Is Plextor's PX-716A ,SA, etc. too little too late?

I’ve been a Plextor fan in the CDR-RW arena for many years and have put off buying my initial DVDR/RW drive until Plextor had a dual layer write capable drive. After reading many posts about the initial release of the PX-716A debacle which I have faith Plextor will address and fix one of these days with either a firmware update or (more likely) a hardware revision. The thing is, this in my view has damaged Plextor’s reputation of releasing a drive that other vendors have already released but with more testing and better reliability.
I assume the PX-716 A, SA, etc. will be released enmasse 1st qtr 2005, at which time other vendors (i.e. BenQ) who have made their own mark in this industry, will be releasing drives with 8X dual write capability at lower cost and similar quality to Plextor. Can anyone make a good case for purchasing Plextor’s latest when other vendors are already planning on releasing faster, good quality drives?
I’m really still on the fence on this but after seeing articles like this:
I’m finding it difficult to remain loyal to Plextor.

We all find it difficult g!

Me too…I think that plextor drives arent of that high quality anymore,you can get a better/similar drive and most of times with better writting quality for a cheaper price.

I got the first 16x drive in early June (BenQ DW1600A) and now 6 months later you would expect Plextor to have had plenty of time to fine tune their drive. But for 16x +R media I find the Plex 716A slower and worse than the BenQ DW1600A was at the time I got it in June… :frowning:

Included with the benQ I got philips.C16 16x media - so this media has been available for 6 months as well - and the Plex PX-716A do still not support it? Waaaaaay to disappointing!

(btw. Ritek.R04 is limited to 12x and CMC.MAG.M01 to 8x - so the compatibility with 16x media is very poor with the plex - among the worst I’ve seen :()

All in all I would rate it 6 out of 10. + for good support/warranty and plextools. - For the rest.

OC, is that going to be the conclusion of GF’s review too (6 out of 10)?

OC’s media tests will be used in my review so… My own tests were pretty good but I have tested mainly recommended media. Read tests and CD-R performance seem to be pretty good as well so maybe a 7 out of 10 :wink:

If the drive had supported all 16x media at 16x full-CAV with power REC on and given back excellent quality discs it would have gotten 8 or maybe 9 out of 10 in my book.

But 3 out of 4 16x certified discs do NOT work at 16x - despite the fact that they have been available on the market for up to 6 months!!! I mean - that SUCKS.

And it do not reach 16x with powerREC on - and with it off it uses a strange “Z-CAV” writing strategy to reach 16x - I would almost call it cheating.

  • some media issues.

All in all I had expected a lot better than this from plextor.

My 716 will be built in tomorrow. But I only have Ricoh R02 and MCC 003 to test. I will post some scans.

As time passes, more competitors start releasing writers with better specs, has Plextor lost its edge?

They may have spent a lot of engineering effort releasing “the world’s first 12x writer” (712a) when they should have been concentrating on 16x. The Px716a is now “the world’s last 16x writer” (last to the market, that is).

That’s not necessarily a bad thing - I don’t think Plextor should try to be first with things; their name & reputation in CD burners was because they offered the best writing quality and unique features and they should resume concentrating on that.

Who knows, they might suddenly release a 32x (SATA) burner that blows the competition away. I won’t count them out until I see their office watercoolers being auctioned off at a Chapter 11 bankruptcy get-together.

I definitely agree that releasing something last isn’t necessarily a bad thing, provided they used the extra time to perfect / make a vastly superior product to the competition, thus justifying the wait and the premium they charge on their product. This doesn’t seem to be the case with the PX-716A, at least from the initial reports I’ve been hearing. I’m concerned and saddened about this, I’m seriously considering brands I never would have even looked at if Plextor got decent user reviews with this drive. The BenQ 1620 is sounding more interesting to me, but the Gigabyte burner may be interesting as well. I’m still holding out waiting (perhaps in vain) for the flood of rave reviews on the PX-716SA. I can’t wait much longer though, I wanna join the DVD burning society!

I have faith in Plextor. Yes, this drive got off to a horrible start with the defective batch of TLA#0000’s :Z, but I think the problems people are experiencing now are largely firmware related. One or two more firmware revisions and the drive will be what people demand from Plextor.

I think people get a little overly pessimistic about these kinds of things in forums, but I beleive it’s going to work out just fine. :wink:

If you want the best drive for the money right now, buy a Benq. By Firmware revision 1.04 or 1.05, the Plextor will again be the Champ. Why do I say this? Because people forget too soon, that Plextor drives have ALWAYS been the best.

Improvement appears to be just around the corner…

See my post at

I sure hope improvement is around the corner, I checked out the thread you referred to and so far it seems like your post was the only one with something half way decent to say about the drive.
Also, in reference to ImBad’s post speculating that people may have forgotten that Plextor’s drives have always been the best. I for one have not forgotten this, which is why I’ve held out as long as I have but this is a what have you done for me lately market and you can’t live on past accomplishments alone (i.e. Sony seems to be following that business strategy for many of its electronics and start putting out substandard equipment hoping people will just by products because the Sony name is stamped on them.)

Forums like this one will always hold manufacturers to their word and their reputation. That’s why I imagine manufacturers listen to us and that why we continue to critique their products.

But Plextor has a great reputation, and they take pride in what they do (as does Benq), which is why I believe both drives will continue to get better.

Plextor engineers are probably testing the beejeezus out of whatever firmware is about to come out next. You’ll notice the North American Plextor website still hasn’t even posted firmware 1.03! That’s likely because either (1, the webmaster is lazy) or (2, they want 1.04 to really be the Firmware to make the difference). We’ll see what happens.