"..As the marks show, the Plextor drive barely edges out the Hewlett Packard in writing an entire disc, but beats it in the file transfer and digital audio extraction tests. The Hewlett Packard also writes discs extremely fast, and functions better as a standard CD-rom drive. The Panasonic drive tested smack dab in the middle for most of the tests, but took a few seconds longer to write the CD. In real world uses through, a 10 second longer write-time is no big deal. Most people set their recorders to burn than leave their computers while it writes. Don't base a buying decision on that small of a difference.
The drive that seems to perform best all around is the Hewlett Packard model, since the drive can write CD-RW discs as well as CD-R's, and has respectable write times compared to the Plextor. Also, the HP unit comes with a bundle of nicer software and even a disc labeling kit right out of the box. Although, the HP drive wouldn't work on our standard version of Adaptec's software, when I installed HP's version of the Adaptec Easy CD program, it worked fine.
There's not much left to be said, all of the drives performed amazingly well. 8X CD-R drives are a beautiful sight to see in motion, and just the ability to burn a CD in the timeframe of 10 minutes puts a smile on my face. All in all through, HP is just a better package. It's a bit slower writing than the PlexWriter, but offers ReWriting abilities and a better software package.."