Dual-Layer DVD Burner Roundup

Lite-On SOHW-1633S Specifications


Specifications for Lite-On's SOHW-1633S DL DVD+/- R/RW Drive
More 4x DL Action

•16x DVD+R writing / 4x DVD+RW rewriting / 16x DVD+R reading
•8x DVD-R writing / 4x DVD-RW rewriting / 16x DVD-R reading
•48x CD-R writing / 24x CD-RW rewriting / 48x CD-ROM reading
•8.5GB Dual-Layer Technology @ 2.4x
•SMART-BURN buffer under-run prevention
•SMART-X for fastest data extraction speeds
•Power-saving mode
•2MB internal buffer
•Enhanced IDE/ATAPI interface
•Horizontal and vertical operation
•Supports DVD+R write speed at 2.4x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x, and 16x
•Supports DVD+RW write speed at 2.4x and 4x
•Supports DVD+R DL write speed at 2.4x
•Supports DVD-R write speed at 1x, 2x, 4x, 6x, and 8x
•Supports DVD-RW write speed at 1x, 2x and 4x
•Supports CD-R write speed at 8x, 16x, 24x, 32x, 40x, and 48x
•Supports CD-RW write speed at 4x, 10x, 16x, and 24x

Retail Package
SOHW-1633S Writer

Quick-installation guide
Nero Express, Nero Vision Express 2, and PowerDVD
Audio Cable
Mounting Screws

DVD media

Quality and Setup of the Lite-On SOHW-1633S DL DVD+/- R/RW Drive
This time, cloaked in black

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.

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