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Appeared on: Tuesday, February 19, 2002
TEAC 524E CD-RW


1. Introduction

TEAC CD-W524E IDE CDR-W - Page 1

- Introduction

is introducing the CD-W524E, as an alternative solution for users who wish something extra from their recorder. TEAC has a long tradition of making quality drives but never had the lead in the writing race. TEAC is shipping a 24x CD-RW drive many months later than Plextor, Sanyo and LiteOn and promises 'superior data-recording quality' among with a very affordable price. Will TEAC's expectations turn out to be real?

- What's New

According to TEAC there are several new improvements over previous models:

* New advanced servo circuit to make the accurate track positioning.
* Well-tuned writing strategy for most of the CD-R/RW media sold in the market
* High speed ROPC (Running Optimum Power Control) based on the sampling at approx. 4,800 times per second. It enables the optimal recording not only from the most inner track to the outer most track, but also for any portion on each track.
* Rugged mechanical chassis using 1.2mm thick of metal-sheet. It minimize the vibration which affects the recording quality.

- New Features

The most interesting new feature is the "Advanced Servo Circuit". TEAC explains: "...The power of laser diode is very high at data recording mode, but it is lower at the read mode. The power difference is getting bigger as the recording speed is getting faster. TEAC found the light-emission point of the LED used for higher CD-RW drive moved slightly at the write-mode and at the read-mode. Because all CD-RW drives are adjusted and inspected by using read mode on production lines (it is true not only for TEAC but also other manufacturers), the gap of the light-emission point makes the de-track, and affects the recording quality.

The special servo designed by TEAC minimizes the gap automatically, and it is the one of the key technology to realize the high recording quality of TEAC drive. The technology is applied for CD-W516EB as well, but that for CD-W524E is much improved and the operation time for it is much shorten..."


The drive is also prepared for Mt. Rainier format support, at least in the hardware part. TEAC will support it with firmware update release, planned by the end of November. Mt. Rainier is a kind of defect managing technology for CD-RW media containing bad quality recorded data.

- Other Features

The TEAC CD-W524E supports 4X, 8X, 12X, 16X (CLV) and 16x-24x (Z-CLV) writing speeds. The re-writing speeds are limited to 4x & 10x. TEAC's maximum reading speed is 40x (CAV) for CD-ROM Mode 1, CD-ROM XA Mode 2 Form 1 formats. For the "CD-RW, CD-ROM XA Mode 2 Form 2" formats, maximum speed is reduced to 17x-32x (Z-CAV).

There will be 2 versions of TEAC's CD-W524E available to users:
a) the retail (b.02) version which we tested
b) the OEM version with reduced DAE down to 32x.

TEAC continues to reduce seek time standards and this time specifications give an average seek time lower than 80ms. Also the huge MTBF (>100.000) gives users another point to think about. Lastly, the TEAC CD-W524E comes with 2MB of buffer and supports "Write-Proof" technology (based upon Sanyo's BURN-Proof technology). Nero reports that the drive has only 1404KB of buffer and this is an old issue, also found in previous models.

- The package

The supplied package is the retail Europe version and contains: the drive itself, 1 TEAC CD-R 74min 24x blank (real manufacturer Taiyo Yuden), 1 TEAC 74min HS-RW Blank, an operation manual, audio and the necessary IDE cables. The main software is Nero 5.5.4.8, and InCD v2.31. The TEAC CD-W524E European version has a 2 year warranty and currently we don't have any information is this will be valid for the rest of the world.

The front of the drive looks like as all previous TEAC CD-RW drives. You can see the usual eject button, the headphone input jack/volume selector and two leds:

At the back of the drive you will find the usual connectors (IDE interface, power), the jumpers for setting the drive to Master/Slave option, the analogue and the digital audio output connectors and 3 jumpers which are not used (factory reserved).

- Installation

The TEAC CD-W524E was installed as Master in the secondary IDE BUS. The drive worked in UDMA-2 mode and after boot up, it identified itself as the "TEAC CD-W524E". We unchecked the Auto Insert notification, checked DMA and rebooted. The drive was a September 2001 model with firmware revision v1.0A installed. For most of our tests we used the Nero v5.5.5.6 among with Ahead InCD v3.12b (for packet writing tests), CloneCD 3.1.0.0 and Padus DJ 3.50.799.

- Test Machine
WinMe OS
Soyo 7VCA
Celeron II 566 over clocked to 850 MHz
128MB SDRAM PC 133
WD 18GB UDMA 66
Quantum Fireball EX 6.4 GB UDMA 33
DAWI 2975 - PCI (ULTRA) SCSI Host Adapter
ATI AIW 128
TEAC CD-W524E firmware v1.0A
PleXWriter PX-W2410A firmware v1.02
LiteOn LTR-24102B firmware v5S0F
AOpen CRW2440 firmwre v0.95


2. Data Tests

TEAC CD-W524E IDE CDR-W- Page 2

Data Tests

- Test Method

* SCSI Mechanic v3.0x: This was used to compare the drive's I/O performance against other various CDR-W drives (see charts). We used a pressed CD containing PlexTools v1.08 for all tests.

* Nero CD Speed v0.84b was also used to check the drive's performance with pressed CDs. For that test, we also used the PlexTools v1.08 pressed CD.

- SCSI Mechanic v3.0x results

The TEAC CD-W524E gave an average performance compared with the competition. The drive has the lowest "Average Sequential I/O" mark, and the PleXWriter PX-W2410A is the better fine tuned drive for reading pressed CDs. The TEAC CD-W524E has the highest "Average Random I/O" mark due to it's superb low seek times. Lastly the "Same Sector I/O" mark seems low but it's not such an important feature after all.

- Nero CD Speed v0.84 results: (Click to see the CD Speed Graph)

The Nero CD Speed results confirmed our previous tests results. The TEAC drive is the slowest among the 4 tested drives. It starts reading in the lowest speed (18.23X) and also ends at 39.91X. TEAC engineers should improve the drive's reading performance possibly with a future firmware upgrade.

TEAC continues to set new standards and delivers an amazing low "Random Seek" time result under 80ms. The competitive drives from LiteOn and AOpen gave a close to 90ms performance and the PleXWriter PX-W2410A also needs improvement in order to reach the top.

- PSX Pressed Media

For this test we used the PSX game 'NBA Jam Extreme' and we ripped the image to HD with CloneCD. We measured the reading time of the TEAC CD-W524E, which is the highest with 330secs. The PleXWriter PX-W2410A does the same task at only 54secs:

- CDR Media: (Click to see the CD Speed graph)

TEAC's reading performance is better with CD-R media than with pressed CDs. The drive again has the lower average reading speed with 31.02X and the AOpen CRW2440 holds the first place with 31.74X.


3. RW reading tests
TEAC CD-W524E IDE CDR-W - Page 3

RW reading tests

- Nero CD Speed v0.84 Results: (Click to see the graph)

For the RW tests we used the Ricoh's HS-RW media written at 10x speed. The TEAC CD-W524E supports P-CAV and the average reading speed is lower than AOpen's CRW2440

CloneCD Tests

- Procedure

We used CloneCD (v3.1.0.0) and 5 original CDs - Euro 2000 (SafeDisc 1), No One Lives For Ever (SafeDisc 2), Rally Masters (LaserLock 1), Desperados (LaserLock 2) and V-Rally 2 Expert (SecuROM 2) - in order to test the reading time of the TEAC CD-W524E. We also tested the reading performance with backups of the original CDs, since the reading speed varies between original and backup media. For comparison reasons we added the results of the already tested PleXWriter PX-W2410A, LiteOn LTR-24102B and AOpen CRW2440. The following picture shows the TEAC's CD-W524E reading/writing capabilities as CloneCD reports:

- SafeDisc 1/2 Results

The TEAC CD-W524E gave the highest reading times with SafeDisc 1/2 protected CDs. The drive needs 20mins to make an image of the protected CD in the HD, which is very slow compared to what the competition offers. The PleXWriter PX-W2410A needs only 2mins for the same task.

With SafeDisc2 protected CDs, things are slightly better. The TEAC drive needs around 17mins to complete the task and comes last.

- LaserLock 1/2 Results

With LaserLock 1 protected CDs, the TEAC drive performs differently with the original than with the backup CD. The drive, while it needs 24mins for the original disc, it finishes the backup CD at only 5mins. The competition is faster and especially LiteOn LTR-24102B holds the first place.

The LaserLock 2 protected CDs are very hard for all recorders to read. The TEAC drive does not make an exception. It needs 30mins to read the original and 13mins for the backup CD. The PleXWriter PX-W2410A is slower with the original CD and holds the first place with the backup one.

- SecuROM Results

The TEAC CD-W524E does support reading of SubChannel from Data/Audio Tracks. The reading performance however is slow and comes in the third place just before the PleXWriter PX-W2410A (only with the original CD). Both LiteOn and AOpen drives are much faster.


4. DAE Tests

TEAC CD-W524E IDE CDR-W - Page 4

DAE Tests

- Test Method

We used CD DAE 99 v0.21 beta and EAC v0.9 prebeta 11 software in order to check the DAE performance of the drive with various AudioCDs (both pressed and CDR). The posted DAE results are the average of both applications, but the CPU usage was only taken from CD DAE 99, since EAC occupies the system a lot more. As a last note, we used the "BURST" reading mode of EAC. We made a full CD Rip starting from the first to the last track of the CD. The Average DAE reported speed along with the CPU Usage is displayed in the test graphs.

- DAE features

We used EAC v0.9 prebeta 11 to examine the drive's features. As the program reported, the drive doesn't "Caching" data and supports "Accurate Stream"/"C2" error info. All 4 tested drives supports up to 40x (CAV) DAE speed.

- Pressed AudioCD results - (Click to see the Nero CD Speed graph)

The TEAC CD-W524E performed very good with pressed Audio CDs. Its average DAE ripping speed is 28.8X but gets the last place! Why? Cause competition is faster. The PleXWriter PX-W2410A still holds the first place with 30.1X. Both AOpen and LiteOn come second/third respectively:

- CDR AudioCD results - (Click to see the Nero CD Speed graph)

The TEAC CD-W524E showed a stable behavior with CDR media and improved its reading performance up to 29.3X. The drive now gets the third place behind AOpen CRW2440 which is slightly faster. The PleXWriter PX-W2410A is still the faster drive for DAE:

- EAC Secure Extract Ripping mode

After many requests from numerous visitors we have added the EAC's secure extract ripping mode results, which ensures maximum produced WAV quality. Note that for each drive we used the build-in detection function:

Tested Drives
Average DAE Speed (X)
Pressed
CDR
TEAC CD-W524E
5.6
4.5
PleXWriter PX-W2410A
8.7
9.6
AOpen CRW2040
21.9
22.3
LiteOn LTR-24102B
9.4
9.6

- Advanced DAE Quality

The TEAC CD-W524E got a 100 score (best) in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test. The drive's average reading speed was 29.13x and no errors were produced. As the following picture shows, the drive can read CD-Text/SubChannel Data and from the Lead-In area:

- Bad CDR Media results

Despite the fact that CD Speed 99 Advanced DAE test stretches drive's mechanism to the max, we decided to do real life tests with a scratched disc. The disc was dirty, and with some light scratches, enough in order cause problems to most of the tested drives. We used CD DAE 99 software to rip the whole disc (756539616 sectors) and the results were very interesting:

Average Speed (X)
Errors
Errors Of Total Disc (%)
PleXWriter PX-W2410A
27.7
2946403
0.39
LiteOn LTR-24102B
25.7
345
0.00
AOpen CRW2440
8.4
58476010
77.29
TEAC CD-W524E
26.5
1
0.00

The TEAC CD-W524E is the best reader for normal/bad AudioCDR media. The drive managed to produce only one (1) error while reading our test disc at full speed! Its average reading speed is 29.5x and the competition is either slower or produces a higher error rate. Top performance from the TEAC CD-W524E.

- Ripping 90 and 99mins AudioCDs

The TEAC CD-W524E recognizes both 90/99 minute AudioCDs. However the drive cannot complete the test since it stops reading either at 88mins (90min) or 94mins (99min).

Reading 90minutes AudioCD

Reading 99minutes AudioCD

- Ripping Audio Protected CDs

For that test we used an Audio pressed CD ,Internation Artist: "Natasha Theodoridou - Yp Euthini Mou", with possible "Key2Aydio" protection (?). The drive will read the disc contents immediately:


5. CDR Tests
TEAC CD-W524E IDE CDR-W - Page 5

CDR Tests

The TEAC CD-W524E uses Z-CLV for achieving 24x writing speed. Below is a graph which represents the main differences of TEAC implementation of Z-CLV writing technology compared to the fastest 24x Z-CLV recorder from Plextor. A quick look shows that the TEAC CD-W524E shifts from 16x to 20x and to 24x later than the PleXWriter PX-W2410A. That means TEAC's total recording time would be higher than Plextor's...Correct? Yes. Our tests confirmed that claim but the maximum difference in times is no more than 4-5secs:

Click To Enlarge!

The TEAC drive starts writing at 16x (0 mins), shifts to 20x at 8mins, shifts again up to 24x at 18mins and writes at 24x till the end of the disc. Plextor's writing speed shifting points come earlier (6-16mins). In the following table we can see the average writing speed of the TEAC CD-W524E, PleXWriter PX-W2410A, LiteOn LTR-24102B and AOpen CRW2440, according to the Nero CD Speed:

CDR-W drives
Average Writing Speed with 80min CD (X)
TEAC CD-W524E
22.55
PleXWriter PX-W2410A
22.77
LiteOn LTR-24102B
22.78
AOpen CRW2440
22.06

The TEAC CD-W524E has an average writing speed of 22.55X, very close to both LiteOn and Plextor 24x recorders.

Click To Enlarge!

As the TEAC CD-W524E shifts its writing speed later than the PleXWriter PX-W2410A, it has lower rotation speeds which never exceed 8000rpm. Higher rotation speeds produces more noise but also give higher recording speeds.

- Procedure

We tested the TEAC CD-W524E with Nero v5.5.5.6, Ahead InCD v3.12b, CloneCD v3.1.0.0 and, Padus DJ v3.50.799 software. We used various of media for performing our tests: Mitsubishi Chemicals 74/80min 24x certified, Mitsui 74min 24x certified, Taiyo Yuden 74/80min 24x certified, Ricoh 74min 24x certified and Ricoh's 74min HS-RW.

TEAC drive doesn't include any mechanism for reducing the maximum writing speed when lower quality media beeing used. TEAC promises maximum writing quality even with lower quality media at 24x due to High speed ROPC (Running Optimum Power Control) based on the sampling at approx. 4,800 times per second. Below is a sample of the media supported list for TEAC CD-W524E. Frequent updates will ensure TEAC's compatibility with even more media, as happens with the competition:

Certified: The CD-W524E has the writing strategy for it, and the quality of written media is certified.
Certified #: The CD-W524E has the writing strategy for it, and the quality of written media is certified if it is designed for higher speed than 16x.
Tuned: The CD-W524E has the writing strategy for it, and the quality of written media seems to be O.K. in the actual usage.
Brank: The CD-W524E has the writing strategy for it, but the quality of written media seems to be not enough and there may be any compatibility problem.
X
: The quality does not satisfy TEAC criteria.

- 74min CD-R Tests

We created a "DataCD" job with data slightly more than 74mins (74:03:65). We burned the same job with all 4 CDR-W drives:

The TEAC CD-W524E has the lowest burning time at 16x (CLV) writing speed. The PleXWriter PX-W2410A needs 2 extra second to end the task. Both LiteOn/AOpen drives need 318secs which exceeds TEAC's writing time (7 secs).

We saw earlier that the TEAC CD-W524E is slower than the PleXWriter PX-W2410A. The real question is how much? The above graph gives the answer. The drive's fastest performance was 3:56mins for writing a full 74min CD. The PleXWriter PX-W2410A is 6secs faster but only with one type of media (Mitsui 24x). With other media the time difference is lower down to 2-3secs.

- 80min CD-R Tests

In our normal burning tests the 80min CD contains slightly more than 80min data (80:01:47):

Again the TEAC CD-W524E is the faster drive at the 16x writing speed.

The TEAC CD-W524E managed, with one specific type of media - Creation 12x- to lead the competition and gives the lowest recording time. The PleXWriter PX-W2410A is faster by one-two seconds when other media are used.

- Overburning Tests

Using Nero CD Speed, we saw that the drive can overburn up to 89:00minutes.

- CD-Text Results

We created several AudioCDs with CD-Text enabled. The TEAC CD-W524E can read/write CD-Text AudioCDs without any problems.

- CloneCD Writing Tests

The CloneCD v3.1.0.0 reports that the drive supports the DAO-RAW feature. We performed our usual tests and we confirmed that the drive supports fully the DAO-RAW writing mode (Safedisc 1.0/2.0, LaserLock 1/2 and SecuROM 2).

- SD2 Support
For the SD2 test we used the "No One Lives For Ever", "Max Payne" and "Emperor Battle of Dune" game titles. We used the TEAC CD-W524E both as reader/writer. The produced backup did play at the following drives without any problems:

Plextor PX-40TS
PleXWriter PX-W2410A
TEAC CD-W524E
Yamaha CRW2200E
Yamaha CRW3200E
LiteOn LTR-24102B
LiteOn LTD-163

Judging from the test results we assume that the TEAC 24x recorder can produce accurate SD2 backups.

- 8cm mini CDs

The TEAC supports reading/writing of 8cm CDs.

- Buffer Underrun tests

The TEAC CD-W524E supports "BURN-Proof" anti-coaster technology. The drive has passed BURN-Proof Center tests and got the BURN-Proof certificate which ensures the maximum writing quality. We made several on-the-fly copies with CloneCD v3.0x series without any problems and we also stopped PC (with ctrl+shit+del) several times. In all cases the drive continued writing!


6. Writing Quality Tests
TEAC CD-W524E IDE CD-RW - Page 6

Writing Quality Tests

We used Ricoh's 74min 24x CD-R media. All CDs were burned at 24x writing speed for each drive with Nero 5.5.5.6 and were Audio CDs with 74:51:27 in size. The produced CDs, were measured from DigitalDrives and results are illustrated in the following tables:

Ricoh 74min 24x media
Model
C1
Average Burning Time (secs)
Max
Average
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC on)
17
0.9
227
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC off)
20
0.8
LiteOn LTR-24102B
28
3.8
252
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed on)
22
1.3
247
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed off)
40
1.5
246
Plextor PX-W2410A
14
0.5
234
TEAC CD-W524E
41
1.0
237

The TEAC CD-W524E has a good writing quality with Ricoh's 74min 24x certified media. The average C1 error rate is 1.0 and the average burning time is 237secs. The PleXWriter not only is faster but also produced higher writing quality CDs. Remember that PleXWriter PX-W2410A has been in the market from August and already 2 new firmware updates have been released. The following graph comes from the Ricoh 74min (24x) media:

Click To Enlarge!

The TEAC CD-W524E general writing quality is very good, except the error peak indicated at 13-15mins time. There we find a high C1 spike, which increases the average C1 error rate value. If we look the writing quality at the whole time period, its quite impressive that in most disc the C1 errors are below 10, except from the last few writing minutes.

- More Writing Quality Results

Mitsui 74min 24x media
Model
C1
Average Burning Time (secs)
Max
Average
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC on)
20
0.7
227
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC off)
17
0.7
LiteOn LTR-24102B
64
0.9
242
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed on)
18
1.2
246
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed off)
26
1.7
245
Plextor PX-W2410A
17
1.5
230
TEAC CD-W524E
17
0.8
237

With Mitsui 74min 24x certified media, the TEAC CD-W524E has the highest writing quality from 24x Z-CLV recorders with only 0.8 C1 average error rate.

Taiyo Yuden 74min 24x media
Model
C1
Average Burning Time (secs)
Max
Average
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC on)
28
0.6
228
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC off)
53
3.0
LiteOn LTR-24102B
7
0.2
246
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed on)
10
0.5
253
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed off)
11
0.5
249
Plextor PX-W2410A
9
0.6
232
TEAC CD-W524E
9
0.4
238

With Taiyo Yuden 74min 24x certified media the LiteOn LTR-24102B produces the lower C1 error rate. The TEAC CD-W524E comes second with only 0.4 C1 error rate, AOpen follows with 0.5 and Plextor comes last with 0.6.

Mitsubishi Chemicals 74min 24x media
Model
C1
Average Burning Time (secs)
Max
Average
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC on)
12
2.1
259
Yamaha CRW3200E (OWC off)
12
2
225
LiteOn LTR-24102B
10
1.8
244
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed on)
13
1.6
247
AOpen CRW2440 (JustSpeed off)
16
1.6
243
Plextor PX-W2410A
17
1.9
234
TEAC CD-W524E
15
1.8
236

Non of the tested drives seem to give a very good writing quality when Mitsubishi Chemicals (Verbatim) 74min 24x certified media used. Actually Yamaha noted that their own tests indicate the same performance, so they have dropped Mitsubishi Chemical's 24x media out of their recommended media list.

Various Brands at 24x media
Model
C1
Average Burning Time (secs)
Max
Average
Ritek 80min 24x
60
7.0
253
Taiyo Yuden 80min 24x
14
0.6
252
MitsuBishi Chemicals 80min 24x
26
4.3
250
Verbatim 80min 16x
62
4.0
251
Creation 80min 12x
27
7.0
247
       
TDK D-View 74min 12x
65
3.5
236
Mitsui 74min 16x
14
0.7
236
Ricoh 74min 8x
119
3.1

237

Verbatim 74min 16x
21
1.7
236
Creation 74min 12x
32
4.3
238

7. RW Writing Tests
TEAC CD-W524E IDE CDR-W - Page 7

RW Writing Tests

We used Nero 5.5.5.6 for writing CDs at the maximum RW speed for all the tested drives. The TEAC CD-W524E supports fully the HS-RW format:

The TEAC CD-W524E has the highest re-writing time with 490secs. The drive used in average the 9.7% of the CPU while burning and erased the HS-RW CD in 65sec.

- Packet Writing Tests

We used Ahead InCD v3.12b for all Packet Writing tests with a TDK HS-RW media. The formatting of the media takes around 11 minutes. The formatted disc had 534mbs of free space. We copied a 403 MB file (403.147 kbs) from a Hard Disk (on the same PC as the writers) to the formatted RW media using Windows Explorer (we dragged and dropped) and we completed the test twice to eliminate any possible time measurement faults and user errors:

The TEAC CD-W524E has slightly lower writing speed than the competition. The average writing speed is 7.16X. The average reading speed (7.05X) is very low and this is the point that TEAC engineers should improve.


8. Conclusion
TEAC CD-W524E IDE CDR-W - Page 8

Conclusion

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- High speed ROPC promises maximum quality
- Excellent Seek times
- Supports "Burn-Proof" anti-coaster technology
- Very Good DAE ripping performance
- Almost perfect DAE ripping quality
- Will write ANY media at 24x
- Supports HS-RW standard (10x re-write)
- Supports DAO-RAW
- Can produce accurate SD2 backups
- Supports reading/writing of SubChannel data
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- 2years of warranty (applies only for Europe?)
- Huge MTBF > 100.000 hours
- Very quite during reading/writing
- TEAC promises support for MT. Rainier with firmware upgrade
- Good price ($117 OEM - $135 retail box)

- Drive arrives late at the market...
- Reading performance with pressed/CDR media is lower than competition
- Limited overburning (up to 89minutes)
- Low Packet Writing reading performance
- Low PSX ripping speed
- Very bad CloneCD reading performance
- No build-in quality detection system for low quality media
- The OEM version supports only up to 32x DAE

Again TEAC did not let us down. Even if the drive is lately shipped in the market, when most other manufacturers have shipped similar products, TEAC's proposal is very interesting. The drive supports 24x writing speed, 10x re-writing and 40x reading speed. TEAC has made several improvements at the CD-W524E and the test results show that clearly.

The drive's writing performance is very good. It will write ANY inserted media at 24x writing speed, since no build-in media detection system is attached. The writing quality with 24x certified CDs is very good but you might have some problems with very low quality media. The excellent seek times and the good transfer rate is welcomed. CloneCD users will be happy from the writing part; SD2 is fully supported, and disappointed from the reading performance. TEAC also promises to support Mt. Rainier format by the end of this year with a future firmware update. So far only Yamaha 3200E support such feature.

The competition from LiteOn/Plextor and AOpen is very hard, but the TEAC CD-W524E has many good features to win the user's heart. TEAC's estimated retail price will be around $135 for the retail package and $117 for the OEM version. Note that the OEM version has reduced (32x) DAE reading speed.

You can find AOpen CRW2440 around $90, LiteOn LTR-24102B at $89 and PleXWriter PX-W24102B at $165. If price is the absolute criteria for your eyes then there are certainly cheaper solutions. If not, you know what to do... ;-)



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