The Lite-On iHBS112 is an internal writer of Blu-ray and DVD optical discs, now specified to a hypothetical 12-speed operation for BD-R discs.
The Lite-On iHBS112 is the slightly cheaper version of the iHBS212 drive - which we used for the performance evaluations below - and doesn't feature LightScribe or the same software package. In performance, however, the two drives are identical.
Those who remember the heady days when DVD writers were in the ascendancy may recall a time of constant flux. Every month seemed to bring an ever-faster model that instantly rendered the former champions as distinctly old-hat.
It’s fair to say that the Blu-ray writer market has evolved at a rather more glacial rate. Twelve-speed models are finally beginning to hit the shops though.
But even these 12-speed drives aren’t getting close to their full potential. The problem is the usual one, of blank media - we now have six-speed BD-R discs available, but that’s still only half the speed of the fastest drives.
This drive did burn our 22GB of test data in under 15 minutes - but only just.
The time of 14 minutes and 52 seconds was barely faster than the 15 minutes and 4 seconds registered by the LG BH10LS30, even though that drive was specified with a 10-speed hardware maximum, and using four-speed media to test it.
Neither is the Lite-On particularly fast at rewriteable Blu-ray - we’ve still never seen a drive that can push the BD-RE media beyond two-speed. Nonetheless, the Lite-On is the fastest drive we’ve seen yet in real-world terms, so it deserve recognition for that.
In testing we looked at the Lite-On iHBS212, the fully boxed retail version, which comes with complete packaging and software. However, as is usually the case with optical drives, the product you’re more likely to be able to find is the iHBS112 OEM version. This comes without any packaging, although you should be able to find an OEM version that comes with the relevant software.
The specifications and look of the two drives are very close to identical, although the retail iHBS212 does have the added extra of LightScribe. This pleasing but limited labelling technology has never really been developed to its full. But for anyone who might want to apply non-colour images directly to their media, the iHBS212 may offer value for around an extra £10 for the drive, and with slightly more expensive blanks.
We found Blu-ray film playback to be very good on this drive. The 8MB buffer size on the Lite-On is ample, and the support for a range of different drive formats even stretches to 12-speed DVD-RAM.