I had a problem. I was keen on fitting a DVD ROM drive in my PC, but I also needed a CD-writer and there was already a "normal" CD rom drive in my computer. Two devices required, but only one drive bay spare. I considered removing the CD rom and purchasing 2 new drives, but then I discovered the Toshiba SD-R1002 "combo" drive - an ingenious device which is actually a CD ROM, CD/r writer, CD/rw re-writer AND DVD ROM player ALL-IN-ONE! The price seemed reasonable at 150.00 at the time, so I went ahead and bought one of the drives. I was somewhat nervous about the installation process, particularly seeing as I already had one drive present AND I had never actually installed a CD drive of any kind before. I needn't of worried though, because the installation process was a breeze. The software installation was slightly more confusing due to poor documentation, but saying that I took it steady and I had no problems. Within 30 minutes of the starting the installation process I was burning my first CD/r ! Regarding the software bundle, there is a mix of software included, starting with the excellent WinDVD for DVD playback and the equally good "InstantCD Wizard Gold" for CD writing and re-writing. The rest of the bundle comprises mainly of utilities and the like, all of which have a use in the day-to-day usage of the drive unit. The write speed of the unit is a modest 4x speed, but this still means a complete CD audio album can be copied within 10 minutes under optimum conditions, which isn't bad at all! Also included in the box was a CD label pen, 2 CD/r discs and 1 CD/rw disc. At the time I thought that this was rather un-generous of Toshiba, but the price of blank discs is so low at the moment it did not affect the quality of the package. Since I installed the drive I can remember a couple of "write failures" leading to discarded discs, but in fairness to the dr
ive, this was probably down to faulty discs and not the drive itself. I have experienced no problems at all with DVD playback, although I do not use this feature as much I originally thought I would (through no fault of the drive though) Overall then, I can recommend this product quite highly. I tries to be a Jack of All Trades and a Master of All too ... and just about pulls it off!
Building my new computer I had wanted a CDRW and a DVD drive, then I spotted this. What an excellent product for £145. OK it only burns CDs at 4X but this really isn't that bad (Only about 15 minutes for a full CD) I have personally burned over 200 CDs using it and not 1 has finished with errors (Using Kodak silver and gold discs and Memorex Black 80 Min Discs). The DVD side is also very good giving smooth playback although it has a nasty habbit of crashing the computer if you fast forward through a DVD (Using WinDVD as supplied with the drive). Overall though an excellent alternative to 2 drives. Spec of computer this drive is installed on for anyone interested is... Athlon 1000Mhz 256Mb Ram Voodoo 3 3000 AGP Soundblaster AWE 64 2 IBM Hard Drives (30Gb and 45Gb)
I was very disappointed when I got this for my computer back in Summer 2000. The software you get with it is good but it is simply too unreliable. It has problems detecting CD-R media and therefore fails to burn. I remeber trying 30 times to get it to take a CD. I was not impressed at all. Antoher thing is that although it has DVD-ROM so it can read data discs well but try with a DVD movie and it's not worth playing because it is only 4x speed. It means the movie can be very jerky indeed and impossible to understand. I would definitly not advise anyone to buy this product if they intend to use it.
Toshiba's SD-R1002 drive looks and performs much the same as the Ricoh. It has a tray loading mechanism and is quick and easy to install. The drive comes with a great bundle of software, most of which would prove useful to an average gamer. As well as the InstantCD CD-R burning software there's a packet writing routine called InstantWrite, and a string of applications like MusicMatch and MusicMover for MP3 and LiquidPix for photo editing. Toshiba's InstantWrite doesn't seem that instant. Writing data to a CD-RW took over 40% longer than on the Ricoh and reading them back was nearly two and a half times slower on this drive. The Toshiba is a bit slower on recording CD-Rs too, as it is only rated at 4-speed. It's a bit more expensive to buy, but you do get a wider bundle of fairly useful software to go with it. This drive is very similar to the Ricoh, which tested considerably faster and is cheaper at the same time - a winning combination.