Conclusion: What's Blu-ray, if not a shining star? It seems like anything wearing the BD badge these days just seems to look better. But maybe it's just me, and my desire to touch all new technologies. Either way, ASUS has done a good job of reining in my attention and keeping the carrot just within my reach.
Pros: Full-range CD and DVD recording capabilities, Blu-ray Disc movie playback, CyberLink BD-capable bundled decoder software, Nearly-silent optical drive
Cons: Slow CD and DVD read speeds, Expensive optical drive, No digital-audio cable included, Lackluster Dual-Layer DVD burning speed
Conclusion: Until now, adding a Blu-ray drive to your computer has been a costly investment. The high price of Blu-ray Disc writers has put them out of reach for most consumers, especially those that are only looking to play movies. With the BC-1205PT, ASUS has made it easier for people to go high def. While lacking BD writing capabilities, this versatile, yet reasonably priced, drive can read and write to all major CD and DVD formats and play Blu-ray movies.
Pros: Reads single layer BD-ROM's and BD-R/RE media at 5x, Writes to DVD-R and DVD+R media at 12x, Writes to DVD-RW media at 6x, Writes to DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL media at 4x, Reads single layer DVD-ROM's at 12x, Reads DVD±R media at 12x, Reads DVD±RW and DVD±R DL media at 8x, Supports ASUS's FlextraLink, FlextraSpeed and QuieTrack technologies, 4MB buffer, Good CD-R and DVD±R writing quality, Automatically sets book type to DVD-ROM for DVD+R DL media, Serial ATA interface, I...
Cons: Reads BD-R DL media at only 2x, Writes to DVD+RW media at only 6x, Writes to CD-R media at only 24x, Questionable writing quality with some DVD±R DL media, Cannot set the book type of DVD+R or DVD+RW media, High seek times, Overburns to only 94:27, Documentation could be better
Summary: Those of you looking for a new DVD burner with Blu-ray playback will be pleased with this drive. It exceeded our expectations in many of our tests and it was a fairly inconspicuous operator. We just wish it had a faster-rated speed for burning double-layer DVDs.
Pros: Multi-format DVD burner, Blu-ray playback, relatively quiet operation
Cons: Slow-rated burn speed for double-layer DVDs, the supplied software had to be patched before it would play Blu-ray movies