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Though it can't write double-layer DVD+R media as fast asor , Sony's reliable DRU-800A DVD burner is a very good all-around performer. While many drives choke on certain brands or types of media or produce errors on the outside edge of the disk at top speed, the Sony just works. We love stuff that you don't have to worry about or fuss over when you use it, and the Sony DRU-800A definitely fits in that category.
Physically, you'd be hard-pressed to pick the Sony DRU-800A DVD burner out of a lineup of recent Sony burners. It has the same short body (6.75 inches long), which fits nicely in smaller PCs, and it ships with the same putty-colored and black faceplates for color-coordinating with most systems. On the back of the drive, you'll find the usual array of digital and analog audio outputs, an IDE connector, a power connector, and slave/master/cable-select configuration jumpers. As we mention in every Sony burner review, the back also houses the same three mystery jumpers with no apparent function. (One of these days, we'll jumper them to see if the drive light starts blinking alien codes.)
The DRU-800A ships with a limited version of, which includes NeroVision Express authoring software, Nero Burning ROM SE for mastering, Nero InCD for packet writing, Nero ShowTime for playing DVD movies, and Nero BackItUp for backing up your system. The suite should suffice for the average user, but power users might want to check Nero's site for an upgrade path that includes the Recode2 movie-compression program, the PhotoSnap photo editor, and the full-strength Nero Burning ROM, among other utilities.