AOpen DRW4410 (DVD+RW)


Positive:




  • Supports 4x recording to DVD+R and DVD+RW media
  • Excellent hardware/software package
  • Supports ‘JustLink’ and ‘JustSpeed’ technology
  • Good CD and DAE (audio) read speeds
  • Excellent DVD read speeds
  • Supports overburning up to 98 minutes and can read ‘GigaRec’ discs (but
    read speed slows down to 8x)
  • Supports DAO-RAW writing
  • Supports reading and writing of 8cm discs
  • Supports reading and writing of CD-Text information
  • Supports reading and writing of full SubChannel Data

Negative:




  • Only 2MB data buffer
  • Seek times with CD/DVD media could be improved
  • Write times could be a little faster
  • Needs ‘weak sector amplification’ for newer SafeDisc 2 versions
  • Poor read performance with copy-protected audio discs

Conclusion:






  During the introduction of this review we already mentioned that the
AOpen DRW4410 was not the latest DVD recorder available today. Our test
drive was manufactured about four months ago (July) but despite the
drive’s age, it showed a pretty good overall performance during our tests.

When it came to reading media the AOpen performed very well as it could read
pressed CD, CD-R and CD-RW media all at maximum speed of 40x. Reading audio
discs was also no exception and although the AOpen drive was not the fastest
drive we’ve reviewed when it came to DAE, it was still able to beat several
other drives. The AOpen drive can of course also be used to read DVD media with
and although a top read speed of 8x for DVD-Video discs is not very impressive,
the fact that the drive could also read DVD-R(W) and DVD+R(W) discs at this
speed, was rather impressive. The only negative thing about the AOpen
drive when it came to read performance, were its high seek times. These were
often very high and especially the seek times with DVD media were often way
higher than the drive’s specifications.


The most important thing about a DVD recorder is of course its recording
performance to DVDR(W) and CD-R(W) media. Unfortunately the AOpen drive is not a
dual format recorder as it only supports the DVD+R(W) format. During our review
we saw that the AOpen drive was not the fastest 4x DVD+R recorder on the planet
as it often needed more time than other recorders we’ve reviewed to write a data
compilation of 4.4GB. Luckily the drive’s 4x DVD+RW recording speed makes up for
this a little, although the drive’s 4x DVD+RW write times were slower than the
Plextor PX-708A drive for example. The DRW4410 can of course also be used to
write CD media with. The drive’s 24x recording speed for CD-R media is good
enough for people that don’t have to burn a lot of CD’s. It was too bad the
AOpen drive only supported 10x CD-RW recording speeds. When it came to write
quality the AOpen did perform pretty well as it was able to write all our test
discs without creating a single error.


When we did our usual advanced tests we were initially impressed by the drive
as it was able to read all the protected data discs very fast. It also performed
pretty well when writing these discs and it was too bad the drive needed ‘weak
sector amplification’ to back-up the newer SafeDisc copy-protection. Another
thing that disappointed us was the DRW4410’s performance when reading protected
audio discs. The drive simply failed to recognize any disc and we really hope
that AOpen can improve the drive in this area. Luckily, when we did the
remaining advanced tests the drive performed well again as it could overburn to
around 98 minutes according to Nero CD-DVD Speed and the AOpen drive was able to
read the full 113 minutes of our GigaRec disc (although the drive did slow down
to a safe 8x to read the complete disc). Last but not least, reading SubChannel
Data, CD-Text and 8 cm media were also no problem for the drive.


The AOpen DRW4410 drive can be found online for as low as $ 143. Overall we
think this is not a bad deal. We’ll of course leave it up to you to decide if
you can live with the drive’s negative points.