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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > 48x CD-RW

Tuesday, November 19, 2002
PleXWriter PX-W4824U CD-RW

1. Introduction/Installation

PleXWriter PX-W4824U CDR-W - Page 1

- Introduction

is the external version of the latest recorder from Plextor, the PleXWriter 48/24/48A. The new PleXWriter 48/24/48U supports the 48X writing speed and the fastest available re-writing speed of 24X. The new drive offers nothing less than its internal brother and additionally gives us the chance to check the drive with a newer firmware revision installed.

- Embedded Technologies

We have already analyzed most of the used technologies in our PleXWriter PX-W4824A review.

- Specifications

The drive under the "normal" working mode supports the 40X (CAV) reading speed. The firmware revision of the drive was 1.01 and we upgraded with the latest v1.02. Using the Nero Info Tool software, we can see the drive's properties/main features:

After the SpeedRead function is activated (either through PlexTools or by pressing the eject button for more than 3secs) the drive supports 48X reading. You can disable the SpeedRead option again, by pushing the eject button or by cutting off the power supply.

Below we can see the available reading speeds, according to the inserted disc. The drive normally can read up to 40X (CAV), all Mode1, Mode2, AudioCD and CD-RW discs. The "SpeedRead" option affects only the reading speed of Mode1 discs.

PleXTools also gives other information about the drive such as the supported reading/writing modes and as you can see it reveals the lowest access time of the industry (<65ms)

Below are the official specifications according to the Plextor European website

Usable Formats
-- CD-DA
-- CD-I
-- CD-Extra
-- CD+G
Hi-Speed USB
Data Transfer Rate
-- Burst
480 Mbit/s
-- Write
48X: 7200KB/s CAV
40X: 6000KB/s P-CAV
32X: 4800KB/s P-CAV
24X: 3600 KB/s P-CAV
20X: 3000KB/s CLV
16X: 2400KB/s CLV
8X: 1200KB/s CLV
4X: 600KB/s CLV
48X: 7200KB/s CAV
40X: 6000KB/s P-CAV
32X: 4800KB/s P-CAV
24X: 3600 KB/s P-CAV
20X: 3000KB/s CLV
16X: 2400KB/s CLV
8X: 1200KB/s CLV
4X: 600KB/s CLV
-- ReWrite
24X: 3600KB/s P-CAV
10X: 1500KB/s CLV
4X: 600KB/s CLV
-- Read
20X-48X: 3120-7200KB/s CAV
18X-40X: 2710-6000KB/s CAV
14X-32X: 2170-4800KB/s CAV
10X-24X: 1600-3600KB/s CAV
8X: 1200KB/s CLV
Access Time <65ms
Data Buffer 4MB
Error Rate Mode1: less than 10-12bits
  Mode2: less than 10-9bits

Front Panel
Eject Auto Eject/Manual Emergency
Lights Indication ON - DISC IN
Disc Loading Tray, Auto load/auto eject
Headphone Jack Stereo mini-jack, 0.8V at 32 Ohms

Rear Panel
USB Connector
Power Supply DC 12V +/- 10%
Power switch
Audio Connector Analog output (RCA Jack)

Dimensions & Weight
Dimensions 169 x 58 x 247.5 mm
Weight 2.2 kg

MTBF 60.000 POH (15% duty cycle)
Tray Loading Eject 100.000 times
Warranty 2 year *
Service On-Site Collect&Return Service **

*only valid in Europe, Middle-East an Africa.
**(EU-Countries + Norway and Switzerland)

- The package

We got the European retail package which contains: the drive, a PDF manual in 16 languages, an RMA request form, a registration card, a quick installation guide, 5 blank recordable discs (by TaiyoYuden), one 24X US-RW media (by Mitsubishi Chemicals), 1 USB 1.1/2.0 cable and the AC power adapter.

The attached CDR software comes from Ahead (Nero 5.5.x/InCD 3.3.x) among with a separate CD with "PlexTools" v1.16. The drive has a 2-year guaranty (only valid in Europe, Middle-East and Africa) and Plextor offers the"on-site collect and return service" (EU countries + Norway and Switzerland). The retail package is expected to cost 175~195 Euro.

The PleXWriter PX-W4824U is placed in a solid, well-designed silver case. The front panel of the drive is black, and has the PleXWriter 48/24/48U and US-RW logos printed on the tray. The usual indication led, the eject button and headphone jack are also available, as you can see in the following picture.

On the rear panel of the drive you will find the power supply, the USB cable connector, the power switch, the audio connector and the SelfTest switch.

To start the diagnostic test you should firstly turn the power off and unplug the USB cable. Slide back the Selftest cover at the back of the drive and hold the eject button while you turn the power back on. The disc tray will open and you should insert a blank CD. Close the tray and the diagnostic test will start automatically and will take a couple of minutes.

If the disc is ejected automatically after the test, no problem with the device has been detected. In case the indicator produces series of orange blinks, the inserted disc is not blank or it is scratched or dirty. If the CD is not ejected, and the CD indicator produces series of 2 green blinks, an initialization error has occurred. Lastly, if the CD is not ejected and the indicator produces single green blinks, a read or write error has occurred.

The drive was a September 2002 model with TLA#0001 hardware revision:

- Installation

The Plextor PX-W4824U was installed through the USB 2.0 interface. The drive was identified as a "PLEXTOR CD-R PX-W4824A". We used Nero v5.5.9.16, CloneCD v4.0.1.10 and Ahead InCD v3.51.61 for the recording tests.

User can de-activate PoweRec function under the drive properties. When you un-tick the "PoweRec enabled" box, a warning message comes up with information about the usability of this option.

PoweRec can also be disabled within the PlexTools software under the "drive settings":

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