Newest Review: ... a basic setup wizard which could be used on all of the current Windows operating systems (95, 98, 98SE, ME) and from there all you then n... more
Good for burning discs back then, good for burning itself now.
HP CD-Writer 8230e
Member Name: NotMyToothbrush
HP CD-Writer 8230e
Advantages: Very good build quality, easy setup
Disadvantages: Only a CD burner, USB 1.1, slow write speed, essentially obsolete now.
This was our first ever CD burner (CD writer). It was back in about 2000 or 2001 when not all of our computers came with built-in CD and DVD burning capabilities and this standalone USB CD burner was our only way of getting Lionel Richie tracks transferred from our computer to our HiFi.
As it was so new, this device was cutting edge and amongst the best on the market at the time. It offered, relative to other devices available at the time, lightening fast write times and very reliable writing processes. Writing an entire CD of around 700MB would take just a few minutes.
From what I remember (it was 12 years ago!), setup was pretty easy. It came with a CD (I wonder if they used the writer to burn it?) which contained the driver for the device as well as a basic setup wizard which could be used on all of the current Windows operating systems (95, 98, 98SE, ME) and from there all you then needed to do was connect it using the USB 1.1 port (This was before the USB 2.0 standard was common).
As I mentioned, it used USB 1.1 and therefore this was one of the reasons that the writing speed was considerably slower than that of modern disk writers. The transfer speeds of USB 1.1 are far slower than the 2.0 standard and far, far slower than the newer 3.0 standard. If the device can't get the data fast enough, it cannot write it any faster!
Other aspects of this device which make it far slower at writing than current writers are that it had a far slower disk write speed (by this I mean 2x, 4x, 6x etc...) at just 6x being the maximum speed this makes the burning process slow. Anybody who regularly writes discs will be able to tell you that the slower the burn speed selected fro the task, the more reliable the burn will be and the less chance of failure. In the days of this CD burner, it was generally considered that 2x was the best speed to have for reliability without too significant speed loss. Today, 8x is the equivalent. Therefore the lowest recommended speed of today is faster than the maximum speed of this CD burner.
You may have mentioned that I haven't mentioned DVDs in this review. Although you can usually just go into any shop today and buy a "burner" and this will be both a CD and DVD burner, back in 2001, this was not the case. DVD was not mainstream and therefore many burners lacked the DVD burning function. This means that if you hoped to burn a home movie for use in a DVD player with this device, you'd better keep looking.
Another difference between today and back then in terms of this device is in its structural design. Back then this device seemed pretty slim, sleek and stylish. However now it is quite bulky in comparison to other burners who have far better capabilities also and it also looks very dated (which it actually is!). The build quality however was excellent, it felt very solid on the desk - this may be due to the large weight of the device which you do not get with modern burners which means that you will be more likely to break the floor than the burner if it dropped off the table though.
So, you've had a 2-in-1 with this write-up. You've had a "Very Good" (Hint, hint!), review about a CD burner and you've also had a computing history lesson. I hope you enjoyed it!
Summary: Although great at the time, it has certainly had its day.