Lite-On IT got its start in 1995 when its parent company, Lite-On Technology, gathered a group of scientists and engineers to start an optical storage research and manufacturing business. Lite-On Technology quickly established itself as Taiwan’s largest CD-ROM drive manufacturer and by 1999 the business had 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.
Like most drive manufacturers, Lite-On has begun to focus on the growing Blu-ray Disc market. This spring, the company introduced its second-generation BD-ROM drive, the iHOS104. While lacking the writing capabilities found on more expensive units, this low cost, read-only drive gives consumers the ability to watch Blu-ray movies on their computers. Along with 4x BD read speeds, the iHOS104 is capable of reading DVD's at 8x and CD's at 32x. To top it all off, the drive comes with CyberLink's popular PowerDVD software. Using TrueTheater HD technology, PowerDVD can play back both Blu-ray Discs and standard DVD's in high-def.
We've had Lite-On's new BD-ROM in the 'Labs for a few weeks now and have had the time to put it through its paces. To give you an idea of what to expect from the iHOS104, we'll take a look at its features and then put it through its paces to see how it performs. Does the iHOS104 have what it takes? More importantly, is it the best bang for your buck? Keep reading to find out.