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Reviews » Optical Drives


Price: $49.99


It wasn’t long ago that CD burners were the accepted standard in a PC and DVD burners were simply an expensive extra. The price of DVD burners has dropped faster over the last few years than CD burners ever did. There are now dozens of manufacturers and brands, though with often confusing features.

In an era where hard drives routinely exceed 300Gb, it would be ludicrous to expect to back up all of your critical files on CDs. Choosing a DVD burner can be difficult with conflicting marketing-driven claims, and many people have had bad luck with various brands. A continuing source of confusion is the existence of two standards, and not all drives work well with both DVD-R and DVD+R.

LG has been quietly building a reputation for high quality, low cost, no frills hardware. The measure of their success is the popularity of their televisions, DVD players, and other hardware.

LG is the new corporate image for Goldstar, a name that didn’t quite have the prestige they wanted. Based in Seoul, Korea, LG is a success story of epic proportions. Beginning in 1947 when Lucky Chemical made toothbrushes and toothpaste, then expanding in 1958 to become the first Korean company to manufacture radios under the name Goldstar, they quickly expanded into dozens of markets. Electronics has always been their strongest push, and LG’s flagship division, from a consumer standpoint, is LG Electronics.

Closer Look

I received an LG GSA-H10N for review, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had been using a Plextor 716A over the past year, and with the Plextor reputation I was initially expecting an inferior comparison.

Well, right off the bat, I was wrong. This drive has a nicer look and feel, with a much smoother and quieter mechanical operation. But outward appearances don’t always mean anything, as the proof would be in its operation. Although this review is not intended to be a comparison between the LG GSA-H10N and the Plextor 716A, there will be a few comparisons made.

As is normal in an OEM product, the GSA-H10N came in a plastic bag along with a CD-ROM in an envelope containing PowerDVD, Nero Express, InCD, and Power Producer.

The utilities are handy, but I did my testing with the full version of Nero 7, DVD Info Pro, and ImgBurn. I’m not impressed with the “feature” of an automatic firmware updater that sits in the system tray consuming resources. If all is well, I expect burner firmware updates to be few and far between.

Let's hurry and move her into her new home!

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Installation & Specifications
  3. Testing
  4. Conclusion
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