In 1995, Lite-On Technology gathered a group of scientists and engineers to help jumpstart their optical storage research and manufacturing business. Lite-On Technology quickly established themselves as Taiwan’s leading CD-ROM drive manufacturer and by 1999 the business had been spun off into a separate company, Lite-On IT. Since then, Lite-On IT has continued to grow. By working closely with companies like BenQ and Philips, they've expanded into the consumer and automotive electronics' markets, becoming the world's second largest ODD manufacturer.
With the format war coming to an end, Lite-On has set its sights on the emerging Blu-ray Disc market. This summer, the company introduced its first 8x Blu-ray combo drive, the iHES208. This Serial ATA equipped drive is capable of 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD±R DL, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW and 12x DVD-RAM writing speeds and can read Blu-ray Discs at speeds as high as 8x. Along with support for HP's LightScribe Direct Disc Labeling system, the iHES208 also features many of the technologies we've come to expect from Lite-On, including more advanced ones like SmartWrite and OverSpeed.
This is just a sample of what Lite-On's new 8x BD combo drive has to offer. Over the next few pages we'll take a look at the iHES208's features and then see how it compares to some of the the Blu-ray drives from LG and Sony. Does the iHES208 have what it takes? More importantly, is it the best bang for your buck? Keep reading to find out.