Who needs ZIP Drives?
We had a little survey a few months ago about what products you wanted us to review. The top choices were monitors and CD-R/CD-RW drives. We don't have a monitor review just yet, but we do have a CD-RW drive review for you because we love our readers here at FiringSquad. We might not have the time to respond to the incredible
amount of e-mail we receive every day (if we responded to all our e-mails, we would only be able to have a new article ready every week instead of every day), but we do listen.
Okay, lets start off this review with reasons why you might want a CD-R/CDR-WR drive. First up we have the archiving features. Who can argue with inexpensive media that is able to store 650+ MB of data on each disk? ZIP drives can only hold 100MB of data, and you need a ZIP drive in order to read the disks. As long as you have a CD-ROM that was made after 1997, your drive can probably read CD-R discs. If you need to archive data, or just want an easy method of transporting large amounts of data, you should consider getting a CD burner.
CD writers are also useful for creating audio CDs. You can make compilation CDs of all your favorite songs, or even put all those mp3s on CD. Of course, you'd have to get an mp3 to wav converter program. We also trust that you already own all those CDs in physical form because it would be illegal otherwise, and we know all our readers are responsible law abiding people (that's why we love 'em).
Burn Baby, Burn!
I still remember when I bought my first CD writer a little over three years ago. It was a JVC XR-W2010. It was a $500 4x/2x read/write drive, and, in hindsight, it was the probably the dumbest computer peripheral purchasing decision I've ever made. I shouldn't be too harsh on the drive; it did provide several good learning experiences (hardware installation & troubleshooting, software installation, troubleshooting & uninstallation, coaster making, etc…), and the drive worked fine after I finally got it running -until it broke a few months ago, but that's the price you pay when you have to have new technology.
While I'm pretty sure I could have easily fixed the drive by opening it up and lubricating a few parts, I decided to buy a new CD writer instead. Okay, the fact that the page that had the step by step lubrication instructions is currently down probably also contributed to my buying decision, but I also needed a drive that could write faster than 2x.
Eventually I chose to get the Plextor PlexWriter 8/2/20 drive. Read on to find out how why I chose the Plextor drive and how the drive actually performs.