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  Lite-On 48x12x48x CD-ReWriter 7/10 - Date Posted 27/09/2002

I would like to say thanks to Lite-On Holland for helping me with this review. Lite-On has quickly become one of the most famous CD drive makers. Their CD-ReWriters are the top of the list of most enthusiasts. This drive is probably one of the fastest available for CD-R. It looks unassuming apart from the bold letters that state "48x12x48x", ie. it can write on CD-Rs at upto 48x, CD-RW at 12x and can read from CDs at 48x. I rarely write on CD-RW, especially because CD-R are so cheap now (and can be burnt a lot quicker)! Installation is very easy, and is pretty much the same as all other CD-RW. Nero software for burning is also bundled, and has a simple drag-n-drop interface.

I can confirm it is very fast, unsurprisingly. I managed to write 655MB (of mixed size files) at 48x. It took 2m 45s to write the CD. However, I could only do this on the approved CD-R that came with the drive. I tried several other types of media, all of which were reasonably expensive branded CD-R from Memorex and Kodak, and could only write at 32x. In any case the time difference was very small: at 32x the same 655MB took 3m 4s to write, a difference of 19s. The test computer was a 2.53 GHz Pentium 4, so I would be assuming that it would be very difficult to better this time. Given that most people use even cheaper unbranded CD-R, I think that very few people would actually be able to write at 48x, and the cost of buying special media that can handle such a speed would slowly build up. The drive itself is great value at 50 pounds (and a lot cheaper than most other similar drives on the market).

If you want a fast drive this is one of your best choices, especially with the buffer protection, that will ensure you do not spoil endless CD-Rs. Having said said that, unless you are prepared to spend extra on your CD-R, you might as well just stick to 32x models (although you would still benefit from the 48x read). There's only one problem with having such a fast CD-RW, you will probably end up burning even more discs.