Dual-Layer DVD Burner Roundup
Plextor PX-716A Specifications
It's no secret that Plextor charges a premium for its products, which are in turn generally embraced by the enthusiast community. The PX-716A, available in parallel ATA and Serial ATA interfaces, includes a respectable bundle that features Roxio's Easy Media Center 7, Roxio PhotoSuite 7, DVDMax Player, and a trial version of Dantz Retrospect. You'll also find a replacement black bezel, an ATA cable, spare DVD+R media, and a massive 125-page users manual that covers every possible aspect of the PX-716A's feature set.
One of the most prevalent reasons to tap Plextor's lineup is fantastic support. Consistent firmware updates fix initial glitches and in many cases, add functionality. The latest PX-716A update does both, improving write quality, reading performance, and the AUTOSTRATEGY feature, as well as adding support for 2x DVD-R DL media and support for writing at 6x on qualified +R DL discs.
And then there's the exhaustive list of features proffered by the Plextor PX-716A. AUTOSTRATEGY, to begin, identifies unknown media with questionable quality characteristics and develops a customized write strategy for that disc. IntelligentTilt employs liquid crystal and tilt-adjustment in order to maintain proper alignment on uneven surfaces. PowerRec adjusts laser power and write speed on a per-disc basis.
The value-added features include GigaRec, which allows up to 900MB of capacity on standard 700MB discs, Q-Check, for reporting disc quality, SilentMode, to slow the spin-up/down process, and SecureRecording for password-protected discs.
Priced at $139 (available online below $100), the Plextor PX-716A establishes itself as one of the priciest dual-layer products in our roundup. Nevertheless, dedication to support and a comprehensive feature set help justify that price to higher-end users. We'd prefer Nero to the bundled Roxio suite; however, that's a somewhat minor qualm next to industry-leading DVD-R DL support and 6x DVD+R DL capabilities.