What's in the box?:
- Lite-On eSEU206 Portable 6x Blu-ray Disc Combo Drive
- Quick Installation Guide
- Software CD
- USB Y Cable
The drive Lite-On sent us for this review was manufactured in July of 2011 and had firmware UL15. For this review I used firmware version UL16.
While not the smallest Blu-ray combo drive to come through the 'Labs, the eSEU206 is still very compact and lightweight. Measuring 145 x 21 x 155.8 mm and weighing in at a mere 350g, it easily fits in a laptop bag or briefcase.
The body of the eSEU206 is made out of silver plastic with a brushed metallic finish. There's also a strip of black plastic around two of the edges which has a rubberized coating. This makes it a little easier to hang onto the drive when moving it around.
The LED and eject button are located along the front of the eSEU206. This LED lights up green when both reading and writing. You can also see a few logos showing support for Blu-ray and LightScribe as well as the DVD+ReWritable and DVD Multi specifications.
Along the rear, you can see the eSEU206's USB 2.0 interface. This connector not only transfers data but provides power for the drive.
Like many portable drives, the eSEU206 comes with a USB Y cable, which lets you draw power from two USB ports instead of just one. I'm not really sure what Lite-On was thinking when they designed the one for the eSEU206, but they chose some very odd lengths. Despite the fact that there is nearly 20 inches of cable between the two Type A connectors, there is only 8 inches of cable between the first Type A connector and the mini-USB connector. As a result, the drive needs to be placed very close to the computer.
Most of the specs below have been taken from Lite-On's website and the manual that came with the drive.
|Lite-On eSEU206 Portable 6x Blu-ray Combo Drive|
|DVD+R Write Speeds||8x, 6x, 4x (P-CAV)
|DVD+RW Write Speeds||8x, 6x, 4x (Z-CLV)
|DVD-R Write Speeds||8x, 6x, 4x (P-CAV)
|DVD-RW Write Speeds||6x, 4x (Z-CLV)
|DVD+R DL Write Speeds||4x (Z-CLV)
|DVD-R DL Write Speeds||4x (Z-CLV)
|DVD-RAM Write Speeds||5x (P-CAV)
3x, 2x (CLV)
|CD Write Speeds||24x (CAV)
|CD Rewrite Speeds||24x, 16x (Z-CLV)
10x, 4x (CLV)
|BD Read Speeds||6x Max (BD-ROM Single Layer)
4x Max (BD-ROM Dual Layer)
6x Max (BD-R)
4x Max (BD-R DL)
4x Max (BD-RE)
|DVD Read Speeds||8x Max (DVD-ROM)
8x Max (DVD±R)
8x Max (DVD±RW)
8x Max (DVD±R DL)
5x Max (DVD-RAM)
|CD Read Speed||24x Max|
|DAE Speed||24x Max|
||300 ms (BD)
130 ms (DVD)
160 ms (CD)
Like many of Lite-On's drives, the eSEU206 features support for LightScribe technology. Developed by HP, LightScribe lets you burn durable, silk screen quality labels directly onto your CD's and DVD's using the same drive that burned the data. According to HP, it's as simple as burning the data, flipping the disc, and then burning the label.
Of course you can't do this with just any drive, media or software. While LightScribe capable drives use the same laser when burning both the data and label, they have to be able to accurately control the laser's focus and position as well as the spindle speed. They also must be able to recognize LightScribe media. These special discs have a thin dye coating on the label side that absorbs laser light. This triggers a chemical reaction that produces a color change, allowing the user to print text, artwork or graphics.
Even if you have a LightScribe capable drive and media, you will need software that supports it. Most major software companies have pledged support for the technology. However, at the time of this review, the list of compatible software is still relatively short. For the eSEU206, Lite-On turned to CyberLink. Using the bundled LabelPrint software you can create and burn LightScribe disc labels.
Once you've created your LightScribe label, you're ready to print it. Before you can do this though, you will need to choose the contrast. Keep in mind this option not only changes the level of detail, it also affects the amount of time it takes to print the label. The higher the quality, the longer the process will take.
The eSEU206 features what Lite-On calls SmartWrite technology. Previously known as HyperTuning, SmartWrite automatically creates writing strategies for unknown, or unsupported, DVD±R and DVD±R DL media. Simply enable SmartWrite, insert your disc and burn. The new writing strategy is then created on-the-fly.
SmartWrite also works with supported media. When enabled, the drive will ignore the writing strategy stored in the firmware and instead create a new one. This is very useful if you are trying to record a disc that uses another company's MID code (I.E. fake TYG02 code discs).
The eSEU206 supports Lite-On's OverSpeed function. When enabled, the drive will try to write to your DVD±R media at a speed higher than what would normally be supported. To do this, OverSpeed relies heavily on SmartWrite. When a disc is written at a higher than normal speed, SmartWrite will automatically create a new writing strategy for it.
By looking at the picture below, you can see that Lite-On's new DVD writer is identified as a "Slimtype eSEU206 2."
Nero also shows that the eSEU206 has a maximum CD writing speed of 24x and a 2048KB buffer. This buffer is also backed up by SMART-BURN buffer underrun protection. According to Nero, the eSEU206 can also write CD-Text and overburn. When testing the drive's capacity, it had no problems overburning up to 99 minutes with our CompUSA media.
Using Alex Noe's Weak Sector Utility we were able to determine that the eSEU206 is a "two sheep" burner and is capable of backing titles protected by SafeDisc 2.90. Like most drives, it did not pass the "three sheep" test.
Here is a screen shot from Erik Deppe's Opti Drive Control. Among other things, this program queries the drive to see what its reading and writing capabilities are. Opti Drive Control had no problems detecting the eSEU206's reading and writing speeds and supported disc types.
Opti Drive Control also shows that the eSEU206 is an RPC-2 DVD drive. This means that the drive's region is stored in the firmware. The region can be changed five times and after that it cannot be changed anymore. While there isn't an RPC-1 firmware available for the drive, there is a utility available that can make the drive region free.
While InfoTool gives us a quick glance at the eSEU206's features, DVDINFOpro provides a little more information on some of the drive's reading and writing capabilities. By looking at the screenshot above you can see that Lite-On's new drive can read and write to most DVD formats and read back BD-R, BD-RE and BD-ROM discs.
The eSEU206 also supports a feature called "bitsetting." Using Nero, CD Speed or Lite-On's BookType Utility, you can set the book type for DVD+R, DVD+RW and DVD+R DL media. By doing so, your recorded discs will identify themselves as "DVD-ROM." This feature comes in handy if you have an older DVD player that has problems playing recordable media.