Model: Plextor PX-740A 16x DVD±RW
Manufacturer: Plextor
Provided By: Plextor America

When it comes to optical storage, there are few companies as well known as Plextor. For more than a decade, they've produced some of the best drives the industry has seen. Known the world over for their quality, performance and features, these drives have become 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.

Earlier this year, we took a look at Plextor's first 16x DVD±RW, the PX-716A. While the drive shipped later than many expected, it was definitely worth the wait. An impressive performer, the PX-716A offered some of the fastest reading and writing speeds available at the time. What really blew us away though, was its features. Along with old favorites like VariRec and PoweRec, the PX-716A supported a number of more advanced technologies like GigaRec, Q-Check and Autostrategy. Unfortunately, this drive also came with a fairly large price tag that made many think twice, especially if they didn't have a need for some of its advanced features.

Earlier this year Plextor surprised many by announcing another 16x DVD±RW, the PX-740A. Designed with the cost conscious consumer user in mind, the PX-740A offers impressive performance without all of the bells and whistles found on the PX-716A. Based loosely on the BenQ DW1640, the drive is capable of 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW and 6x DVD-R DL writing speeds and has a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. On top of that, the PX-740A can write to DVD+R DL media at 8x, the fastest speed currently available.

With store shelves already packed full of DVD writers, Plextor's new drive is up against some stiff competition. To give you an idea of what to expect from the PX-740A we'll take a look at some of its features and then see how it stacks up against some of the 16x DVD±RW drives from the competition. Can the PX-740A deliver the performance we've come to expect from Plextor? Is it the best bang for your buck? Read on as we find out.

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