An inexpensive Blu-ray drive, the Lite-On DH-4B1S-10C suffers for its price cuts.

Most of the time, Lite-On's decision to cut down on a few of the specifications to bring in the drive at a reasonable price would have proven a successful strategy, sure to draw in some of the penny-pinching punters looking to experience Blu-Ray on a budget. Unfortunately, Lite-On's approach has been blown out of the water by the unfairly superior LG GGW-H20L.

The problem is, almost the whole way across the board, the LG is a much better option. The Lite-On's Blu-Ray speeds, for example, are skimpy. The four-speed BD-ROM fails to match the six-speed offered by the LG. The situation is identical when it comes to BD-R, and here the LG's realworld performance proves itself to be every bit as superior as the figures may suggest: the Lite-On DH-4B1S-10C takes over 23 minutes to copy our 22GB of test files - over a minute and a half longer than the LG in full flight.

Unlike the other drives here, the Lite-On DH-4B1S-10C fails to offer HD-DVD playback. And while you can argue any self-respecting high definition enthusiast will now be firmly in the Blu-Ray camp, the lack of HD-DVD support still can't be considered a bonus.

If there is a saving grace, it comes in the form of the Lite-On DH-4B1S-10C's DVD speeds. Not that they're all excellent - indeed, the 12-speed DVD-R/+R and DVD-ROM figures are a good bit down on those offered by the competition, while DVD-RAM is non-existent.

However, the eight-speed Double Layer write speeds are twice as high as those seen in the other drives. And, in terms of speed, the difference between four-speed and eight-speed is immense. So if you do think you'll be using the drive for writing a few Double Layer DVDs, the Lite-On DH-4B1S-10C makes sense.

And to be fair to the Lite-On DH-4B1S-10C, it's unfortunate to be up against such a formidable foe as the LG GGW-H20L. After all, the Lite-On's CyberLink software bundle (identical to that packaged with the LGs) is ample, and the Lite-On DH-4B1S-10C does have a bigger data buffer to boot. The problem is, in terms of realworld recording times, the Lite-On can't compete. And given the LG's juicy price tag, that pretty much rules the DH-4B1S-10C out of contention.


If saving money is your primary concern, the Lite-On DH-4B1S-10C is an acceptable Blu-ray Drive, but there are better products on the market.