I guess Plextor has its good marketing strategy as well, if not better, as its quality. For example, 708A has a big disadvantage compared with its rivals now: it only supports 4x DVD-R and 2x DVD-RW, compared with 8x DVD-R and 4x DVD-RW for others. Of course, it is an early bird in the market and then no one regarded it as negative.
Then it pushes 712A to the market, which has a strange positioning. Compared its speed with other 8x8 competitors, it only prevail at 12x DVD+R over other’s 8x DVD+R, maybe “8 speed plus” is a more appropriate name for it.
So, that’s it. Come to market a little earlier with a little speed advancer, but harvest a lot of eyeballs and $$$s.
well…ahem…My Plextor 708A died a week ago mysteriously after I did a firmware upgrade to 1.07. It became very intermittent and slow and finally just crapped out. I have yet to contact Plextor for an RMA but I can tell you that when I had problems with it just after upgrading the firmware the customer service people at Plextor simply tried to blow me off and blame the software I am using to burn with. Thats Bull. The 708A was only purchased in late August a year ago. I picked up a Liteon 812S and it runs like a raped ape. And it was only a hundred bucks. And when DL media becomes readily available I can flash it with firmware that will allow it to burn to DL media. Thats a deal. I think Plextor is a bit overrated.
Not anymore, it seems to me that those good old days, when Plextor was making some of the most solid cd burners/dvd-rom readers in the market, are gone!
Their dvd burners, for instance 708As, are just not nearly as good, although still commending a hefty premimum in price compared to other brands!
Although I do acknowledge that other brands have their shares of problems, I don’t think Plextor is a very smart choice at the moment, once you take a closed look at their reliablity-performance-price ratio.
As I said in another thread, on a forum such as this one you will only see people that have a problem with their drive. Generally speaking most people are satisfied with their drives and they work as expected. There is no need to start bashing a particular brand, because all manufacturers have faulty drives on the market. There is nothing that can be done about this other than to contact the manufacturer and hope they have a good RMA procedure (which Plextor has). I have been using my PX-708A since it first came out and never had a problem with it. This isn’t luck but the way it should be and for most people it is.
Do not forget that the 712A has higher speeds, 8MB buffer (instead of 2), GigaRec, SecuRec, Plextools Pro can use it to do lots of tests (CD/DVD write quality, drive servo tests), compared to the 708, which does not have these features, as far as I know.
Also, firmware 1.03 for 712A says it supports DVD DL reading, which the 708 does not (yet?).
In my opinion, Plextor drives are for people who need the best quality writes (=>broadest compatibility of written discs with other drives and longest archival life for the backups), or/and for people who have enough financial resources not to care too much about the price difference. Plextor drives are indeed expensive.
Had my 708 since January. It was a replacement for a Pioneer 105 (Â£205 feb 2003) that died under a year. Never had any problems with it and as I got it as a replacement for a drive you could buy for Â£60 at the time I am mostly being happy. My only niggle is about no x8 recording on -R media. I am no expert but I assume the writing strategy for +R is similar so how come there is no firmware update to allow this. I think plextor have kept this from us so we go and buy the ‘faster’ models when they become available and guarentee more revenue.
My Plextor 712A is far better than any of my other drives and any others I have tried in every important way (for me).
It burns faster, more reliably and with higher quality than anything else I have ever used. It also reads faster, and from inserting a disc is ready to burn / read far quicker than any other drive I have tried.
Benchmark figures often do not reflect real-world experience and the real-world experience of the Plextor is excelent. Also the 8MB buffer means I can burn at 12x and still be able to use my PC without the buffer under-run having to cut in.
I am now a very happy Plextor camper. They cost more but are worth it (IMO).
I only wish my PX-712A experience was as good... I've had the opposite experience. My Pioneer 8X DVR-A07XLA seems to produce higher quality burns than my PX-712A, and works well on all the media I've tried (from an admittedly limited set of 8 types/batches of media. I tried some DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, CD-R, and DVD+RW and all except one are on their 'recommended' list).
In contrast, my PX-712A only produces decent results on certain types of media I’ve tried… And in one case, I get bad results from 8X DVD-R media that’s on their list of ‘recommended’ media for this drive. The same media burns well on my DVR-A07 (also at 8X).
And, this is actually my second PX-712A, since I returned the first one which was producing even worse results.
I originally got the PX-712A based on various glowing reviews, the 8 MB buffer, and to get the Q-Check stuff.
I only wish my drive worked as well as the billing… I’m still trying to figure out if the second drive is also defective, or if this is just a media incompatibility.
Neither possibility increases my confidence in the PX-712A…