February 27, 2009, Other World Computing (OWC), known to many of us as macsales.com, has added an 8x Blu-ray drive to the Mercury Pro external Blu-ray/SuperDrive line, which are currently the only “Quad Interface” (FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, & eSATA) equipped Blu-ray drives on the market. The BDR-203X not only doubles the speed of the 4x model released only five months ago, but at USD$399, it's about USD$100 less than the initial release price of the 4x SW-5583 back in October '08.
OWC claim "super-fast 8X Blu-ray write speeds of up to 2GB per minute" and without any independent reviews at present, we're inclined to take them at their word. The Mercury Pro Blu-ray “Quad Interface” External Drives (doesn't quite roll off the tongue does it?) are Plug & Play compatible with both Windows and Macintosh systems and allow users to burn 50GB of data, or in other terms, 50,000 JPEGs, 17,500 MP3s, or 25 DVD Movies onto a single disc in around 30 minutes. On top of the Blu-ray functionality, the drives can read and/or write most current optical media, including DVD-RAM, DVD Dual-Layer R/RW, DVD R/RW, and CD-R/RW.
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The Mercury Pro Blu-ray “Quad Interface” drive range has been tested for compatibility with most Apple and Windows built-in and third party DVD/CD tools and players, including Apple iTunes, Apple Disc Burner, Apple iDVD 5, Apple DVD Studio Pro, EMC Retrospect Express, NTI DragonBurn, Roxio Toast, Roxio Easy Media Creator, and Nero Burning. Larry O’Connor, CEO, OWC says... “With Blu-ray write speeds twice as fast as the previous OWC models, as well as the ability to read/write DVDs and CDs, these new OWC Mercury Pro Blu-ray External Drive solutions give anyone with digital entertainment and general data files the ability to dramatically reduce the time and amount of media required to create general use and archive discs.”
Pricing for OWC Mercury Pro 8x Blu-ray “Quad Interface” external drives:
- Model BDR-203X USD$399.99 OWC Mercury Pro “Quad Interface” External Drive. Writes and reads Blu-ray up to 8X, 16X DVD, and 32X CD Burn Speeds. Includes all connection cables and two 25GB BD-R discs.
- Model BDR-203XT USD$479.99 Exactly the same unit as above, but includes a full retail version of Roxio Toast 10 Titanium. As Roxio are currently offering Roxio Toast 10 Titanium for USD$79.99 (after a $20 mail-in rebate), it looks like you'll be paying a cent extra for the convenience of having it all arrive in the same box. No great savings there, but handy for some.
For more information see OWC Mercury Pro Blu-ray external drives, visit: eshop.macsales.com
Matt's opinionI think the Mercury Pro Blu-ray drives are well priced and incredibly versatile peripherals, but they're not going to win any beauty contest. For me, good gear should look good too. Agree or disagree? Let's see your comments.
Matt H Kennedy