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'SAMSUNG SH-S222BB/RSMS Internal SATA DVD Writer'
boxed retail version.
After 1 month's heavy use I really can't fault this drive. It performs well, and came with a host of extras that set it apart from the competition.. seems Samsung clearly knows how to build and sell their product.
Note: Always make sure you know what you're getting from the seller, as some may only offer OEM units i.e. just the drive without extras. My boxed version was purchased on the UK high street in Dec 2012 from a well-known PC outlet.
Price (£20): 10/10
This is astounding value considering what you're getting.. it was one of the cheapest retail units on offer. I've previously paid this sum just for OEM drives.
The box is very sturdy. The labeling is clear and precise. The contents are carefully packaged.
Include are the following items:
. SATA drive (black)
. SATA cable (red)
. Screws (4)
. OEM CD Software: Nero Express Essentials v10, Neo BackItUp, Nero InCD, Online Manual
. Two extra bezels (silver and white)
. Pin tool for manual tray ejection and bezel replacement
. Printed documentation.
Note: The four screws are normally all you need (two placed diagonally each side). I found that using more on an older metal case can easily cause vibration noise. This is a common problem and in no way a fault with the drive. Using just the four screws completely resolved this issue.
Performance is excellent. This SH-S222BB/RSMS does exactly what it says on the tin: it can burn single-layer DVD media at upto 22x and dual-layer at 8x. Read speeds are 16x and 12x respectively. It sports a 1.5 MB buffer and is compatible with Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7.
The drive runs cool, quiet, and spins up discs very quickly. The eject/insert mechanism is also very sturdy and quick, yet surprisingly quiet.
Installation was a breeze (aside from the printed bezel replacement instructions). The drive has a small foot-print, with clear markings on top so that you can easily see what you're doing. The supplied SATA data cable is fairly long flexible; it doesn't have metal retention clips however it still feels fairly tight at both ends.
After enabling the SATA interface on my computer I was up and running in no time using my old copy of Nero9. The resultant burns (12x using 16x DVD+R Maxell media), were easily read on other computers and media devices.
Transferring my music CD's to WAV format was extremely quick (and quiet), with zero errors.
Note: For storing your your DVD's from other regions you'll need to consider some region-free utility, since the drive will lock the region code after the 5th selection. Again, this is in no way represents any kind of fault with the drive as most drives perform the same operation.
I've had countless drives in the past, and none of them came with the extras you'll find here (double-check to make sure the offer is still valid). These aren't needless extras, either; you won't be making any unforeseen trips back to the stores with this little gem :)
The free bezels practically sold this unit for me. I have an old silver case, and for the life of me I couldn't find any silver drives. The plastic on them is thick and durable. It looks great.
One minor niggle was the printed documentation, namely the bezel replacement instructions.
The text and images were a tad small and hard to follow. Specifically, the English seemed a little vague and hard to follow, the accompanying images based on photographs rather than simplified drawings. I think this could risk putting some people off changing their bezel.
The quick start installation guide seems to have addressed these issues in full (10/10).
I really wanted the cool silver look so I persevered. Physically checking the spare bezels made it much easier, since I was able to roughly see where where the latching points were located. The plastic is fairly robust. Samsung even provides a neat little little pin to gently ease removal of the two principal components. Replacing your bezel is a straightforward procedure once you get the hang of it.
Samsung presents us with a drive that not only does what it says on the tin, but is carefully packaged, comes with a host of great extras and is competitively priced. I'm impressed with the overall product. The supplemental bezels are a great touch and this drive looks great in my silver case.
All in all you've got a good brand, excellent build quality, performance and a host of quality extras without being charged the earth. What more could you want? Samsung's customer focus is clearly evident in this drive for which I think they deserve credit.
I hope this has helped you make a more informed purchasing decision.