Before we continue with the article we would like to put out a thanks to ASUS who supplied an external BluRay unit for the testing. We were actually so impressed with this drive over the last two weeks that we felt it deserved to be highlighted.
This external slim-type optical disc drive performs at six times the standard Blu-ray reading speed (it also writes to a plethora of formats, including Bluray). It features True Theatre High Definition (TTHD) technology, a pioneering suite of advanced video enhancements that delivers unmatched HD quality for DVD playback on PC-based home theatre systems. The result is sharper video, significant decrease in background noise, and enhanced aliasing for a smoother image.
The drive, as you can see, is beautifully designed. It’s simplistic, but extremely attractive. It is powered over the USB bus, so no need for a power adapter, we particularly love this concept. Asus supply a cable with a dual head USB plug so it can take power from two ports.
It is supplied with a stand, so you can use it either vertically or horizontally.
You remove a rubber panel from the rear of the drive and slot the stand into the housing.
Above, the front and rear of the unit when mounted onto the stand. We like the vertical mount appearance. This is one of the thinnest drives we have seen on the market at only 21mm! At 157 x 142 x 21mm the SBC-06D1S-U is only 37mm longer and 22mm wider than a standard 12cm disc!
When the unit is powered up, Windows 7 detected it immediately and as you can see in the image above it glows blue, across accented lines. There is a mirror like finish, as you can perfectly see our Sony laptop in the surface above [Don’t forget the Mr Muscle for finger prints – Ed].
Pushing the button on the front opens the tray and you can then insert your disc of choice.
Here are the specifications (warning – you WILL need to scroll for this):
|Read Speed||BD-R: 6 X
BD-RE: 6 X
BD-ROM: 6 X
BD-R(DL): 6 x
BD-RE(DL): 6 X
BD-ROM(DL): 6 X
DVD+R: 8 X
DVD-R: 8 X
DVD+RW: 8 X
DVD-RW: 8 X
DVD-ROM: 8 X
DVD+R(DL): 6 X
DVD-R(DL): 6 X
DVD-ROM(DL): 8 X
DVD-RAM: 5 X
CD-R: 24 X
CD-RW: 24 X
CD-ROM: 24 X
BDMV playback: 4 X
DVD video playback: 4 X
VCD playback: 10 X
Audio CD Playback: 10 X
|Write Speed||DVD+R： 8X
DVD-R (DL)： 4X
|Writing Mode||DVD+R & DVD+R (DL)： Sequential Write
DVD-R & DVD-R(DL)： Incremental Recording
DVD+RW： Random Write
DVD-RW： DAO/Incremental Recording
DVD-RAM: Random Write
CD-R/RW： DAO/TAO/SAO/Packet Write
|Access time||BD: 240 ms
DVD: 160 ms
CD: 160 ms
|Data Buffer||2 MB|
|O/S Compatibility||Windows® 7
|System Requirement||Processor: Pentium D 945 (34GHz) or higher
Memory: 1GB or more is recommended
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT or ATI X1600 series or above
Use HDCP Compatible display and VGA card to High Definition digital output.
|Bundle Software||Cyberlink PowerDVD with TTHD
|Disc Formats||Audio CD,Video CD,CD-I,CD-Extra,Photo CD,CD-Text,CD-ROM/XA,Multi-session CD,DVD Video|
|Mounting Orientation||Vertical and Horizontal (+5° ~ -5°)|
|Dimension||142x157x21 mm (W x L x H)|
|Weight||412 g(435g with stand)|
|Power Requirements||USB Power +5V ± 5%|
|Temperature||Operating: 5℃ to 40℃
Storage: -30℃ to 60℃
|Humidity||Operating: 15% ~ 80% (Non-condensing)
Storage: 10% ~ 90% (Non-condensing)
The Asus drive performs like only the best drives on the market can deliver. It is very quiet in operation and we found BluRay discs loaded in around 15 seconds via PowerDVD 10 Ultra. The Blue LED is gorgeous as well, however you can turn it off in software if you wish. Best of all you can keep the firmware updated via software, which is massively important in this specific sector.
The Software also offers drag and drop burning and securing data with passwords and encryption.
If you are in the market for a BluRay drive and want something which is self-powered, quiet, attractive and handles a plethora of formats then we can strongly recommend this Asus unit. It retails online for less than £140 and the code to look for on Google is SBC-06 D1S.
KitGuru says: We love this drive and will be heartbroken when Asus take it back.