Conclusion: It has been nearly two years since I reviewed Sony's first Blu-ray Disc writer, the BWU-100A. Since then, companies like LG and Pioneer have raised the bar, introducing drives with new features and faster BD writing speeds. With the BWU-300S, Sony has risen to the challenge. Based loosely on the Panasonic SW-5584, the drive offers good looks, a number of useful features and some of the fastest BD reading and writing speeds available.
Pros: Writes to BD-R and BD-R DL media at 8x, Writes to BD-RE media at 2x, Writes to DVD-R and DVD+R media at 16x, 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 8x, Reads single layer BD-ROM's at 16x, Reads BD-R and BD-R DL media at 6x, Reads single layer DVD-ROM's at 16x, Reads DVD±R media at 16x, Reads DVD±RW and DVD±R DL media at 8x, Features 48x CD-R and 24x CD-RW writing speeds, 8MB buffer, Good CD-R writing qualit...
Cons: High media requirements when writing to BD-R and BD-R DL media at 8x, Questionable writing quality with some DVD±R and DVD+R DL media, Had a hard time reaching its rated CD read speeds, Reads BD-RE media at only 2x, Reads DVD-Videos at only 6x, Rips audio CD's at only 24x, Cannot set the book type of DVD+R and DVD+RW media, Expensive
Excerpt: For more than a year, LG has been sitting pretty with the only 6x Blu-ray burner available for retail, but now that Sony’s BWU 300S offers 8x BD-R write speeds, LG’s supremacy has come to an end. Sort of. The 300S is uncommonly fast—given the right circumstances. The drive managed to fill a 25GB BD-R disc with data in a blistering 13:56 (min:sec), compared with the LG GBW-H20L’s time of 22:16, but only when the drive was fed manufacturer-recommended Panasonic 6x media.
Summary: Blu-ray Disc drives that can create BD media remain thin on the ground. The Buffalo BR-816SU2, and now this internal Sony BWU-300S, are the only burnable Blu-ray drives to have been released in the UK since early Spring.