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Plextor PX-740UF review: Plextor PX-740UF

The Plextor PX-740UF is an external burner that combines excellent ripping and burning speeds with a good software suite. On the downside, it's expensive, and its support options are limited.

Jon L. Jacobi

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3 min read

If you're looking for an external burner with excellent all-around performance, Plextor's PX-740UF is an attractive, albeit pricey, option. It garnered top-flight scores in nearly all our ripping, burning, and rewriting tests. It also offers FireWire and USB 2.0 connectivity, though Mac users may bemoan the lack of software for their platform. Still, the PX-740UF is worth consideration by Apple users who have their own software (such as Roxio Toast Titanium 7) or can live with OS X's native disc-burning tools.

6.8

Plextor PX-740UF

The Good

The Plextor PX-740UF provides excellent overall performance, supports FireWire and USB connectivity, and ships with an OEM version of Nero's excellent software suite.

The Bad

The PX-740UF is expensive, and its support options are limited: phone support is available only on weekdays, and the company's Web site lacks options such as live chat and user forums.

The Bottom Line

The Plextor PX-740UF is a sturdy drive that performs beautifully, but it's expensive.
Plextor PX-740UF

Since the PX-740UF is an external burner, installation is a breeze. Connect the supplied AC adapter, run the USB or FireWire cable to your PC, and voilà--nearly instant optical writing. The Nero 6 OEM suite that Plextor bundles with the drive installs easily and includes Express 6 for disc mastering; NeroVision Express 2 SE for video editing and DVD authoring; Nero PhotoShow Express for photo slide shows; InCD 4.2 for packet writing; Nero ShowTime for DVD movie and video playback; and Nero Toolkit for drive testing, disc info, and the like. The full retail version of Nero is on its seventh iteration, but version 6 still provides plenty of power and features for the average user.

Plextor's Web site describes the PX-740UF as both stylish and black. Our test drive had more of a charcoal-gray color, and though it's no ugly duckling, we're not quite willing to describe the slightly boxy, 6.58-by-2.09-by-9.98-inch drive as stylish. Blandly handsome would be a more appropriate description, we think. Whether you find it stylish or dull, the drive is ruggedly built and should stand up to a fair amount of abuse.

It's always nice to have your cake and eat it too, and the Plextor PX-740UF's performance lets you do just that. Where some burners are great at ripping but lousy at writing, or vice versa, the PX-740UF is good at just about everything. It wrote a 4.4GB movie to a single-layer DVD+R in a fast 5 minutes, 45 seconds and a 7.9GB movie to a double-layer DVD+R in 14 minutes, 47 seconds. It ripped a single-layer disc in 6 minutes, 6 seconds and a double-layer disc in 11 minutes, 47 seconds--all excellent performances. It was less stellar at ripping but still gave one of the 10 best performances we've seen. The PX-740UF handled rewritable media admirably, taking 6 minutes, 25 seconds to read from a +RW disc and 7 minutes, 29 seconds to write to one.

DVD movie rip/burn tests (min:sec)
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
4.4GB DVD Video burn test  
4.4GB DVD Video rip test (from DVD Video)  

Double-layer DVD movie rip/burn tests (min:sec)
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
7.9GB DVD Video burn test  
7.9GB DVD Video rip test (from DVD Video)  
* The Iomega drive writes to 2.4X DVD+R double-layer media at 4X

CD Audio rip/burn tests (min:sec)
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
74:35 CD Audio burn test  
74:35 CD Audio rip test  

RW read/write tests (min:sec)
(Shorter bars indicate faster performance)
4.22GB RW write test  
4.22GB RW read test  

Unless otherwise mentioned, all write tests are run with Verbatim media, rated at the drive's maximum speed. Find out more about how we test optical drives.

Plextor backs the PX-740UF with a one-year warranty. Toll-free telephone support is available 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. PT, but only on weekdays. Plextor's online support lacks bells and whistles, such as live chat or a user forum, but it does provide regularly issued firmware upgrades and PDF versions of manuals. The site also has plenty of FAQs and tutorials to augment the more-informative-than-average user guide that Plextor includes with the PX-740UF. You should be able to find the answers you need using these sources, but we'd like to see additional links to online registration on the support page and menu, and to have the ones on the main page displayed more prominently.

6.8

Plextor PX-740UF

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 8Support 5
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