Overall, 11 drives made it into the lab for testing, among them two external devices from HP and Sony. From U.S.-based NU Technologies we received an 8x burner. Despite numerous requests, Plextor has to date not sent a test device - which is too bad, because in the area of CDs, this manufacturer has always had a good reputation.
The undisputed King of Rippers (if you can even say that, legally) is the LG GSA-4040B, followed by Gigabyte and NU Tech. The best audio grabbers were the Pioneer, Teac and LG; Sony also put up a good fight.
Sony doesn’t take any medals in this round-up because its scores in the various disciplines are too inconsistent. Either it’s the top or a flop. The search times and transfer rates for DVDs were disappointing, while the DRX-510UL needs twice as long as the competitors to read out a complete DVD. Admittedly, it does recognize a wide range of media and extracts audio in a heartbeat. Nonetheless, the overall impression is a mixed one, especially since the drive is the most expensive one we tested.