Plextor PX708UF DVD +/- R/RW Drive

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The Plextor PX-708UF DVD±R/RW Drive
Plextor Thinks Outside the Box

By, Jeff Bouton
November 20, 2003

When it comes to CD/DVD recorders, Plextor has been one of the top choices for a number of years.  While they have been paving the way in this fiercely competitive environment, the industry has evolved and technology improved, so the competition is not too far behind.  While it is commonly stated that "it is lonely at the top", this doesn't quite seem as true as it once was.  Today, there are a number of manufacturers producing CD/DVD burners that can compete on the same level as Plextor in performance and quality, and sometimes price.  So to stay ahead of the pack, Plextor needs to help make sure their drives offer something the others do not.  Through unique features and innovative designs, Plextor has managed to stay ahead of the competition, but there is no time to rest and enjoy the view.

Today we are going to take a look at the latest edition to be added to the Plextor product line, the PX-708UF.  This is the external equivalent to the PX-708A, boasting high speed DVD writing while remaining reliable, efficient and colorful.  With top of the line read and write speeds across the board and a huge array of colors available, the PX-708UF aims to be one bad mammajamma of a burner.
 

Specifications of the Plextor PX-708UF
Plextor Doesn't Play Around!

Specifications:
  • 8-in-1 Combo drive: 8X DVD+R, 4X DVD-R, 4X DVD+RW, 2X DVD-RW, 12X DVD-ROM, 40X CD-R, 24X CD-RW AND 40X CD-ROM
  • Lossless linking technology enables users to perform basic editing tasks directly on the DVD disc
  • Buffer Under Run Proof technology prevents buffer under run errors
  • PoweRec technology is a sophisticated write strategy providing superior quality recording at maximum speed for your chosen media
  • Support DVD+RW background format
  • Support DVD+VR format
  • Horizontal or vertical mounting orientation
  • Black CD tray minimizes jitter
  • OS Support - Windows® 98SE/Me/2000/XP?
  • Mac OS 9.1 or above
  • One-year full warranty (parts and labor)
  • Unlimited toll-free tech support
Minimum Systems Requirements
  • CPU: Pentium® III 700MHz or above
  • HDD 800 MB - 1 GB free space for copying CD to CD image
  • 6 GB free space for DVD authoring RAM 128 MB
  • Monitor Display Resoution 1024 X 768 at 16-bit color
  • OS Support - Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP?Mac OS 9.1 or above
  • Interface: Dual IEEE 1394 and Hi-Speed USB



The PX-708UF comes with a complete collection of hardware and software to round out the package nicely.  The unit comes with a Quick Reference Guide for easy drive setup while a complete User's Manual covers the drive's functions and software in greater detail.  The package also included a two piece 12V power supply, one FireWire cable and a USB cable.  A u-shaped based unit is included for mounting the PX-708UF in a vertical position to help take up less desk space.  To handle all of the recording tasks on the software side, Plextor offers a number of solutions.  A blue CD is included which includes Roxio Easy CD and DVD Creator 6, PhotoSuite 5 SE, Roxio Drag-to-Disk, Roxio DVD Max and Dantz Retrospect.  What is new to the mix, when compared to previous models, is the inclusion of a Roxio Toast 5 Lite, which can be used for CD recording on the Macintosh platform.

The Plextor PX-708UF came with a fairly complete hardware and software compliment.  They cover all of the bases to give the drive great versatility, with the only thing missing being perhaps a carrying case for easier portability.
 

Quality & Setup of the Plextor PX-708UF
A New Look for an Old Favorite

The Plextor PX-708UF is a sharp looking drive with a clear acrylic appearance.  The front of the drive is simple, with the typical eject, headphone and independent volume control common to most CD/DVD ROM drives.  The CD tray is black which helps the drive maintain accurate, error free recording by absorbing any stray laser information during the writing process.  This works well in combination with other features to help the drive produce perfect burns even at very high speeds.  The drive offers two options for connecting to a PC, USB 2.0 and FireWire.  The rear of the drive sports a USB connection as well as both 4 and 6 wire IEEE1394 connections, with each option providing similar bandwidth.  Between each connection lies the interface selector switch while to the far left a diagnostic switch resides to run the drive through an internal self test if trouble is suspected.

The drive also comes with two RCA outputs for connecting to a PC or other audio component.  We doubt many user's would need to use this feature with a PC, but it could be useful if they wanted to send the audio output to a stereo input.  To help keep things clear, Plextor placed labels on the rear of the drive's shell to clearly designate which connection is which.

Overall, the Plextor PX-708UF is a great looking drive.  The drive is a little large, but not so large that it feels like a hulking mass on our desk.  The added base unit also helps to minimize the amount of valuable desktop space being used.  The only thing left to do is put the drive through a few tests to help get an idea of what to expect in everyday performance.

HH Test System and Benchmarks

 

Tags:  DVD, drive, Plextor, XT, Ive, plex, Tor

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