Samsung has come up with a couple of interesting features to make the SH-S183A stand out in a competitive market.

For a start, it comes with a Sata interface rather than EIDE. Most PCs now have Sata, but if you're not sure, it's worth checking the motherboard manual. In real-world testing, this faster interface doesn't produce a stunning difference – nonetheless, the Samsung can lay claim to being as fast as any 18-speed drive on the market.

It's hard for any drive to stand out on specifications alone, but the Samsung competes well. The 12-speed DVD-RAM is becoming almost obligatory these days, despite the historic unpopularity of this format. The double-layer facilities are on a par with the other drives too.

When it comes to raw performance, the SH-S183A won't let anyone down. This is a very quick drive, offering speeds that are more than competitive with all of its rivals.

One note of caution. This is an OEM version and doesn't come with any cables. Sata accessories are still quite rare, so check you've got a spare cable before you buy.

Samsung SH-S183A: Specs

  • 16x/18x/18x/8x/8x/6x/8x/12x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM)
  • 48x/48x/32x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW)
  • Sata interface
  • max DVD storage capacity 8.5GB
  • drive buffer 2MB
  • average access time (DVD) 140ms
  • 1-year warranty
  • 16x/18x/18x/8x/8x/6x/8x/12x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM)
  • 48x/48x/32x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW)
  • Sata interface
  • max DVD storage capacity 8.5GB
  • drive buffer 2MB
  • average access time (DVD) 140ms
  • 1-year warranty

OUR VERDICT

The raw power of Sata might not be the potential killer you'd expect, but this is a quick drive. You'll pay for this power, though. At £30, you may question whether it's the best deal for you.

Find the best price