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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD External

Thursday, January 20, 2005
Liteon SOSW - 852SX External

1. Introduction

Liteon SOSW - 852SX External Burner - Page 1

Lite-On IT corporation introduces its fourth in line, external Slim DVD burner, the SOSW-852SX drive. Manufactured mainly for laptop use, the SOSW-852SX in some cases supports burning at double the speed of its predecessor, the SOSW-8D2SX. So where the SOSW-8D2SX supports 4X for all DVD+R media, the new SOSW-852SX supports up to 8X.

Moreover, the SOSW-852SX supports 4X for DVD-R, 2X for DVD+RW and DVD-RW, and 2.4X recording speed for Double Layer media. Finally, the SOSW-852SX can write and rewrite CDs at 24X speed.

- Features

  • SMART-BURN avoiding Buffer UnderRun Error, Automatically adjusting writing strategy & running OPC to provide the best burning quality
  • SMART-X function adjusts CD-DA / VCD / DVD data extraction to a fastest allowable speed according to both data request rate from host and disk quality
  • Support Fixed Packet, Variable Packet, TAO, SAO, DAO, Raw Mode Burning & Over-Burn
  • DVD read compliant: DVD single / dual layer ( PTP / OTP ), DVD-R ( 3.9 GB / 4.7 GB ), DVD-R multi-borders, DVD+R, DVD+R multi-sessions, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW
  • CD read compliant: CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM / XA, Photo-CD, Multi-session, Karaoke-CD, Video-CD, CD-I FMV, CD Extra, CD Plus, CD-R, and CD-RW
  • Conforms to Orange Book : Part 2 CD-R Volume 1, Part 2 CD-R Volume 2 Multi Speed, Part 3 CD-RW Volume 1 ( 1x, 2x, and 4x ), Part 3 CD-RW Volume 2 : High Speed, Part 3 CD-RW Volume 3 : Ultra Speed
  • Portable design, using USB 2.0 connection to ensure the best performance
  • Plug & Play with emergency manual eject

- Specifications

USB 2.0
Buffer Size:


PC Required :
Pentium 166 MHz or faster CPU, 64 MB DRAM Required
HDD must have access time < 20 ms, with a minimum of 100 MBytes Free space
Compatibility :
Windows 98 / 2000 / ME / XP
MTBF ( Life ) :
60,000 Hours
S/N Ration :
> 78 dB
Environment :
Operating 5C to 45C; Relative Humidity : 8% to 80%
Non-Operating -20C to 60C; Relative Humidity : 5% to 95%
Dimension : 138.0 ( W ) x 24.0 ( H ) x 155.0 ( D ) mm
Weight : 405 g
Power plug type : US, EU, UK, and AUS
DVD Family : Write: 8X+R, 4X-R, 2.4X +R9
  ReWrite: 2X +RW, 2X -RW Read: 8X Access Time: 130ms
CD Family: Write: 24X CD-R, 24X CD-RW, Read : 24X
  Access Time: 110ms

Below are the drive's main specs as given by NeroInfoTool, VSO Inspector and DVDInfoPro:

As we can see below, the SOSW-852SX uses the RPC II region control, which supports region selection changes for at most 5 times. We changed the drive to region free which can be done for the SOSW-852SX using utilities such as Kprobe.

Additional information on LiteOn SOSW-852SX by Kprobe:

- European Retail package

The retail version includes the LiteOn SOSW-852SX, the power adapter, and along with these the package includes Nero 6, the well known CD-DVD burning software and the also famous PowerDVD 5 for your DVD playback needs. Last but not least, the package includes two Single Layer media, one +R and one -R format.

On the unit's rear panel there are the USB and power adapter input.

A closer image of the drive's tray...


- Installation: The drive was installed with USB cable to USB 2.0 input on our PC and under WindowsXP was recognized as "SlimType DVDRW SOSW-852S". The drives firmware is the latest version availiable, PSX1. What follows is a Nero Burning Rom screenshot, listing the supported options for the LiteOn SlimType, such as supported media and buffer underrun protection.

For the requirements of this review and for comparison, we used the NEC ND_6500A and Pioneer DVR-SK12D drives, flashed with their latest firmware. Please note that all three drives (the reviewed drive and the comparison drives), are mainly for laptop PC use and so the main criteria should be quality, not speed...

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests, we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.40
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v2.27
  5. PlexTools v2.17
  6. DVDInfoPro v3.16
  7. Nero Burning Rom v6.6.0.1
  8. DVD Decrypter
  9. CopyToDVD

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