“ 4X 4X 6X USB External „
Although CD-Rewritable (CD-RW) drives have always been versatile, the slower read speeds of many models often disqualified them from serving as a primary CD reader. However, Sony Electronics' new St spressaRX100E/CH comes much closer to being a complete CD solution. It reads CDs at 24x speed--not state-of-the-art perhaps, but certainly good enough for most purposes. It also writes CD-R discs at 4x speed and CD-RW media at 2x. And it comes with a full complement of software, including CD-mastering, packet-writing, backup, and labeling programs. The Spressa has an EIDE interface, which makes the drive easy to install, either as a replacement for your current CD-ROM drive or as a second drive on the IDE bus. Although installing both a CD reader and writer on the same IDE channel can often cause conflicts when copying from one disc to another, the Spressa was able to copy even difficult mixed-mode CDs from our ATAPI CD-ROM drive without any problems. Unlike most other CD-RW drives on the market today, the Spressa does not come equipped with the usual assortment of Adaptec software. For mastering data and audio CDs, you'll find Sony CD Right, a proprietary version of Prassi's CD Right Pro, a program designed for maximum simplicity.Its four basic functions are copying a CD, making a data CD, making an audio CD, and CD Ditto DJ, a unique module that lets you record audio tracks directly from your sound card in real time. The CD copier is particularly good, performing a bit-by-bit copy either directly from a second CD drive, or using an intermediary hard drive file, which is often faster. The included packet-writing software, abCD, lets you format a CD-R or CD-RW disc with theUDF file system. The package also contains Spressa Backup, a custom version of Seagate's Backup Exec, the backup program included with Windows 98. This version lets you back up the contents of your hard drives directly to a CD-R or CD-RW disc. It spans multipl
e CDs, if needed, and is fairly quick. Finally, Sony throws in CD Stomper, an excellent CD-labeling system. The Sony Spressa CRX100E/CH is a solid all-around performer that takes full advantage of the versatility of the CD-RW format. A single drive that can read all kinds of CDs, write CD audio discs, back up your data, provide an extra 650MB of storage, and create 650MB data discs that can be read by just about any computer is a tempting proposition--particularly when priced as attractively as this one is.
This cd-writer had the potential of a good machine. Unfortunately though it is plagued by buffer under-runs which can leave you with a useless CD. Its general performance was fine but the read spead of x6 is too slow for today's purposes. I assume this is a limitation of the USB. Overall, a good machine if only it weren't for the under-runs. Whilst it performs well at writing, the re-writing side of things is where the under-runs start to become expensive.