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
Summary: It took an hour and 33 minutes to burn the same data to rewritable media. So if you’ve got time to kill or want to author your own HD video discs, Sony’s BWU-100A is the best bargain we’ve tested, but if you’re primarily interested in convenient, large-capacity data storage, you’re far better off with an external hard drive.
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.