today announced the PlexWriter 24/10/40U, a new external CD-RW drive that features a USB 2.0 interface. The drive is compatible with both Macs and PCs.
As the nomenclature implies, the PlexWriter 24/10/40U sports the ability to write CD-Rs at a maximum 24x speed, rewrite CD-RW discs at 10x, and read CD-ROMs at 40x. Incorporating a USB 2.0 interface, the new PlexWriter drive can work at its full speed on Macs equipped with Mac OS X and third-party USB 2.0 interface cards.
On other Macs that use the factory-installed USB 1.1 interface, the PlexWriter will work as well — albeit at a slower speed. On USB 1.1, users can expect the drive to write CD-Rs at 4x, write CD-RWs at 4x, and read CD-ROMs at 6x.
Like just about all high-speed CD-RWs on the market today, the new PlexWriter 24/10/40U features buffer underrun technology. This PlexWriter model sports Sanyo’s vaunted BURN-Proof technology. Buffer underrun protection reduces the likelihood that the CD-RW drive will run out of data as it’s burning a disc. When that happens, the CD-RW disc won’t be written to properly and will not be usable. The drive also features PoweRec-II, a Zone-CLV servo positioning technology that Plextor said assures the highest quality written disc possible.
Plextor vice president of sales and marketing Howard Wing said that the new drive complements their existing product line with multiple high-speed USB 2.0 solutions.
“We believe customers will really benefit from USB 2.0 in a wide variety of applications, such as mixing and creating custom audio discs, backing up files, archiving images, creating master CDs for multimedia or software, duplicating CDs and sharing files,” said Wing.
Although Plextor noted that the drive is Macintosh-compatible, it looks like the company is leaving Mac users on their own for software — the applications that accompany the PlexWriter 24/10/40U are Windows-compatible only. Plextor drive mechanisms are frequently used by other third-party drive makers, however, so if this doesn’t suit your needs, it’s possible that the same drive that powers the PlexWriter will appear in a chassis which includes Mac-friendly software in the future. Plextor did not specify whether or not the new drive would work with Apple’s own Disc Burning software.
The new drive is scheduled to be released at the end of December with a suggested retail price of US$229.