Plextor PlexWriter 48/24/48U External HiSpeed USB 2.0 CDRW - HotHardware

Plextor PlexWriter 48/24/48U External HiSpeed USB 2.0 CDRW

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The Plextor PlexWriter 48/24/48U External Hi-Speed USB 2.0 CD-RW Drive
Speedy Burning On The Go

Jay Gibson
December 29, 2002

Since their debut in 1990, Plextor has been striving to make a name for themselves as one of the top-producing optical storage device manufactures in the market. Their introductions of generations of award-winning devices, has enabled them to generate an annual revenue of approximately $500 million per year, while providing some very stiff competition for their fellow combatants. As we're sure you would agree, Plextor is sort of the bellweather of optical drive manufacturers.

The first thing we noticed after unpacking this new Plextor drive, was its weight (4.85lbs to be exact) and solid feel. The center of the drive's housing is made of very nice brushed aluminum that blends nicely with the silver plastic "end-caps." As with some of their other drives, Plextor has decided to continue with the production of custom  faceplates and black CD trays. Looks aside, being able to burn CD-R's at 48x, rewrite at 24x and browse through a disc at a speedy 48x, this drive should deliver some pretty impressive performance. Now the obvious question is, "how well will the drive actually stand up versus an internal unit"?  How about we go take a look?

Specifications / Features Of The PlexWriter 48/24/48U
What's Under The Hood...

  • Easy connectivity: Hi-Speed USB/USB compatible

  • 3-in-1 drive: 48x CD-R, 24x CD-RW, 48x max CD-ROM

  • 4MB buffer

  • technology

  • PoweREC-II

  • SpeedRead

  • VariRec

  • Self-diagnostics

  • Black CD tray

  • Audio Out

  • Supports Track-at-Once, Disc-at-Once, Session-at-Once, Multisession, Fixed and Variable Packet Writing Modes, Speed Read and Mt. Rainier

  • Supports ATAPI command set

  • Flash ROM which allows for the latest firmware revisions

  • Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP and Mac (software not included) compatible

  • One-year full warranty (parts, labor and replacement)

  • Unlimited toll-free tech support

Click images for full view
 
 

Included with the Plextor PlexWriter PX-W4012TU full retail package, we found the following list of accessories:

 

  • PlexWriter
  • Drive Manual
  • Quick Reference Guide
  • Software Disc
  • Eject Tool
  • CD-R Media
  • USB 2.0 Cable
  • Power Cord
  • AC Adapter

 

 
The feature set for the PX-W4824TU/SW shows that many of the proven technologies, from past Plextor products, have found their way into this drive as well. Since some of the acronyms are not very clear, we have provided a brief explanation of each of them below.
  • BURN-Proof: prevents Buffer Under-RuN errors. This allows one to multi-task during a recording session and not have to worry about creating coasters that come in so handy during all those LAN parties. 
  • PowerREC II: (Plextor Optimized Writing Error REduction Control) technology is a sophisticated write strategy that uses information from an on-board media catalogue of all certified media, listed by manufacturer and part number.  This information is used to properly configure the drive for optimal burning on the specific media in use. 
  • SpeedRead: provides maximum speed with data reliability. Basically this feature enables one to maximize the read speed of the drive without sacrificing data integrity and safety of the hardware/user. 
  • VariRec: VARIable RECording technology (if supported by your writing software) lets one manually adjust the laser burn parameters to match your sound. This helps out in situations where a burned CD may not work in some players, but will in others.
  • Mt. Rainier: enables native OS support of data storage on CD-RW. It basically enables one to read and write on a CD-RW like you can on a Floppy Disk. For more information, Click Here.

The last thing we wanted to note, before we get to the installation and setup, is the black CD tray. According to Plextor the use of a black tray aids in burning quality. Supposedly the black plastic absorbs reflected laser light better then white trays, thus increasing reliability and reducing the chance of possible errors caused by "jitter."  

Well there you have it folks, let's move past all the visual appearances, marketing and other technical jargon and see how this drive actually holds up.

 

Setup, Installation and  Software

 
 
   

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