Monday, March 21, 2011

LiteOn iHBS212 12X Internal Blu-Ray Burner Review

I remember how excited I was getting my first CD burner. I was then able to make backup copies of anything - music, as well as data. Things have changed a lot since then. Home videos are more common, and that video has gotten higher and higher in quality. Now you can record video in high definition. High definition video can take up a lot of space. You can copy your video onto blank DVD's, but it won't hold very much. To copy more than around a 1/2 hour of high qulity high definition video, you need a higher capacity medium. A great way to do this is using a Blu-ray burner. Instead of a storage capacity of 4.7 GB per single layer disc, you now have a capacity of 25 GB per single layer disc. Up for review today is the Lite On iHBS212 Blu-ray disc burner. It is a great internal blu-ray burner with great speed at a great MSRP. MSRP is 159.99, although it can be found online for much less. It's features and specs include: Blu-Ray Playback: Enjoy High Definition Blu-ray movies. See the colours as they were meant to be. Blu-ray Disc movies offer unprecedented 1920 x 1080p resolution, which is 6 times the resolution of DVD. Serial ATA (SATA) connectivity: Higher transfer rates with SATA connection (compared to PATA) Future proof; compatibility with the latest motherboards Better airflow in PC casings due to smaller cable and plug sizes SATA supports hot swap(must be supported by your motherboard) Super AllWrite Super AllWrite is the compatibility standard from Lite-On to offer the ability to read, write and re-write to any disc format on the market Use your drive for any purpose with the media you desire (including CD-R, CD±RW, DVD±R, DVD±RW, DVD±R DL, DVD-RAM format discs Purchase your media without hassle; you no longer have to worry about compatibility LightScribe: Kiss your marker goodbye. Burn custom labels directly to CDs and DVDs using LightScribe Flip and burn. Create silkscreen-quality images on CDs or DVDs. After you burn content, just flip the disc, reinsert and burn your label Make your mark. Be creative. It your design, your images. With LightScribe, it your label! Smart-X: SMART-X(*2) function adjusts CD-DA / VCD / DVD data extraction to a fastest allowable speed according to both data request rate from host and disc quality. Smart BURN: SMART-BURN is a technology developed by Lite-ON. It can automatically adjust writing strategy & running OPC to provide the best burning quality and avoid Buffer Underrun error as well. BD-ROM/R/RE SL 8X maximum by CAV BD-ROM/R 8X maximum by CAV BD-RE DL 6X maximum by CAV Write BD-R 12X maximum by CAV BD-R DL 8X maximum by Z-CLV ReWrite BD-RE SL/DL 2X maximum by CLV Rand. Access time BD SL 250MS BD DL 380ms DVD Family Write DVD+R maximum by CAV DVD-R maximum by CAV DVD+R9 8X maximum by Zone CLV DVD-R9 8X maximum by Zone CLV DVD-RAM 12X maximum by CAV ReWrite DVD+RW 8X by Z-CLV DVD-RW 6X by Zone CLV Read 16X maximum by CAV Rand. Access time DVD ROM 150ms DVD R DL 160ms DVD-RAM 200ms CD Family Write CD-R 48X by CAV ReWrite CD-RW 48X by CAV Read 48X maximum by CAV Rand. Access time 150ms PC Required For High Definition BD Playback & Authoring: (Only Windows XP SP2)Pentium D 3.0GHz or faster CPU and 1GB or higher RAM are required. Bufer Size 8M (Max) Compatibility Windows® XP/2003/Vista/7 and Linux General Environment Operating 5ºc to 50ºc; Relative Humidity 15% to 80% Non-Operating -40ºc to 65ºc; Relative Humidity: 15% to 95% Dimension 146(W) X 41.3(H) x 170(D) mm Weight <>

Build quality and components used is on par with other manufacturers. There usually is not much difference in appearent quality between optical drive manufacturers. That appears to be the case here. It did have a fairly solid feel and heft to it for an optical drive. Also included was a CyberLink BD Solution software disc. It includes PowerDVD 9 BD, PowerProducer 5, PowerDirector 7, Power2Go 6, PowerBackup 2, LabelPrint 2, and InstantBurn 5. They are all the programs needed to burn discs, whether it be copying a disc, editing home movies, or scheduling back-up. And the PowerDVD 9 BD player is also 3D ready!

Installation was rather simple. Four included mounting screws come with the drive, as well as a SATA data cable. So placing the drive in the case, and screwing it in securely was easy. Then it is just a matter of connecting the data cable to the motherboard, and connect a power cable from the power supply.

Performance proved to be pretty good. Running some benchmarks with SiSoft Sandra 2011, data transfer was 23.38MB/s, and an access time of 213.24ms. And at 12X it is quite speedy at burning BD-R discs! Burning 25GB of home videos only took 20 minutes! I remember it taking over twice that long back in the day for just a 4.7GB DVD-R. But what I really look for is a lack of coasterability. That is to say, that it will not give me a bunch of shiny round plastic coasters for me to use on my coffee table. That usually isn't an issue with todays optical drives. And the LiteOn iHBS212 proved to hold true as well. I ran several disc types, and burned many discs of all different types from CD, DVD and Blu-Ray. I am happy to report that I did not get any new coasters to add to my collection. That is a good thing, especially with BD-R discs, which are still a bit pricey.

To sum it up, the LiteOn iHBS212 is a great drive. Build quality is good, it came with all the necessary hardware to install it, and some great software. It performed well enough in my tests, and what I like the best is it's lack of adding to my coaster collection! In todays world, having a DVD burner in your computer is the norm, but with the increase in file sizes with HD video, it only makes sense to have a Blu-ray burner drive! If you are in the market for a Blu-ray burner, I would highly suggest adding the LiteOn iHBS212 to your list. Based on its performance, features, and included software suite, it has earned our Value award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at