QPS Que review:

QPS Que

  • 1
MSRP: $199.00
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CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Breakneck speed; outstanding price.

The Bad Bare-bones software bundle and documentation.

The Bottom Line The perfect solution for audiophiles or the performance-minded who want a bargain, not a barrelful of extras.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

9.0 Overall
CNET Editors' Choice Sep '01

Some of the best things in life come in simple packages. The QPS Que CD-R/RW 24X/10X/40X is a great example. The drive is a far cry from fancy, and unpacking the box certainly won't invoke many oohs or ahhs. The drive's barren, cream-colored faceplate is devoid of fancy logos or sleek bevels. And the only software you'll find is on one plain-Jane CD. But once the drive is up and running, it'll definitely raise some eyebrows. What the QPS Que lacks in style, it more than makes up for in power and penny-pinching. At a rock-bottom $179, you won't find a much faster drive for the price. Some of the best things in life come in simple packages. The QPS Que CD-R/RW 24X/10X/40X is a great example. The drive is a far cry from fancy, and unpacking the box certainly won't invoke many oohs or ahhs. The drive's barren, cream-colored faceplate is devoid of fancy logos or sleek bevels. And the only software you'll find is on one plain-Jane CD. But once the drive is up and running, it'll definitely raise some eyebrows. What the QPS Que lacks in style, it more than makes up for in power and penny-pinching. At a rock-bottom $179, you won't find a much faster drive for the price.

Crank it up
The QPS really cooks when it burns. In CNET Labs' tests, the drive took the prize as the fastest audio CD burner in its class. It outperformed the previous audio CD record holder, the TDK VeloCD ReWriter 24X/10X/40X, by more than half a minute on average; the two drives tied for first place in audio-extraction tests. Considering that the QPS Que is about $50 cheaper than the TDK, it's a must-have for the music-minded. The QPS held its own in our CD data-burn and rewritable tests, staying close to the top of the heap every time. Its stability is also assured, because the drive sports BUrn-Proof technology, which helps you avoid buffer underrun errors. In informal testing, with several resource-hungry applications running at once, the QPS mastered a CD without skipping a beat.

Ready to rock
To better serve potential audiophiles, QPS provides Ahead Nero 5.0, a somewhat confusing but powerful piece of mastering software. Along with the usual support for photo CDs, video CDs, bootable CDs, drive-letter rewritables, and so on, the software includes a valuable set of audio-mixing and editing tools. You can cross-fade between audio tracks, remove hiss, equalize the sound, edit out vocals for some karaoke--the list is long and quite varied. The software also has a few useful utilities, such as disk imaging, straight CD copying, and performance benchmarking. One CD-R and one CD-RW disc, plus all the necessary cables and mounting screws are also included with the drive.

On the downside, Ahead Nero 5.0 is all you get. There's no image-editing software, CD jewel-case-design package, or any of the other extras commonly found in other CD-R/RW bundles--not to mention the near lack of any documentation. All you'll find is a generic installation guide that doubles as the installation software's CD jacket. And there's no mention of the included burning software in the minimanual. The electronic documentation found on the CD is little more than a redux of the print version, with an extra couple of pages on troubleshooting. What's worse is that it's your dime (a toll call) if you phone tech support, which is available only on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT. A one-year parts and labor warranty is short but typical.

Power, plain and simple
If you want a bunch of fancy extras, this is not the drive you're looking for, and you might be happier with the Yamaha CRW2200EZ. But despite the lack of fun trinkets and handy extras, the QPS Que CD-R/RW 24X/10X/40X has what counts, delivering a combination of bare-knuckle speed and a base price no other drive can yet match.

Write tests
Time, in minutes, to complete tasks (shorter bars indicate better performance)
Audio burn to CD-R from image on hard drive (from 43 min., 11 sec. audio CD)   
Single-session data burn to CD-R (500MB directory)   
Packet-write from hard drive to CD-RW (400MB directory)   
QPS Que (24X/10X/40X)
2.8 
3.9 
6.0 
Yamaha CRW2200EZ (20X/10X/40X)
3.4 
4.0 
5.6 
Plextor PlexWriter 24/10/40A
3.6 
3.6 
6.8 
Acer CRW 2010A (20X/10X/40X)
5.3 
5.1 
7.1 
 
Audio extraction tests
Time, in minutes, to extract a 26-minute, 58-second audio track (shorter bars indicate better performance)

QPS Que (24X/10X/40X)
0.9 
Yamaha CRW2200EZ (20X/10X/40X)
1.0 
Plextor PlexWriter 24/10/40A
1.2 
Acer CRW 2010A (20X/10X/40X)
1.6 
 
Read tests
Time, in minutes, to install Microsoft Office 2000 Small Business Edition (shorter bars indicate better performance)

QPS Que (24X/10X/40X)
3.2 
Yamaha CRW2200EZ (20X/10X/40X)
3.2 
Plextor PlexWriter 24/10/40A
3.2 
Acer CRW 2010A (20X/10X/40X)
3.5 
 
The QPS Que CD-R/RW broke a record in the audio-burn test, toasting a 43-minute audio CD in less than 3 minutes. It was equally adept at ripping: It extracted 27 minutes of audio in less than 1 minute.

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