Hitachi and SanDisk stole the show as far as next generation storage devices go – bigger capacity, smaller platters and faster transfers. Hitachi unveiled their 0.8” diameter hard drives capable of 10GB of storage while SanDisk demonstrated their 8GB compact flash cards specifically designed for cameras and MP3 players. Ritek also demonstrated CF cards based on 8GB designs in their booth.

Transcend gave us the opportunity to look at their newest flash devices – 1.8” 20GB microdrive devices that sell for $120, about the same price as the average 1GB compact flash card. Micro drives sacrifice speed for write density, but for MP3 and other portable media devices, they do not require relatively fast IO speeds. Transcend will also release a 40GB version of the same 1.8” drive within the next few weeks.

Optical Media

Ritek and Imation both had a very large presence on the show floor this year. The Taiwanese and Japanese disc manufacturers were both pleased to announce 8X DVD+R Dual Layer discs. Although, good luck finding any burners that will actually write that strategy. New drives like the Plextor 716A are capable of writing 6X write descriptors on high quality 4X media, but we will have to wait until the next generation burners for true 8X DVD dual layer burns, since the lasers and pickups themselves will need refinements to support higher speed on dual layer.

Of course, if you hadn’t heard it from us before, let us be the first to tell you that 16X will definitely be the fastest single layer write speed possible. As media and drive manufacturers already start setting their eyes on BluRay and HD-DVDR, DVDR will only continue advancements in dual layer capability. Keep in mind that the physical limitation on hard drive read speed is what keeps DVD burners from writing faster than 16X – it’s going to take SATA-II or some other technology to keep up high sustainable IO transfers to redefine optical storage writes (and by that time, we expect to all be burning FVD’s, right?).


HP started their LightScribe commercials to coincide with the show this year, and we were very anxious to start seeing some samples after months of waiting. However, Lightscribe manufacturers and OEM partners were quick to note a few things to us before we able to get too excited. First of all, LightScribe is incredibly slow – it takes more than 5 minutes to burn a single layer DVDR, and then another 10+ minutes to burn the label onto the other side of the disc. The whole process effectively triples the total burn time of the laser during a typical burn – and in the same stride, reduces the average life of the laser by 66%. When we get samples later this month, we will have the full breakdown on LightScribe, but theoretically on paper, the technology already has some pitfalls in our opinion.

Companies like Primera were happy to show us their linear and thermal printing devices in the Ritek booth on the show floor. Although more geared for high volume duplicators, Primera’s photo quality replication was certainly impressive, and it will only be time before Primera or one of their competitors reduces the size of a radial printer and incorporates that into a DVD burner.

Cases (continued) Graphics and Display


View All Comments

  • jiulemoigt - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    I've used one of the light scibe drives, wheres the fact it burns in monocrome, which looks color but is not color, they look like the windows hologrph cds. The other thing is you can burn the CDs when ever as your burning the other side and use a normal burner for the normal side. Reply
  • nullpointerus - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    What's with the vaccum cleaner on page 2? Reply
  • skunkbuster - Sunday, January 16, 2005 - link

    that Vento was damn fugly! Reply
  • Determinant - Saturday, January 15, 2005 - link

    #10, you misunderstood me. I also want to see what downfalls a product has. I too believe in non-biased articles and Anandtech is one of the best sites for that.

    #9 & #10, If you are people that go to these events then you are justified to say that about events (I agree with both of you when talking about products) but most of us don't attend these events.

    So if you want a quick way of deciding wether to read the article or not then saying "nothing interesting happened" would really help you out. My comment was directed at authors rather than readers because an author wants everyone to read the article.

    I still stand by what I said earlier.
  • overclockingoodness - Saturday, January 15, 2005 - link

    I agree with #9. We don't need to see the positive side of a trade show or a product. We can just looking at the specifications and read the press release if we only want to see positives of everything. I want to see what kind of downfalls does the product has. I don't want independant review organizations to show me the positives: what will be the difference between in-house marketing departments and publications?

    AnandTech and all other publications are doing right by showing the wrong sides of the product or a trade show for that matter.
  • stephenbrooks - Saturday, January 15, 2005 - link

    #7 actually I disagree, it's nice to see reviews that don't sugar-coat everything and if a show is really "some interesting widgets but nothing too revolutionary", says so! Reply
  • semo - Saturday, January 15, 2005 - link

    #6, i don't know the exact speed but 16x dvd buring is 22,000kb/s or 22mb/s not 22kb/s. at 22kb/s a 4.7gb disc will burn in about 55 hours lol.

    anyway, i'm glad anandtech has finally reported on lightscribe. too bad mr. Kubicki didn't seem to like the idea too much. i, on the other hand, have been waiting for a whole year. i really really need a dvd burner now!
  • Determinant - Friday, January 14, 2005 - link

    Just a suggestion:

    Instead of saying something like:

    "CES doesn't give us any really juicy details in small dosages"

    (this next quote is from the previous article)
    "With the death of Comdex in 2004, the computer press had every expectation that CES would fill the void. That expectation turned out to be overly optimistic "

    It would be better to just talk about what CES does instead of mentioning what it doesn't. Instead of talking about disadvantages or pitfalls, articles should focus on the positive aspects.

    The reason for this is because whenever a reader reads an article that is "downbeat" then it makes you feel like just skipping to the conclusion since the article won't have anything interesting anyway (the author basically says so).

    I'm not trying to criticize this article it's just that I've been seeing this quite a bit lately at many websites. The readers can't be excited about something that sounds "downbeat" and will be less inclined to continue reading.

    I can only hope that authors will keep this in mind in the future.
  • mbhame - Friday, January 14, 2005 - link

    In you said
    "Keep in mind that the physical limitation on hard drive read speed is what keeps DVD burners from writing faster than 16X"
    But I have read multiple times previously that an optical drive's RPM becomes dangerously-fast >52X CD/16X DVD speeds - plus 16X DVD's transfer rate is 22KBps. also points out that even ancient HDDs like the Seagate U6 has an initial transfer rate of 29.9MBps.

    I think you ought to modify your article sir. Thank you.
  • jamawass - Friday, January 14, 2005 - link

    Hope DLP wins and the 1080p move into front projector lines. I love my early gen Infocus X1 projector, can't imagine how a 1080p dlp will look. Reply

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