. Reply
  • Murse - Thursday, October 23, 2003 - link

    I ordered one from unitedmicro and it's waiting for me at home now. To get the $139 ($132 + 7 ship) you have to go through pricewatch. Their site lists it as $145 + ship. Navigate to DVD-ROM from the pricewatch home page, then search for "DDW 081" and the listing for unitedmicro should come up. Then navigate to unitedmicro through pricewatch. WARNING: Their resellerrating is very bad, but they are $20 cheaper than everywhere else, so I took a chance. They shipped it pretty quickly (although not the same day as ordered), but I haven't inspected the package yet. Good luck. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 23, 2003 - link

    There is some contradictory information on the Nu Tech website as to the CD-RW speed of the DDW-081. The specs for the DDW-081(http://www.nuniverse.com/1_english/3_products/01_i... state the CD-RW speed is 10X. However, Nu Tech's news release on the DDW-081 ( http://www.nuniverse.com/1_english/2_new/01_01_new... states "The DDW-081 supports 8X DVD+Write/4X DVD+ReWrite 16X DVD-ROM/40X CD-Write/24X CD-ReWrite/48X CD-ROM." Furthermore, the Philips refernence literature mentioned above (http://www.semiconductors.philips.com/acrobat/lite... states the CD-RW speed is also 24x. If the drive at present only supports CD-RW at 10x, I'm wondering if a future firmware update will upgrade it to 24x?
    Reply

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