Those who watch the DVD writers market will have seen DVD-R/+R speeds moving gradually upwards. Recent months have seen DVD writers climbing to 18-speed and, in the case of Lite-On's LH-20A1P, 20-speed. But how important is DVD-R/+R recording? After all, 16-speed was already pretty fast. Wouldn't we be better focusing on the 8.5GB double-layer DVD-R DL and +R DL formats, where the eight-speed performance of typical drives leaves a great deal to be desired? Pioneer has the perfect answer to those torn by such a dilemma, for the DVR-112 gives you the best of both worlds.

As with the likes of the NEC ND-7170 and the Sony AW-G170A, the Pioneer offers 18-speed recording as standard - but, in real-world tests, it finished recording in a faster time. Should your interests lie more in DL (dual-layer) recording then the Pioneer can satisfy your needs here too, boasting 10-speed in both the DVD-R DL and DVD+R DL formats. And, once again, it finished the tests more quickly than any other drive we've seen so far.

Progress hasn't been made in every area. The rewriteable DVD-RW and DVD+RW formats are stuck on the distinctly sluggish six-speed and eight-speed offered by just about every drive on the market. DVD-RAM hasn't budged from 12-speed either, although this is already pretty much as good as it gets for the user-friendly but slightly old-hat format.

Considering what a superbly specified drive this is, it's a shame that you can't buy a version with LightScribe. And, as with most of these drives, no software is provided as standard; you may need to pick up a copy of Ahead Nero when you go to purchase the drive.

Pioneer DVR-112: Specs

  • EIDE interface
  • maximum speeds 16x/18x/18x/10x/10x/6x/8x/12x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM) 40x/40x/32x, (CD-ROM/-R/-RW)
  • max DVD storage capacity 8.5GB
  • 2MB drive buffer
  • average access time 130ms
  • 1-year warranty
  • EIDE interface
  • maximum speeds 16x/18x/18x/10x/10x/6x/8x/12x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM) 40x/40x/32x, (CD-ROM/-R/-RW)
  • max DVD storage capacity 8.5GB
  • 2MB drive buffer
  • average access time 130ms
  • 1-year warranty

OUR VERDICT

Combining 18-speed DVD-R/+R with 10-speed DVD-R DL/+R DL, this is the fastest overall drive on the market. Real-world figures are excellent and the consistency of the recording is high. Add to this a decent price tag and this is currently the best DVD writer available.

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