WHAT'S HOT: TDK's at the top of the chart again, but this time with its VeloCD 32/10/40. By the slimmest of margins, this model outperformed the competition on our CD-R write tests; it also tied for the fastest digital audio extraction time. The drive, which uses a Sanyo drive mechanism, copied our 650MB folder of files to CD-R on-the-fly in just 3 minutes, 36 seconds--the fastest time we've seen yet.
TDK provides a generous software suite that includes Ahead's Nero Burning ROM 5.5 and InCD 3.14, plus software to facilitate digital audio extraction and managing and recording music (MP-Frees, MusicMatch Jukebox, and TDK's own Digital MixMaster audio utility), making this model a good choice for digital audio.
WHAT'S NOT: Unlike some other 32X drives, this model cannot write to CD-RW at 12X--just at 10X. As a result, when writing 100MB to a CD-RW disc, its times lagged behind the fastest drives by about 18 percent (1 minute, 18 seconds for the TDK, versus 1 minute, 6 seconds for the Lite-On CD-ReWriter 32x12x40X and the CenDyne Lightning II CD-RW 32x/12x40).
About This Product
WHAT ELSE: The VeloCD carries an industry-standard one-year warranty, and in contrast to other drive vendors, TDK offers toll-free technical support for 10.5 hours each day, including weekends. TDK throws in a CD-marking pen--a nice touch for quickly adding handwritten titles and names to your discs.
UPSHOT: A fast CD-R writer, this model's quick digital audio extraction time and excellent software bundle make this a great choice for audio enthusiasts.