ASUS' DRW-0402P/D DVD±R/RW Drive
as clear as black and white
The DRW-0402P/D is a pretty
straightforward drive. Its beige front bezel features
a single LED used for indicating activity, while a lone
button is responsible for ejecting the loading tray.
There are a couple of ventilation slits for circulating air,
and a small hole accommodates the included emergency-eject
tool (incidentally, ASUS recommends using the
emergency-eject feature as a last resort). Otherwise
the only other markings on the front of the DRW-0402P/D
indicate the drive's compliance with both DVD-R and DVD+R
formats, in addition to standard CD-R duties. There's
no headphone jack or volume control, which shouldn't be a
problem considering the frequency of those features on
the drive is fairly blasé. Of course, if you're into
the beige box look, it'll match the rest of your equipment.
And for conservative OEM purposes, the simplistic front
bezel is a blessing. Whereas Plextor touts the
benefits of its black disk tray for minimizing errors, the
ASUS drive sports a standard beige tray. Nevertheless,
the DRW-0402P/D maneuvered through our test suite with ease,
despite its drive tray.
The back of
ASUS' DRW-0402P/D is laid out intuitively. The power
connector and IDE interface are both obvious additions, as
are the jumper switches and analog audio outputs.
Actual jumper settings are etched into the back of the drive
for easy installation. Finally, a circular arrangement of
slits provide ventilation to the drive's rear.
there isn't a digital S/PDIF audio output, a feature that
would normally correspond to the S/PDIF input on many
higher-end sound cards. Notice the foam padding that
ASUS uses to muffle the noise created when the drive closes.
On our Plextor PX-708A 8x DVD+R burner, that material is
actually on the inside of the loading tray. It's a
nice touch that results in a solid, yet subdued finish.
As advertised, the DRW-0402P/D
burns both DVD-R and DVD+R discs at 4x, or about 5.5MB per
second. In the event that you only have access to
older media, its DVD+R performance (2.4x) is slightly better
than the maximum DVD-R setting (2x). Perhaps the most
disappointing specification is a 16x ceiling for writing
CD-R's, which nowadays fly along at at least 32 or 40x.
In the following section, we'll quantify this number so you
can see exactly how long it'll take to copy your favorite
audio CD at 16x. Note also that the ±RW settings are
lower than the write-once speeds. It isn't unusual to
see slower re-write options, but you should certainly be
aware that such a task will consume roughly half an hour.
The last important observation, which was previously
mentioned, is that the DRW-0402P/D doesn't support
the Mt. Rainier write mode.
Pushing the DRW-0402P/D...