The first fruit of Sony's optical drive partnership with NEC have arrived in Europe: a drive the company claims is the world's fastest DVD±R writer, capable of burning single-layer discs at up to 18x speed.
Sony admitted the availability of media certified for use at 18x was "limited", but it claimed the drive - dubbed the AWG170A - would write 16x discs at the higher speed. It also said the drive will write DVD-RAM discs as 12x. DVD±R DL discs are written at up to 8x, it added, the same speed the drive writes DVD+RWs. DVD-RW discs are written at 6x. CD-R/RW discs are burned at 48x.
Sony touted the AWG170A's compact, fanless self-cooling design, along with mechanisms to compensate for unbalanced discs - all that spinning would do anyone's head in, we say - and to minimise vibration during the read/write process, another cause of coasters.
The drive is available in with a choice of four different bezel colours.
The drive is made by Sony NEC Optiarc, formed in April when the two companies combined their optical drive businesses. Sony owns 55 per cent of the JV; NEC owns the remainder. ®