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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders 8x

Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Pioneer DVR-K14L/K04L

1. Introduction

Pioneer, one of the greatest manufacturers in the optical storage industry, recently released two slim burner solutions exclusively for use with notebooks. The DVR-K14L and K04L are capable of burning both DVD+R and DVD-R media at 8X. Moreover, the Pioneer slim burners support up to 4X for DVD-RW/+RW and 2.4X for Double Layer media. With the CD format, both can write and re-write CD media at 24X speed.

Before moving on with the review of the Pioneer drives, we should analyse the basic differences between these two similar but not identical models. As we mentioned before, both drives have the same specifications but there is something that separates them. The loading mechanism (i.e. the way the media is inserted in the drive) of the K14L drive has the classic tray loading mechanism where the media is inserted onto an ejecting tray. The K04L on the other hand, uses the caddy mechanism where the media is inserted into the drive through a vertical slot, without the use of a loading tray.

- Specifications

USB 2.0
Buffer Size:


PC Required :
Pentium 166 MHz or faster CPU, 64 MB DRAM Required
Compatibility :
Windows 98 / 2000 / ME / XP
Dimension : 128mm x 12.7mm x 129mm
Weight : 200g
Power plug type : US, EU, UK, and AUS
DVD Family : Write: 8X+R, 8X-R, 2.4X +R9
  ReWrite: 4X +RW, 4X -RW Read: 8X
CD Family: Write: 24X CD-R, 24X CD-RW, Read : 24X

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

Both drives, the K04L and the K14L, use the RPC II region control which supports up to 5 region changes.

- The drives...

The rear panel has the USB and power adapter input.

- K14L :

- K04L :

- Installation: The drive was installed with USB 2.0 interface connection and under WindowsXP, recognized as "Pioneer DVD-RW DVR K14L". The drive's firmware is the only version available, v1.00.

For the needs of the review and comparison tests, we compare the Pioneer drives with the NEC ND-6500A and LiteOn SOSW 852SX drives, flashed with their latest firmware. Please note that all four drives ( the two reviewed drives and the comparison drives), are for laptop pc use mainly, and we should expect good quality rather than 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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