Blu-ray capability is a useful addition for anyone wishing to turn their PC into a multimedia entertainment centre. But if all you need it for is to watch films, why spend more on a writer, when you don’t even need the format’s high-capacity writing facilities? 

See more reviews of internal Blu-ray drives.

That’s where Lite-On’s IHES range comes in. The read-only counterpart to Lite-On’s IHBS selection of writers, the 112 delivers smooth 12x playback of Blu-Ray.

The Lite-On IHES112-115 is an internal optical drive, designed to mount into a Windows PC chassis, and it connects over SATA.

This is a bulk-buy version of the drive, so you don’t get any software bundled with it. If you don’t have the necessary software already, you could look out for the now rather rare IHES212, which did come with a basic version of CyberLink PowerDVD. Or just buy CyberLink’s software, which results in less nags to upgrade anyway.

Being a combo drive, the Lite-On does still allow you to write to DVD single- and dual-layer discs, and 16x DVD±R facilities are provided to this end. Admittedly this isn’t quite up to the performance of the fastest 22x/24x standalone DVD writers, but 16x will still be more than enough for most purposes.

Lite-On IHES112-115: Specs

  • Internal SATA optical drive
  • read speeds: 12x BD-ROM (8x BD-RE, 6x BD-ROM DL), 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD±R DL, 6x/8x DVD-RW/+RW, 48x CD-ROM/CD-R, 160ms DVD access time (350ms Blu-ray)
  • 2MB buffer
  • Internal SATA optical drive
  • read speeds: 12x BD-ROM (8x BD-RE, 6x BD-ROM DL), 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD±R DL, 6x/8x DVD-RW/+RW, 48x CD-ROM/CD-R, 160ms DVD access time (350ms Blu-ray)
  • 2MB buffer

OUR VERDICT

The main problem with this drive is that it just isn’t very cheap. At £50 it’s too much to pay for a BD-ROM drive when you can have a full Blu-ray reader/writer for around £65-£70. But if you’re sure you’ll only ever be reading BD media, then this saves you a few pounds.

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