With its 8X multiformat Indi DVD 840G burner, TDK pushes DVD+R writing to state-of-the-art speed. In many ways, the Indi DVD 840G matches the performance of our Editors' Choice, Plextor's, right down to its ability to write at 8X on 4X media. The reason? The Indi DVD 840G is that drive; TDK's 8X burner is built on Plextor's hardware. TDK's drive offers users an out-of-box experience second to none, with copious and exceptionally well-written documentation, and the company even throws in two free pieces of 4X DVD recordable media. The Indi DVD 840G and the Plextor were neck and neck in most of our tests, and both drives deliver solid performance. So if you can't find the PX-708A anywhere, don't sweat it; TDK's Indi DVD 840G is just as good.
If you're experienced with installing an optical drive, you'll have no problem setting up the TDK Indi DVD 840G; just open the computer case, slide the drive into a free 5.25-inch bay, secure it with screws, and attach the cables. TDK's copious and exceptionally well-written documentation, including a great Shockwave animation on the Help Materials CD, should give even newbies enough confidence to tackle what otherwise can be an intimidating task.
TDK ships the drive with two blanks discs (one 4X DVD+R, one 4X DVD-R) as well as mounting screws and an IDE cable. There is, however, no drive-to-sound-card cable--the only omission in an otherwise complete package.
Setting up the Indi DVD 840G's software was fairly straightforward and uneventful in our tests. Still, we wish there was an option to install all of the included software in one fell swoop, instead of one app at a time.
TDK's setup procedure makes things easy enough for newbies, but there's no option that allows you to install all of the applications at once.
The Indi DVD 840G's black front panel includes a headphone jack and volume control--features that some competing drives, such as Sony's DRU-530A, lack. The Indi DVD 840G's front panel also has the usual eject button, emergency-eject port, and power/busy light. On the back of the drive, you'll find the standard array of IDE and power connectors, digital and analog audio ports, and drive jumpers, whose functions are explained in a label on top of the drive. The Indi DVD 840G's black tray mechanism is one of the quietest we've tested.