Dual-Layer DVD Burner Roundup
Lite-On SOHW-1633S Specifications
Lite-On is an automatic favorite amongst "backup" enthusiasts thanks to its consistently robust drive features. The SOHW-1633S is instantly at a disadvantage in this roundup because of its 2.4x DL performance, though. To be fair, BenQ and Sony also entered the fray with 2.4x drives, but went back with re-worked firmware files and added 4x support as well. That level of dedication isn't necessarily expected from a manufacturer looking to sell newer products; however, it does give BenQ and Sony an advantage from a customer support perspective.
The SOHW-1633S is much smaller than the other drives in our roundup, making it an ideal candidate for use in a small form-factor chassis or BTX case. It also comes with a black front bezel for easy integration with a sleek home theater PC (yes, the SOHW-1633S is available in beige for those of you who are more traditional). The bundle package includes an ideal mix of burning (Nero Express 6) and playback (Cyberlink's PowerDVD), in addition to everything you'd need to get the drive installed.
Fortunately, the SOHW-1633S is lighter on marketing acronyms than many of its competitors. There's SMART-BURN, a buffer under-run protection scheme that adjusts the drive's writing strategy for optimal quality, along with SMART-X, a technology to improve the rate at which data may be extracted from media. Finally, VAS is a vibration and noise reduction technology included with Lite-On's SOHW-1633S.
Prices change so quickly that it's almost pointless to discuss where the SOHW-1633S falls. However, this drive is an extremely impressive value compared to a majority of other dual-layer products. If you can get over the fact that DVD-R burn speeds top out at 8x and dual-layer disks run at 2.4x, the Lite-On SOHW 1633S offer the most bang for your buck. For a point of reference, it's currently selling for $60 online.