Conclusion: While many of Sony's Blu-ray products have faced numerous delays and shortages, the launch of their first Blu-ray Disc writer has gone off without a hitch. A true multi format drive, the BWU-100A offers support for both single and dual layer BD media, as well as standard DVD's and CD's. This, combined with a great software bundle from CyberLink, make the BWU-100A an attractive choice for those looking to record high-definition video or back up large amounts of data.
Pros: Writes to BD-R and BD-RE media at 2x, Writes to DVD-R and DVD+R media at 8x, Writes to DVD+RW media at 8x, Writes to DVD-RW media at 6x, Writes to DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL media at 4x, Writes to DVD-R DL media at 2x, Reads Blu-ray Disc media at 2x, Reads single layer DVD-ROM's at 8x, Reads DVD±R, DVD±RW and DVD±R DL media at 8x, Reads and writes DVD-RAM media at 5x, Features 24x CD-R and 16x CD-RW writing speeds, Includes buffer underrun prevention technology, 8MB buffer...
Cons: Expensive, Bundled Blu-ray Disc playback software does not support some video cards, Questionable writing quality with some DVD±R DL media, Cannot set the book type of DVD+RW media, Buffer limited to 2MB when writing CD's and DVD's
Excerpt: Most folks aren’t prepared to choose sides in the battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD—and who can blame ’em, given the scarcity of HD content and the exorbitant cost of drives and media. But for the gotta-have-it-now early adopters, Blu-ray remains the only next-gen disc you can burn. The HD DVD camp has yet to release a burner, while Sony’s BWU-100A marks the third Blu-ray burner we’ve reviewed in the last six months. And with each new model, we’re seeing improvements.
Pros: Looks great! Least expensive of all the HD optical drives we've tested! Good speeds.
Cons: Speeds don't stand out when compared to other HD optical drives.
Conclusion: It is probably fair to say that many enthusiasts are not really buying into the whole Blu-ray/HD DVD formats at this moment, particularly for PC-based writers like the Sony BWU-100A. The fact that companies like Lite-On and Sony themselves are still releasing new 18x and 20x DVD writers just this year points to the enduring appeal of the DVD format.