Plextor PX-712A DVD+/- R/RW ATAPI Drive

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For years Plextor has set the standard for optical drives in both quality and features, being the first to bring major innovations to market on a number of occasions. These days, the competition fierce, with cheaper offerings available that can compete on the same performance level as slightly more expensive Plextor products. However, what these cheaper models usually lack are unique features that bring new functionality to the forefront, something Plextor has been doing for quite some time.

Today on HotHardware, we're going to take a look at the latest Plextor drive to land our test bench, the Plextor PX-712A.  This model boasts 12X DVD recording on DVD+R media and 8X recording with DVD-R media, as well as 48X CD-R recording, which should make it one of the fastest all around burners on the market.  In addition, Plextor has added some unique features to the PX-712A that truly make it stand out in the crowd.

Specifications of the Plextor PX-712A DVD+/- R/RW ATAPI Drive
Getting Faster and Faster
  • 8-in-1 Combo drive:12X DVD+R, 8X DVD-R, 4X DVD+RW, 4X DVD-RW, 16X DVD-ROM
  • 48X CD-R, 24X CD-RW and 48X CD-ROM
  • High storage capacity – Holds 4.7 GB of storage on DVD media
  • Lossless linking technology enables users to perform basic editing tasks directly on the DVD disc
  • Buffer UnderRun Proof technology prevents buffer under run errors
  • POWEREC™ a sophisticated write strategy for superior quality and stable recording at maximum speed
  • GIGAREC™ allows high capacity storage up to 900 MB on a 700 MB disc
  • Q-CHECK™ checks and reports written disc quality
  • SECUREC™ password protection for your CD-R discs
  • SILENT MODE™ enables user to tailor drive operations for specific environments
  • 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
  • One-year full warranty (parts and labor)Unlimited toll-free tech support

 


Accessories Included with the PX-712A
Roxio Easy CD & DVD Creator 6
Roxio PhotoSuite 5 SE
Roxio DVDMax Player
Dantz Retrospect (30-day trial version)
Blank DVD+R Media
Quick Start Guide
User Manual
1 40-pin IDE Cable
4-Mounting Screws
1-Emergency Eject Pin


Quality and Setup of the Plextor PX-712A DVD+/- R/RW ATAPI Drive
What You Would Expect

From a physical standpoint, Plextor's internal drives do not vary much in appearance from model to model, aside from the recent addition of a stylish black line to the front bezel.  The front of the drive is rather clean, with an LED indicator, Eject button and Emergency Eject hole.  Plextor has done away with the headphone jack and independent volume control knob, as these items are rarely used.  The drive tray seems a bit more solid that the PX-504A which was somewhat more rickety than other Plextor drives we have tested.  The eject process was smooth and solid.  Like previous Plextor drives, the drive tray is black in color, a key design option for creating reliable burns by absorbing any stray reflected light that may occur during the writing process.

    

The rear of the drive was typical, sporting a Digital Audio Output, Analog Audio Output, DMA Jumper, Mode Jumper, IDE connection and Power input.  Aside from that, the Plextor PX-712A yielded no surprises on the outside.  Then again, it's what lies at the heart of the drive that really matters.  Next, we'll take a closer look at Plextor's PlexTools Professional software suite to see how it manages some of the PX-712A's more advanced features.

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