|ASUS DRW-24B1ST DVD-RW SATA Optical Drive|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Storage|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Wednesday, 10 February 2010|
Page 7 of 7
Super-Multi Final Thoughts
During this review of the ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24x DVD Burner, we have endeavored to find out if there really is enough difference between optical drives to make one stand out. We have been able to see that, in terms of pure speed, most drives are created closely enough to equal that it would be hard for us to determine a difference. This makes it absolutely vital that optical drive manufacturers come up with newer and better functions to make their drive better than the competition. ASUS has been able to do just that with the DRW-24B1ST. With the addition of a couple of new programs and features, the DRW-24B1ST really does stand out. The E-Green program helps ease our conscience, and the demand on our wallet. Even though the program doesn't make the drive function any differently, it shows us that ASUS has put in the effort to make their drive work just as well as any other, and better in most cases, while using less power. The E-Hammer program is another way ASUS has set the bar. With it, the DRW-24B1ST can effectively destroy a disc, making it unreadable and unrecoverable. This is very important in a time when identity theft is such a bane on our society. Every little chance that we have to protect ourselves and our personal information takes us one step further from becoming a victim to these crimes.
Besides the programs, ASUS has imbedded the new technology of OTS and AVRS into the DRW-24B1ST. These programs help ensure that we are not wasting time and money on media that won't be burned correctly. I can't count the amount of times I have become extremely frustrated because of a buffer underwrite failure. I probably have more than a full spindle of coasters laying around from errors in the burning process. With OTS, ASUS has worked to alleviate those problems. Also, while most drives may perform within a reasonable margin of one another, a constant annoyance is the amount of noise produced by the normal optical drive. The DRW-24B1ST, equipped with AVRS, works non-stop to make tiny adjustments in the balance of the drive, assuring that decibel level produced by your optical drive won't frustrate you any longer.
I submit to you that, while advances in the burning speed of optical writers has not increased much over the last little while, the technology has not stopped improving. ASUS has clearly taken note of what consumers want and what improvements need to be made. Though ASUS is a well known name throughout the computer hardware industry, they have taken time to make a solid, reliable product in the DRW-24B1ST 24x DVD Burner. While the spin up and down times were almost three quarters of a second slower than one of the competing drives, I think I will be more than happy to wait out that time in the relative silence provided by the DRW-24B1ST. If it only shipped with a SATA cable, the product would almost be a masterpiece.
ASUS DRW-24B1ST Conclusion
The results of the testing are in, and the ASUS DRW-24B1ST has not disappointed. It performed as well as any drive of comparable speed and type out there. We can't be too surprised that the DRW-24B1ST solidly outperformed an external USB 2.0 burner, but we can be impressed that it performed better than similar IDE and SATA drives. The stuff that really makes the DRW-24B1ST perform above and beyond is the extra technology of OTS and AVRS and the additional programs like E-Green and E-Hammer. And although many drives come bundled with burning software, the addition of nero8 Essentials is an excellent compliment to an already stunning optical drive.
While the actual body of the DRW-24B1ST looks just as you would expect from an optical drive, the box it comes in is what really makes the difference. As I mentioned earlier, I don't even recall the last time I got an internal optical drive online that arrived in it's own box. The box clearly announces the features of the DRW-241BST without coming off as too flashy or hard to look at. It also provides that extra security and peace of mind. You can rest assured that when you order the ASUS DRW-24B1ST it will get to you intact. You won't have to send it back for a replacement due to damages incurred during shipping.
The DRW-24B1ST is exactly what it is supposed to be. There are no surprises lurking around the corner. Sometimes, manufactures try to spice up a product by making it a little more sleek, a little more sexy. The curve the edges more, or change the design to make it more appealing. This inevitably leads to disaster as pieces wear out or the new design fails in some fatal way. The DRW-24B1ST sticks to the proven standard in its construction. The feed tray is sturdy and strong, but I wouldn't put my coffee mug in it. It does make more noise than the slot-loading Panasonic drive when I put a disc in to, but during the actual reading of the disc, it puts the Panasonic to shame.
If the construction of the DRW-24B1ST is standard and expected, the functionality of the drive is anything but. I must admit that I wasn't anticipating all the fun I would have while testing the DRW-24B1ST. I can't get enough of the E-Green program. It seems like it does nothing, but I love to pop it up and comment to my wife on how much energy we have saved and how much CO2 we have kept out of the air! The E-Hammer program really intrigued me and has proven to be quite the asset. I am still impressed by the quietness of the DRW-241BST. Oh, I can hear it if I listen for it. But I can also ignore it completely if I don't specifically pay attention to it. That is the nicest part of all.
The retail DRW-241BST DVD-burner will cost you $27.99 at NewEgg and includes registration and tech support, or you can save a few dollars and buy the bulk 'OEM' version for $24.99 without the box. With some searching, our price comparison tool found additional deals online. This is a pretty average price-point for a DVD Burner these days. Almost any burner you look at will offer you comparable speeds at nearly the same price. What you get with the DRW-24B1ST that makes it more of a value for the money is the extra programs we have talked about, ASUS's newest optical drive and burner technologies, and the unquestionable quality that the ASUS name brings with it.
With all the pressure to upgrade to a newer, faster, higher performing system, we often forget about the seemingly unnoticed components like optical drives that may need an upgrade as well. At the very least, the new technology available will help save on media and you can stop adding to your coaster collection. With all the other advances we have talked about today, it is a good a idea to take a look at your optical and see if an upgrade to the ASUS DRW-24B1ST is right for you.
+ Consumes 1W Less Power than Average
- No SATA Cable Included
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10.
Recommended: Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval.
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