2. Reading Tests
3. CD Error Correction Tests
4. DVD Error Correction Tests
5. Protected Disc Tests
6. CD Recording Tests
7. CD Writing Quality - Plextools
8. CD Writing Quality - Clover System
9. DVD Recording Tests
10. DVD Writing Quality - Page 1
11. DVD Writing Quality - Page 2
12. DVD Writing Quality - Page 3
13. DVD Writing Quality - Page 4
14. DVD Writing Quality - Page 5
15. DVD Writing Quality - Almedio
16. DVD+R DL - Page 1
17. DVD+R DL - Page 2
18. BookType Setting
19. LightScribe Feature
Several months ago, we were introduced to the LightScribe feature, with the release of three drives, the HP640i, the Philips DVDR16LS and the BenQ DW1625, all of them offering the new LightScribe feature. The HP840i (or 840b as it was recognized under windows XP) is actually an upgrade of the 640i, with regard to writing speeds and Multi-media support. The main difference between the former LS HP drive and the latest release, is the use of an entirely different chipset. Where the 640i used the Nexperia PNX7860E, the 840i now uses a Panasonic chipset.
The new 840b drive is an average reader with CD media. It can read up to 40X speed all CD-R discs and up to 32X, USRW media. DVD reading speeds are satisfactory, with the drive being able to read up to 16X pressed SL media and 8X pressed DL media. DVD-RAM is also supported and the HP840b can read DVD-RAM media at a max speed of 5X. For ripping enthusiasts, the HP840b will not disappoint you, and the ripping speeds achieved can be described as average to good.
In the Error Correction area, the HP840b is fairly good, as it managed to achieve good results with both CD and DVD media formats. The drive achieved a good score with the 721 CD test media, while it managed to achieve flawless reading with the 726 test disc and successfully played back 4 of 5 tracks on the CD-Audio check disc. Very good performance and indication of good error correction with CD media. With DVD media, the drive did not report any errors while reading all our defects test media.
Protected discs posed a problem for the review drive, as it did not manage to rip Sony's Key2Audio protected media. Both other audio protected titles were ripped successfully however. Protected games ripping was successfully completed with the drive showing good capabilities and being able to back up SD v3.1.
Moving on to the writing capabilities, the drive managed to produce some good quality burns with the CD media inserted, even though none of them was actually burned at 48X, the max supported writing speed according to the manufacturer's specs. When it comes to DVD media writing capabilities, the HP840b is an average burner, with the quality very much dependent on the inserted media. Best quality burns came at 8X burning speed, while the drive seems to favor +R media. DVD Rewritable as well as DL media writing quality was not satisfactory and hopefully a future upgrade in the firmware might solve issues with certain media.
DVD-RAM writing is also supported at a maximum burning speed of 5X. Note here, that when burning with Nero, the reported completion time exceeded the normal time needed for a complete burn, due to the write and verify function used with DVD-RAM media.
LightScribe capabilities of the drive are as expected with no changes in the procedure or the quality of the produced LightScribe media. With "best" quality level, the drive can complete a "print" on the LS media in 28 mins. The process is easy enough, with a wizard to guide you through. For en extra touch, the bundled SureThing labeling software will do the trick.
- The Good
- Good DVD error correction capabilities
- 5X DVD-RAM read/write support
- Writing quality with most media
- LightScribe enabled drive
- Good score in CD-Audio Check disc test
- Can overburn CD media up to 99mins
- Can create working backups with SafeDisc protected games v3.1
- Good retail package
- The Bad
- Performance with 90min Audio CD
- Cannot overburn DVD recordable media
- DL and RW quality with certain media
- BookType Setting is not supported
- Like To be fixed
- Writing quality with specific media