What's in the box?:
- ASUS DRW-2014L1T 20x DVD±RW/RAM Drive
- Quick Setup Guide
- Nero Software CD
- Beige Replacement Bezel
- Mounting Screws
The look of ASUS's DVD writers really hasn't changed very much over the last few years. With this in mind, I was a little surprised to see that the DRW-2014L1T had been given a makeover. The eject button is not only smaller and more rounded, the bezel as a whole is flatter than those on ASUS's earlier drives. The DRW-2014L1T also has its share of logos. Along with the large "ASUS" logo, you can see a few showing support forthe DVD+ReWritable and DVD Multi specifications as well as HP's LightScribe technology.
Below the tray you can see the DRW-2014L1T's single LED. Off by default, this LED lights up green when the drive is reading or writing.
If black isn't your color, you're in luck. The retail version of the DRW-2014L1T also comes with a beige replacement bezel.
The rear of the DRW-2014L1T is fairly straight forward. By looking at the picture below you can see the drive's SATA interface and power connector.
Most of the specs below have been taken from ASUS's website and the box that the drive came in.
|ASUS DRW-2014L1T 20x DVD±RW/RAM|
|CD Write Speeds||48x, 40x (CAV)
32x, 24x (P-CAV)
16x, 10x, 4x (CLV)
|CD Rewrite Speeds||32x, 24x (Z-CLV)
16x, 10x, 4x (CLV)
|DVD+R Write Speeds||20x, 16x, 12x (CAV)
10x, 8x (P-CAV)
|DVD+RW Write Speeds||8x (Z-CLV)
6x, 4x, 2.4x (CLV)
|DVD-R Write Speeds||20x, 16x, 12x (CAV)
10x, 8x (P-CAV)
4x, 2x (CLV)
|DVD-RW Write Speeds||6x (Z-CLV)
4x, 2x, 1x (CLV)
|DVD+R DL Write Speeds||8x, 6x (Z-CLV)
4x, 2.4x (CLV)
|DVD-R DL Write Speeds||8x, 6x (Z-CLV)
|DVD-RAM Write Speeds||14x (CAV)
|CD Read Speeds||48x Max (CD-ROM)
40x Max (CD-R/CD-RW)
|DAE Speed||48x Max|
|DVD Read Speeds||16x Max (DVD-ROM Single Layer)
8x Max (DVD-ROM Dual Layer)
16x Max (DVD-Video)
12x Max (DVD±R)
8x Max (DVD±RW)
8x Max (DVD±R DL)
12x Max (DVD-RAM)
||150 ms (CD-ROM)
140 ms (DVD-ROM)
|CD Recording Modes||Disc At Once
Track At Once
Session At Once
|DVD+R and DVD+R DL
|DVD+RW Recording Modes||Random Recording|
|DVD-R and DVD-R DL
|Disc At Once
|DVD-RW Recording Modes||Restricted Overwriting
Disc At Once
|DVD-RAM Recording Modes||Random Write|
Note: We took a much closer look at LightScribe technology in our review of the BenQ DW1625. In this review we'll just go over some of the basics and see how the DRW-2014L1T performs with the bundled software.
The DRW-2014L1T is one of the latest drives from ASUS to feature 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 DRW-2014L1T, ASUS turned to Nero. Using the bundled 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 affects the amount of time it takes to print the label. The higher the quality, the longer the process will take.
How long does it take to print a label? For testing purposes, we printed a disc using Memorex's LightScribe Cool Colors (v1.2) CD-R media, and the quality was set to "best". The results are shown below.
|Memorex LightScribe CD-R (v1.2) - 28 minutes|
By looking at the picture below, you can see that ASUS's DVD writer is identified as an "ASUS DRW-2014L1T".
The Nero screenshot also shows that the DRW-2014L1T has a maximum CD writing speed of 48x and a 2048KB buffer. This buffer is also backed up by ASUS's FlextraLink technology. According to Nero, the drive can write CD-Text and overburn. When testing the drive's capacity, it had no problems overburning up to 99 minutes with CompUSA's 99 minute CD-R media.
Using Alex Noe's Weak Sector Utility we were able to determine that the DRW-2014L1T is a "two sheep" burner. This means that ASUS's drive is capable of backing up titles protected by SafeDisc 2, including version 2.51.
Here is a screen shot from Nero's InfoTool. This program queries the drive to see what its reading and writing capabilities are. InfoTool had no problems detecting the DRW-2014L1T's maximum reading and writing speeds, recording modes, buffer underrun protection and 2MB buffer.
InfoTool also shows that the DRW-2014L1T is an RPC-2 DVD drive. This means that the drive's region is stored in the firmware. The drive's region can be changed five times and after that it cannot be changed anymore. Unfortunately, a patched RPC-1 firmware is not available for this drive yet.
While InfoTool gives us a quick glance at the DRW-2014L1T'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 while ASUS's drive can read and write to DVD+R DL, DVD-R DL and DVD-RAM media, it does not support the Mt. Rainier format.
The DRW-2014L1T also supports a feature called "bitsetting." By default, the drive sets the book type of DVD+R, DVD+RW and DVD+R DL media to "DVD-ROM." This feature comes in handy if you have an older DVD player that has problems playing recordable media.