Model: Plextor PX-716A 16x DVD±RW
Manufacturer: Plextor
Provided By: Plextor America

If you talk to anyone about optical storage, the name Plextor is guaranteed to come up. As a leader in the storage industry for more than a decade, they've produced some of the best optical drives available. The quality, performance and features these drives offer have made them favorites among consumers and professionals alike. To keep ahead of the competition, Plextor has continued to lead the way, bringing cutting edge technologies to market. Today, their product lineup includes a number of high performance CD and DVD writers, many with features found nowhere else.

Like many manufacturers, Plextor has started to focus on the DVD writer market. Last spring, they sent shockwaves through the industry when they announced the world's first 12x DVD±RW, the PX-712A. This drive not only brought 12x DVD+R writing speeds to the table, it offered an impressive list of features. Along with old favorites like VariRec and PoweRec, it supported a number of more advanced technologies like SecuRec, Q-Check and GigaRec. While impressive, the PX-712A lacked a feature found on other drives: the ability to write to DVD+R DL media.

This fall, Plextor announced their long awaited 16x DVD±RW, the PX-716A. Featuring some of the fastest reading and writing speeds available, the PX-716A is capable of 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW and 4x DVD-RW writing speeds and has a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. More importantly, it's the first drive from Plextor to support the DVD+R DL format. Out of the box, the PX-716A can write to DVD+R DL media at 4x. However, thanks to a free firmware update, the drive can write to select media at 6x. The PX-716A also has many of the features found on the PX-712A, along with a number of new ones like AutoStrategy. Developed by Taiyo Yuden, AutoStrategy improves the compatibility of new or unsupported media by developing writing strategies on the fly.

With features and specs like this, Plextor's new DVD writer sounds like it has a lot of potential. To give you an idea of what to expect from the PX-716A, we'll take a look at some of its features and then see how it compares to the 16x DVD±RW drives from Sony, NEC, and Pioneer. Can the PX-716A deliver the features and performance we've come to expect from Plextor? Is it the fastest DVD writer around? Keep reading as we find out.

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