"Killer drive"on by PainMan
Pros Very fast, robust, with increased
Cons Software pkg is light
Summary This is the best of the three burners I've owned. It's very fast with all types of media.(I would love to know WHERE C-Net got the 8X DVD-RW! I can't find 'em anywhere!)
The software package contains the abysmal Roxio (the same as is built into XP!). Since I already own C2DVD, Easy CD-DA Extactor, Acronis True Image and the full Nero Suite (as a gift, I wouldn't buy it since to get ALL functionality it will cost you north of $100 US, a better deal if you're in a foreign country!), the software bundle was irrelevant as a consideration for this consumer.
The drive comes with an 80-wire IDE cable that insulates the cable from inteference from other energy sources inside the box. And it DOES make a difference, perhaps 15%, when it's installed versus the standard 40 wire IDE cable.
The drive burns DVD6 16x media in 5 to 6 minutes (depending upon the source type). It will also image CDs (audio or data) in 2 to 3 minutes.
I haven't yet had the chance to test the DL capacity (it supports both the +R DL and the as yet unreleased -R DL format) since DL disks are $6 at the cheapest and DVD5s, even superb brands like Taiyo Yuden can be had for forty CENTS apiece. Since I just bought a five disk dvd player, getting up to change disks is no longer a problem.
As the C-Net review notes, it installs easily (much more easily than replacing the tower caseing of my VAIO!).
One of the best features is the drives ability to write certain media at faster than rated speeds. E.g., Verbatim 8x media is written at 12x; Taiyo Yuden & TDK 8x media are written at 16x.
The coastering rate has been extremely low with most of them due to, um, operator error and, in one case, to the burning prog I was using.
I recommend this drive to everyone who asks me. I agree that the software bundle is completely inadequate, my Memorex-branded Pioneer DVR 107, for example, came with Nero "light." And the Plex also comes with a back up utility called "Daintz." But this is program contains one of the things I detest most about such software bundles: it has a 30 day limit, so it's not bundled software, but rather, shareware. I would skip it all and purchase Copy2DVD from vso-soft (faster and without the bugs of Nero and MUCH cheaper) and if you're really into music as I am, either iTunes, or for the non-bloatware types , Easy CD-DA Extractor. The Plex can extract a full audio CD (80min) to 320Kpbs MP3s in about 6 mins.
Finally, probably the best feature of this drive is the built in ability for firmware upgrades to increase functionality. Two firmware upgrades later and the drive can write DLs at 6x and the list of media which can be written at fast than manufacturer rated speeds is also increased in number.
This will greatly extend the life of the drive and I don't anticipate having to buy another burner unless DL RWs ever appear (which seems unlikely) or Blu-Ray/DVD hybrids appear. But I'd recommend waiting until the technology to remove whatever rights destruction technology Hollywood's greed forces into Blu-Ray disks.
Bottom line: a great burner which gets a 9 only because of the clearly lame software/shareware package.
Plextor's own software, Plextools has some useful features which do speed up burning, especially of DVDs, and also allows you to greatly increase the amount of data a standard CD will hold. However, like "packet-writing" software (e.g. Nero's InCD), these "expanded" CDs have the restriction that only Plextor drives can read them, thus rendering them nearly useless. One wishes Plextoor would have spent less time on some of the mostly useless features of Plextools and concetrated on creating (or licensing) a better software package--without shareware restrictions!
Plextor you can do better than that!
This caveat aside, you really can't go wrong with the 716A, or its siblings, the slot-loader and the external, USB version.
Pros Have used Plextor burners for a year starting with the 712A and this one tops the former in smaller drive size, speed and reliability. I have burned several different media and this drive has burned and re-burned all of them without any problems. The Pl
"Great Drive"on by rainman99
Pros Speed, ease of installation
Cons none! this drive rocks!!
Summary this drive is great! ive had it since november, 2004 and have had 0 problems! it is ultra fast and not too loud either.
way to go plextor!
"junk drive"on by dbyrd25
Pros works good when working
Cons on my 3rd drive want read no disk to drives same problem
Summary it works good when working but it don't work all the time 3rd drive in six months i own other plextor that where great but this one is junk so far
"best of the best"on by ccds
Pros everything good
Cons nothing I could find
Summary I had a plextor 708 then tried pioneer it was good and then tried NEC it was good but nothing comes close to the 716a.
Very satisfied customer