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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
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Appeared on: Friday, January 29, 2010
LiteOn eTAU108


1. The drive, features

This time we put LiteOn's latest 8X External Slim DVD Writer to the test. This LiteOn eTAU108 is compact and fancy drive supports most CD and DVD media formats currently available. It is powered via the USB interface, so there is no need for extra AC adapters. Although this drive is not one of the fastest externals that you can find, its ultra slim coating and low weight, along with its capability to be powered from the USB make it a good recommendation for those that do not have a drive on their laptop and definitely need one.

Writing speeds of the eTAU108 are 8X for DVD±R and DVD+RW, 6X for DVD±R DL and DVD-RW, 5X for DVD-RAM and 24X for CD-R(W). Reading speeds are 8X for DVD-ROM and 24X for CD-ROM.

- Drive Specifications

-The Retail Box

The Package contains the following items:

-The Drive

Slim and stylish, the drive has a simplistic design that is usually welcomed by the office users as well by all those who may use it on the go. The drive has a top-loader design and round corners and it is available in a black and a white version. And with less than 350 grams, this lightweight device fits easily in any small (notebook) bag.

A green LED and the open button are located at the top side of the drive.

The rear rounded side of the drive includes the USB 2.0 port.

The USB cable can be conveniently stored at the bottom of the drive.

 

Our test sample was manufactured in October 2009 in China.

- Installation

The drive was identified under Windows XP as "Slimtype eTAU108 ", firmware version EL04. Below you can see a summary of its specifications and features, as they are reported by the Opti Drive Control utility:

Let's move on to the benchmarks with the LiteOn eTAU108 burner. For comparison, we have included the results of two other slim-type DVD burners, the Sony DRX-S70U-W and the LiteOn eSAU208.


2. CD/DVD reading tests

For our CD transfer rate tests, we used the Opti Drive Control and the Nero DiscSpeed benchmark utilities, as well and a set of data and audio CD-R/RW/ROM and DVD-R/+R/ROM SL/DL/+R DL/-R DL /DVD-RAM media. The drive can read CD media at a maximum speed of 24X and DVDs at 8x max.

-CD-ROM

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 17.78x 19.68x 18.52x
Random seek times 147 msec 149 msec 121 msec

- US RW

The following CD Speed graph shows the reading performance with US-RW media. Reading reached a maximum of 24x, as per the specifications (15.12x average).

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 15.12x 19.56x 18.38x
Random seek times 138 msec 145 msec 122 msec

- AudioCD

In the DiscSpeed Advanced DAE quality test, the drive's average speed was 17,10X with a quality score of 100.0:

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 17.10x 18.13x 17.06x

Digital Audio Extraction or DAE is important when we try to read the files stored on an audio CD and store them in our hard disk drive. The procedure is not always that simple and the fidelity of the extracted data depend on the way each drive handles these data.

The majority of the software that support this procedure, commonly known as "ripping", will just read the audio files and store them on your hard disk. However, this approach is not recommended for all drives, since it may result to read or sync errors if your drive does not support report of C2 error pointer information and also what the author of the EAC (Exact Audio Copy) software describes as "accurate stream" and " non-caching."

According to EAC, the LiteON eTAU108 drive does not support "caching " but it does "Accurate stream" and reports "C2 error" pointer information.

Accurate stream and C2 error reporting is always welcome and contribute to reliable and fast audio extraction. Generally, if you select a drive for extraction better have a look that the drive does not cache audio data.

If you are sure about the physical condition of your audio CD and you need faster extractions, you may chose other utilities such as the CD DAE software. A typical DAE task with an 80min non-protected Audio CD produced 16.8x average ripping speed. Not bad at all for such a small drive:

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 16.8x 15.3x 17.01x

- 90 mins Audio disc

 

The drive could not complete the 90min audio CD reading test and the Opti Drive Control utility returned a read error in the end of the data area.

A read error was also reported with the 99min audio CD.

DVD Format

Now let's take a look at how the drive performs with DVD media. This time, a set of SL and DL DVD media was used. The drive is capable of reading at 8X maximum speed for single layer DVD ROM and at 6X for dual layer DVD ROM media.

- DVD-ROM SL

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 5.84x 6.06x 6.12x
Random seek times 143 msec 142 msec 126 msec

- DVD-ROM DL PTP

The two layers of a PTP DVD-ROM disc are read sequentially with the drive starting reading from the inner part of the disc, which is the beginning of each layer, progressing towards its outer range.

The drive slowed down reading right in the end of Layer 0. It resumed later and finished the test, although the software gave an error in the Full stroke seek test. It is obvious that there is a problem here. We ran the same test using the Nero DiscSpeed utility, with no better luck.. This time the error came earlier during the data reading procedure. It is obvious that there is a problem here..

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 5.30x 3.02x 4.532x
Random seek times error 173 msec 136 msec

- DVD-ROM DL OTP

The first layer of an OTP dual layer DVD-ROM is read exactly the same way as the first layer of the PTP disc we tested previously. The difference here is the reading strategy of the second layer of the disc. The beginning of the second layer is located in the outer part of the disc, so the drive starts reading from the outer tracks and progresses towards the inner part of the disc.

We had the same issue here. We got a seek error and also some problems were reported as the drive was trying to switch from Layer 0 to the Layer 1.

So we fired up Nero DiscSpeed utility and got the following result:

The disc was eventually read at a 5.98x average speed.

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 5.98x 4.51x 4.52x
Random seek times 143 msec 151 msec 136 msec

- DVD-R

 

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 5.84x 6.07x 6.09x
Random seek times 143 msec 143 msec 139 msec

- DVD-RW

 

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 5.84x 6.07x 4.63x
Random seek times 148 msec 148 msec 154 msec

- DVD+R

 

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 5.84x 6.07x 6.13x
Random seek times 127 msec 150 msec 124 msec

- DVD+RW

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 6.19x 6.09x 4.65x
Random seek times 137 msec 145 msec 142 msec

- DVD+R DL

It is obvious that the drive has a problem reading the dual-layered DVDs. We got an error in the seek time test, as you can see in the screen shot below:

 

We ran the same test using Nero DiscSpeed software. This time the read error occurred during the transfer rate test.

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 5.07x 4.58x 4.71x
Random seek times error 152 msec 135 msec

-DVD-R DL

 

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 6.02x error 4.73x
Random seek times error error 140 msec

Again, the sequential transfer rate test (read) was finished but the seek times could not be measured, with the drive returning an error.

-DVD RAM (5x)

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Average Speed 4.64x - 4.61x
Random seek times error - 211 msec

- Summary of reading tests

The drive will read your CD discs without any issues. However, we are concerned about the drive's behavior when it is accessing dual-layered DVD discs. We got read errors during the sequential or random reading tasks with the DVD-ROM OTP, DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL discs. After some retries, the data of these discs were retrieved but still, the drive's unstable behavior should be noted.


3. Reading of scratched/defected CDs

This series of tests checks the drive's ability to correct/conceal possible erroneous data after reading artificially scratched / defective audio discs.

Using a CD-R in best shape to do the DAE test is generally not a safe way to test the drive's error correction capabilities. If your drive would not read audio CDs error free from an error free disc, you would probably bring the drive back to the vendor. It is far more interesting to see how a drive is behaving under critical conditions (which will also tell something about the DAE quality on CDs that have manipulated C2 error information on purpose). For that a special test CD like the ABEX discs from ALMEDIO can be used, that can be used to do a comparison between different drives. The ABEX test disc is actually an AudioCD that has artificial scratches and other physical disc error patterns on its surface.

Using a special software, we compare two audio files using FFT analysis. The first audio file has been extracted by a normal audio disc without physical error patterns on it . The second one is the result of the extraction of the ABEX test discs which hold the same audio tracks, but it also has specific defects on its surface. The similarity factor of the the two tracks unveils the error correction capabilities of the drive.

The differences between the two compared tracks are translated to a signal (noise) illustrated in the following graphs. Each graph tells a lot about the abilities of the drive. The quality of the optical system (and/or of the error correction capabilities of the firmware) is shown in at which time index the error start. The error hiding qualities are shown when the wedge gets bigger. The X position of a grid line is always a start of a new minute position on the CD (in play time, up to 74 min). The Y axis shows the dB(A) value of the error in the extracted file. The 0 dB(A) baseline at the top is marked slightly different. So the graph shows a range of 6 dB(A) down to -120.0 dB(A). Each line represents 6 dB(A) of volume (6 dB(A) louder means that the sound is double as loud).

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total Num : 1110919
Errors (Loudness) 55448 -73.6 dB(A) Max:-35.0dB(A)
Error Muting Num: 3481 Avg : 1.0 Samples Max: 9 Samples
Skips Num: 0 Avg: 0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Score - Liteon eTAU1087 76.6 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
Score - Sony DRX-S70U-W 76.7 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
Score - LiteOn eSAU208 60,9 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

Error correction is good here, starting at the point where the defect is starting to grow, but error hiding mechanisms are average. We can tell that by the noise that almost all the time exceeds that -60 db(A) level, especially after the 32min mark where the scratch on the surface of the disc becomes bigger.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total Num 0
Errors (Loudness) Num: 0 Avg : -174,0 dB(A) Max: -174,0 dB(A)
Error Muting Num : 0 Avg : 0,0 Samples Max :0 Samples
Skips Num : 0 Avg :0,0 Samples Max :0 Samples

Score - Liteon eTAU1087

100 points ( of 100.0 maximum)
Score - Sony DRX-S70U-W 89.4 points (of 100.0 maximum)
Score - LiteOn eSAU208 94,0 points (of 100.0 maximum)

Good performance here, successfully hiding and correcting most defected data.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

The CD-Check Test Disc is another tool for evaluating the Sound Reproduction / Error correction capabilities of a CD player. The disc offers a signal combination with disc error patterns to rate the drive's abilities to read music and reproduce it completely. Five tracks on the disc contain a sequence of progressively more difficult tests. These tracks are referred to as Check Level-1 through Check Level-5.

The tracks are reproduced through a software multimedia player (e.g. Windows Media Player). Each level is considered as passed, if the tone is smooth, continuous without interruptions, skipping or looping. The higher the Check Level passed, the more reliable the sound reproduction of the tested drive.

Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
LiteOn eTAU1087
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
0/5
Sony DRX-S70U-W
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
0/5
LiteOn eSAU208
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
0/5

The drive managed to correctly play the first three tracks. Problems occurred with the fourth and fifth tracks. Average behavior here. Overall, the drive exhibited mediocre performance with our defective test discs.


4. Reading of scratched/defected DVDs

In the following tests, we examine the DVD reading capabilities of the drive (error correction) with scratched / defective DVD media. For the tests, we used Opti Drive Control and Nero CDSpeed utilities. The reference test media comes from ALMEDIO.

- Single Layer media

ABEX TDR-821

This is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with a 4.7GB capacity, and its surface has an artificial scratch of dimensions varying from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

The following transfer rate picture comes from the Opti Drive Control transfer rate test:

Nice reading here with the defected area not to affect reading.

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Read errors No No No

ABEX TDR-825

This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM of 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as that of the TDR-821, with the difference that there are no scratches on it but instead, defective areas of dimensions ranging from 0.5 to 1.1 mm. There are also fingerprints sized between 65 and 75 micrometers.

 

The disc was readable but the software gave an error again, during the seek times test.

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Read errors No - problematic seek No No

- Dual Layer media

ABEX TDR-841

This is an 8.5GB dual layer, single sided DVD-ROM disc with artificial scratches of dimensions ranging from 0.4 to 3.0mm, on both layers.

 

Some read errors were reported near the end of Layer 0 of this disc.

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Read errors Yes No No

ABEX TDR-845

The disc is a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc with a capacity of 8.5GB. The only difference between the TDR-845 and the TDR-841 is that the first includes defective areas and fingerprints.

The drive gave back some read errors at around the 1.7GB mark as well as it was trying to access the data in the second layer (layer 1) of the disc.

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Read errors Yes Yes Yes

 

ABEX TDV-541

The TDV-541 is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with a capacity of 8.5GB.The disc is based upon the TDV-540 series which is designed for inspection and adjustment of DVD-VIDEO players. The disc checks the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also includes test pictures and test signals for DVD sound files.

The LiteOn drive wasn't able to complete the reading process, and many reading problems were reported.

Below you can see the transfer rate test of the sane test disc using Nero DiscSpeed:

Reading stopped right before the end of Layer 0, at the same position where it gave the first read errors in the previous test with the Opti Drive Control utility.

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Read errors Yes Yes Yes

ABEX TDV-545

The TDV-545 disc is based on the TDV-540 series. It is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc with a capacity of 8.5GB.The TDV-545 includes artificial black dots on the data surface, sized from 0.4 to 1.0 mm. It also has 65 - 75 micrometer fingerprints.

 

Once again, the drive had problems reading the disc flawlessly.

LiteOn eTAU108 Sony DRX-S70U-W LiteOn eSAU208
Read errors Yes No No

- Overall

The defects on the surface of the most of the ABEX test discs were not overcome and the drive did not manage to read to the data successfully. The drive definitely needs some work here.


5. Writing quality testing platform - The IQB Omni from Quantized Systems

All CD/DVD writing quality tests are done using the IQB Omni CD DVD Analyser by Quantized. The IQB Omni from Quantized Systems is a physical disc analyser, covering all CD and DVD formats, designed to meet the Quality Control demands of the duplication and replication sectors.

Omni's features allows you to identify media quality issues and highlight drive performance and recording problems.

The system is based on a Philips CD/DVD drive. It supports the majority of the optical disc formats, including CD-ROM, CD-R/RW, CD-A
DVD-R/-RW, DVD-R DL, DVD+R/+RW, DVD+R DL, DVD-ROM 5 and DVD-ROM.

The platform can test the media for the following signals:

CD-R/CD-ROM/CD-A DVD+R/+RW DVD-R/-RW DVD-ROM
Reflectivity R-I14H R-I14H R-I14H
Jitter Modulation Modulation Modulation
I11/ITop Jitter Jitter Jitter
Asymmetry/Beta PI Sum 8 PI Sum 8 PI SUm 8
BLER PI Unc PI Unc PI Unc
E11 to E32 Error Statistics POF POF POF
Burst Errors Beta Beta Asymmetry
  ADER   EDC
  ADER Unc    

Test speeds for CD media are set at 16X and for DVD media at 4X.

The equipment is capable of providing mesasurments on the complete data area or at specific positions defined by the user (Quick Test mode). This zone testing procedure allows multiple areas of the disc to be tested in a single operation.

All numerical and graphical data are stored in a database. Data can be recalled with user defined criteria to create sets of related key results. Data can also be imported into most common software packages - MS Excel etc.

For more information on the Quantized IQB Omni Analyser, visit http://www.quantized.com.

In the following pages, we present the writing quality measurements of various CD and DVD recordable and rewritable media, burned with the LiteOn eTAU108 burner.


6. CD-R burning - Taiyo Yuden CD-R @ 48x

For this test (and for all ensuing tests with CD-R media), the CD-R disc was burned to its maximum capacity and at its maximum speed. Then, the same disc is read with the Disc Speed software, and the disc was scanned for digital errors (C1 and C2).

-Disc Info

Taiyo Yuden 48x CD-R

- Writing strategy

Average Writing Speed: 14.78x

- Reading

 

Notice that the blue line insicates the read speed while the pink line shows the writing strategy used for the recording of the data.

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large image!

Generally a nice burn here with only the jitter measured for the pits to be over the limits . No uncorrectable errors (E32) were reported.


7. CD-R burning - Memorex Ritek CD-R @ 48x

-Disc Info

Memorex Ritek 48x CD-R

- Writing strategy

Average Writing Speed: 14.81x

- Reading

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large image!

Some uncorrectable (E32) digital errors were reported here, making this burn an average one. Also, the Jitter Pit value was over limit.


8. CD-RW burning - Verbatim CD-RW @ 24x

-Disc Info

Verbatim 32x CD-RW

- Writing strategy

Average Writing Speed: 14.39x

- Reading


9. DVD-R burning - CMC MAG AE1 DVD-R @ 24x

We start our DVD writing quality measurements with DVD-R media. A variety of different MIDs were selected and burned at the maximum allowed speed. In each of the following pages, you will find detailed information about each disc, the burning and reading procedure as well as the related signal measurements that construct the overall quality picture for each disc.

You can always navigate across to the different MIDs in this review, using the page navigation drop down menu.

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 8x (4.92x average)

 

- Reading - 8x (5.84x average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large image!

The drive's first burn was great with all the measured signals to be well within the acceptable limits.


10. DVD-R burning - CMC MAG AM3 DVD-R @ 24x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 8x (4.91x average)

 

- Reading - 8x (5.84x average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large image!

A nice burn here with no uncorrectable errors. RI14 (reflectivity) as well as I14I14H (modulation) signals were slightly lower than the limits (85 and 0.6, respectively). Although low values for both these signals could generally lead to problems with the read-out of the data, in our case the values we measured are close to the accepatable limits.


11. DVD-R burning - RITEK F1 DVD-R @ 24x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8x (4.91x average)

 

- Reading - 16x (5.86x average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large image!

Another nice burn for the LiteOn drive, reporting no uncorrectable digital errors. Notice that the PI8 and Jitter graphs are following the same pattern, with a significant drop in both graphs at around the 40.5 mm radius of the disc. PI8 stayed well below the 280 limit, while jitter reached the 9.5 at the same position.


12. DVD-R burning - TTH02 DVD-R @ 24x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 8x (4.91x average)

 

- Reading - 8x (5.84x average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large image!

Amother great burn here with only jitter to marginally reach the limits.


13. DVD-R burning - TYG03 DVD-R @ 24x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 8x (4.91x average)

- Reading - 8x (5.84x average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

 

Click for large image!

Another great burn with the Taiyo Yuden DVD-R disc this time.


14. DVD+R burning - DAXON AZ3 DVD+R @ 24x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 8x (4.91x average)

 

- Reading - 18x (5.82x average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large image!

This is the first problematic burn we experience with the LiteOn drive. It is obvious that there is a problem at the 52mm ~ 58mm radius of the disc. Jitter is increased as well as PI8 and POF. An failure in the EDC code also confirms the issues in this area.


15. DVD+R burning - OPTODISC R16 DVD+R @ 24x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8x (4.92x average)

 

- Reading 8x (5.84x average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large image!

As you can see we have another flawless burn here.


16. DVD+R burning - PRODISC R05 DVD+R @ 24x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 8x (4.91x average)

- Reading - 8X (5.84 average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large image!

Another good burn for the slim LiteOn drive.


17. DVD+R burning - RICOHJPN R03 DVD+R @ 24x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 8x (4.90x average)

- Reading - 8x (5.84x average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large image!

Although the PIsim8 was generally low here, POF was reported right at the end of the data area. Beta was also below the acceptable limits (-5~15) at the same area.


18. DVD+R burning - YUDEN000 T03 DVD+R @ 24x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8x (4.91x average)

.

- Reading - 8x (5.84x average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large image!

Another good burn for the LiteOn drive.


19. DVD+R DL burning - MKM 003 @ 4x

- Media Info

- Writing - 4x (3.76x average)

 

The drive did not manage to burn the MKM 003 DVD+R Dl disc at the maximum supported speed of 6x. We also used some other DVD+R DL brands with the same result.

- Reading - 8x (5.07x average)

Some reading problems were reported here in the end of Layer0 and the beginning of Layer 1. The Opti Drive Control software could not run the seek time tests ad returned an error. A read error was also returned by the Nero DiscSpeed benchmark

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large image!

The results look better than we expected here, with the digital errors to be generally low. Jitter was increased for both layers and reflectivity was also low.


20. DVD-R DL burning - MKM 03RD30 @ 6x

- Media Info

- Writing - 6x (4.83x average)

For the writing test we used the Nero Disc Speed software since the Opti Drive Control software returned an error:

 

- Reading - 8x (6.02x average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large image!

This time we had severe problems with the Layer1 of the disc. Extremely high rate of PISum8 and high jitter were reported. The reflectivity for the layer1 was also low.


21. DVD+RW burning - MKM A03 @ 8x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8x (5.39x average) in 12:34min

 

- Reading - 8x (6.19x average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large image!

The drive shows us that it can burn the DVD+RW media pretty well.


22. DVD-RW burning - MKM 01RW6X01 A03 @ 6x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 6x (4.98x average)

 

- Reading - 8x (5.84x average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large image!

A problem was reported in the 57.1 mm radius of the disc. You can see it in the POF graph as well as the EDC Failure graph at the same position.


23. DVD-RAM burning - M01J5006 @ 5x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 5x (4.59x average) in 12:34min

 

- Reading - 5X (4.64X average)

The drive burned and read the 5x DVD-RAM disc with no problems.


24. Summary of burning tests, Book Type, Overburning

In the following table, we have gathered the findings of the DVD quality measurement tests. On the left side of the table, you can find the discs that did not produce uncorrectable digital errors, while on the right side are the rest of the discs. For detailed measurement data, visit the corresponding pages.

Media type
Digital errors within limits
Uncorrectable Digital errors
DVD-R
CMC MAG. AM3 burned at 24X  
TYG03 burned at 8X  
CMC MAG. AE1 burned at 24X  
TTH02 burned at 24X.  
Ritek F1 burned at 24x  
DVD+R
OPTODISC R16 burned at 24x

Daxon AZ2 burned at 24x

YUDEN000 T03 burned at 24x RICOHJPN R04 burned at 24x
PRODISC R05 burned at 24X  
DVD-R DL Verbatim MKM 03RD30 burned at 6x No POF but very high PISum8
DVD+R DL Verbatim MKM 003 burned at 4X  
DVD+RW Verbatim MKM A03 burned at 8x  
DVD-RW   Verbatim MKM 01RW6X01 burned at 6x
CD-R Taiyo Yuden 48x CD-R burned at 24x  
  Memorex (Ritek) 48x CD-R burned at 24x

- Booktype Settings

 

According to Nero Disc Speed, the drive supports the booktype feature with DVD+R/+RW and DVD+R DL media..

- Overburning

 

As we can see, the drive does not support overburning of DVD recordable media but ot does with CD-R.


25. Final words

The eTAU 208 is a slim and lightweight portable DVD writer, mainly aimed at all those who own a netbook/laptop that lack of a DVD drive. Its small size and low weight help carrying it around without much effort, as it can fit in most of the laptop carrying bags that have a small amount of space free. Its USB-powered feature helps even more, as you don't need to be sitting near an AC plug in order to use it. Just plug it into the PC (two USB plugs - one for the data and one for the power) and you can start using it immediately, with only a cost on your laptop's battery.

The reading aspect of the drive, to begin with, proved to be mediocre. We were really confused with the drive's behavior when it comes to reading of dual-layered DVDs, including recordable and read only (ROM) discs. The drive gave some read errors as it was accessing the end of the layer 0 of the disc, as well as it was trying to switch to the second layer. The laser pick-up was immediately re-focusing on the deeper second layer and reading was resumed in most cases, but these read errors could mean an   interrupted playback in case of DVD Video discs. In addition, both of the benchmark utilities we used for testing the reading performance of the drive (Opti Drive Control and Nero Disc Speed) could not measure the seek times of the drive with DVD9 media, returning errors. An explanation would be that the laser pickup could not accurately follow the software's commands for a random access to the disc.

The reading speed was good and the drive read every media according to its specifications. As far as reading defected CD and DVD media, we can say that the drive handled them not as well as we would expect. Average performance with the defected CDs and read errors were produced on the most of the ABEX defected DVD test discs.

Moving on to the drive's writing performance, the drive burned successfully all MIDs according to its specifications, except from the DVD+R DL (MKM003) disc, which was burned at 4x. The writing quality was great with almost all the DVD-R/+R and CD-R media we used in this test. However, the drive seems to need some work when burning DVD-R/+R DL media.

Last but not least, the support for Book type and overburning with CD-R discs could offer greater compatibility for your discs as well as worry-free burning of large files on your CD-Rs. We would like to see the drive support overburning with DVDs too.

The LiteOn eTAU 108 drive can be purchased online for about €50.

Pros

Cons



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