Sony DRX-700UL

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DVD-burning junkies have been clamoring for the double-layer DVD ever since the first time they tried to pack an uncompressed, full-length movie onto a 4.7GB disc. Sony has heard your cries and will soon introduce two of the market's first double-layer DVD burners: the internal DRU-700A and the external DRX-700UL.

Upside: The DRU-700A and the DRX-700UL will let users write up to 8.5GB on special double-layer media--that's about 4 hours of DVD-quality video or 16 hours of VHS-quality video. The drives will also feature the current generation's read and write speeds for DVD+/-R and DVD-/+RW burning. Plus, for the first time, Sony will ship its drives with Nero--one of the first software packages to support double-layer recording, and one of our favorites.

Downside: The introduction of double-layer drives also ushers in a somber slide back to the bottom of the speed scale. The DRU-700A and the DRX-700UL will support double-layer writing on only special DVD+R DL media, and they do so at a drowsy 2.4X. The DVD+R DL discs, however, should be compatible with most set-top DVD players and DVD-ROM drives.

Outlook: We're psyched. Instead of the slow, incremental upward crawl of recording and writing speeds, the double-layer drive offers real innovation with the leap it takes in DVD capacity. Expected to start burning up retail shelf space this summer, Sony's DRU-700A will sell for $230, and the external DRX-700UL for $330. They'll undoubtedly have steep competition: BenQ, Pioneer, Lite-On, and Philips have also announced double-layer devices, all geared up to hit around the same time.

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Where to Buy

Sony DRX-700UL

Part Number: DRX-700UL

MSRP: $229.99

Visit manufacturer site for details.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Type none
  • OS Required Microsoft Windows 2000 / XP
  • Type DVD±RW (+R DL)
  • Read Speed 40x (CD) / 12x (DVD)
  • Write Speed 40x (CD) / 8x (DVD±R) / 2.4x (DVD+R DL)
  • Rewrite Speed 24x (CD) / 4x (DVD±RW)