Sony Electronics announced on Tuesday its third-generation internal Blu-ray optical drive, the BWU-300S. The new drive reads Blu-ray media and writes single- and dual-layer BD-R discs at up to 8x speed (36MB per second).
At this speed, it burns a full 25GB disc (single layer) in about 15 minutes and a full 50GB disc (dual layer) in about 30 minutes. While these numbers are big, this is probably as fast as computer-based Blu-ray recording can get due to the fact that the discs can spin only so rapidly (almost 10,000 RPM for 8x operation). In addition, the BWU-300S also writes DVDs at up to 16X, CDs up to 48x, and supports DVD-RAM recording. The drive, however, still writes DB-RE media at the sluggish 2x speed.
As expected, the BWU-300S doesn't support HD DVD playback, which makes it a little less desirable than the Blu-ray drives that.
Though Toshiba has discounted prices.of the format race, there are still millions of HD DVD movies already on the market and they're all on sale for
On the other hand, the new Sony drive comes with a bonus. You'll get a full-featured Men in Black Blu-ray movie disc bundled with the BWU-300S, which otherwise can be had from Amazon for about $15.
The Sony BWU-300S drive ships with CyberLink's software suite for capturing, authoring, editing, burning and viewing high-definition personal content. It features 8MB of cache memory, SATA interface and standard 5.25-inch form factor that fits any desktop PC running Windows XP or Windows Vista. The drive will be available in October for an estimated $400.