The Samsung SH-S203D is the first DVD writer capable of burning DVD±R DL media at 16X and 12X respectively. This is a major advance for the optical disc writers market, as other companies are now called to follow on this new speed level. The brand new 12x DVD-R DL media we used on this test performed quite well and the recorded disc was fully readable. Unfortunately, we do not have samples of 16X DVD+R DL media yet, so we used the 8x DVD+R DL media burned at 10X. When we get our hands on some, though, we will rerun the tests and update the article.
However, no one wants a fast DVD ReWriter, unless it is a qualitative reader and writer.
So, as we do for all the drives, we performed a series of reading and writing tests on the drive. Let's move on to the results.
Starting with CD/DVD reading and error correction tests, the reading process of pressed CD and DVD media was completed successfully, reading all of them but the 90 and 99 mins audio discs. As far as CD error correction is concerned, the drive produced high levels of noise which could be audible. Furthermore, the drive's error hiding mechanisms are not so good, thus spreading the noise to almost all the surface of the disc. However, this does not mean that the produced sound will be defective in all its extent. On the other hand, DVD error correction tests showed us that the drive is a good DVD media reader, correcting and successfully reading almost all of the defective discs.
Procceding to the writing quality tests, the Samsung drive turned out to be an average writer. It was able to read all the burned DVD discs without any speed fluctuations, but the Datarius Analyzer reported uncorrectable errors on the majority of them. Furthermore, the analyzer was unable to read some parts of a few discs. As for the CD media, all the burned discs produced no uncorrectable errors, and the majority of them were flawless burns.
To sum up, the SH-S203D left us with an average impression. Its pros are its high DVD±R DL writing speed as well as its good DVD error correction mechanisms. Should the writing quality be improved, the drive will definitely be one of the best currently available. This Samsung drive can be found at the stores for about $40-$60.