Thursday, July 15, 2004

8X slot-load laptop DVD burner now available.

Panasonic has released a new version of their laptop specific drive, called the UJ-830 Super MULTI Drive (PDF). It's a slimline slot-load laptop optical drive. The specs are:

12.7 mm height

3X DVD-RAM write
8X DVD-R write
4X DVD-RW write
8X +R write
4X +RW write
24X CD-R write
10X CD-RW write

8X DVD-ROM read
24X CD-ROM read

Apple has a long history of using the Panasonic/Matsushita slot-load DVD-R burners in its laptops, and this one should be no exception. I expect to see this drive in the next PowerBook (likely along with a G5) in early 2005. Hopefully, in addition to DVD+/-R/W, Apple will keep DVD-RAM support in the drive's firmware, since OS X has built-in HFS+ read/write support for DVD-RAM. Such support would allow us to use a DVD-RAM disc as if it were a 4.3 GB floppy disc. Also, the 8X DVD-R support will be very welcome. That's just 8 minutes to burn a DVD, on a laptop.

For more information on the various DVD recordable formats, please check out my DVD Recordable FAQ.


Scott said...

Wow, 8x dvd burning on a laptop already. Remember Rev D Ti's that only burned at 1x? (I believe you got one Eug). That was less than two years ago and was considered fairly early to market. Crazy.

Eug said...

You remember correctly. I got my TiBook 1 GHz with 1X SuperDrive right when it came out, at the end of 2002.

That UJ-815 is actually a 2X drive that Apple firmware crippled to 1X, possibly because of 2X burning reliability problems with a small number of the initial batch of UJ-815 drives. Fortunately, as you probably know we now have a firmware flash out there that converts it back into a 2X DVD-R burner, and that flashed drive works fine with Toast, iDVD, iTunes, etc. I'm glad too, since burning at 1X is painful, especially in 2004.

Another bonus to the flash is that DVD-RW burning is now also supported, at 1X. The original TiBook UJ-815 firmware does not support DVD-RW burning.

Anonymous said...

IBM uses the the UJ 830 (IBM FRU 13N6827 / IBM SEARCH = MIGR-56949) and UJ 811 -(IBM FRU 92P6575 / IBM SEARCH = MIGR-53334) in the G 41 series.. The only G41 that uses the UJ 830 is the Thinkpad 2886 79U - however IBM screwd up and has assembeled them with the UJ 811... A substancial mistake and are avoiding correcting it! I had a five day / 4+ hr - battle thru 6 reps to get my issue resolved..

Please see the G41 2886 79U specs listed at:
(Personal Systems Reference IBM ThinkPad Notebooks
December 2004 - Version 285)

Note page 65. Clearly stating the 28886 79U as "DVD±RW" and continues to describe the unit as "DVD and CD burner / writes to + and - formats / Multi-Burner Plus"

There is a big play here on symantics as this is the MULTI BURNER PLUS and they have been shipping the MULTI BURNER ENHANCED


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