The Pioneer DVR-115 is another very decent DVD writer from Pioneer.

With its stable performance and decent realworld speed, the Pioneer DVR-112 has been a deserved chart high flier for nine months now. But given its age, it was only a matter of time before a new model moved into place. The DVR-115, then, is the sequel. But is it success or merely the successor?

The biggest debate in DVD writers these days seems to be nothing specifically to do with drive speeds or write formats, but is rather about the question of whether to offer an EIDE or SATA model.

Despite the fact that almost all new PCs have been coming with the faster SATA drive interface for several years now, DVD writers based around EIDE continue to occupy copious amounts of shelf space. Pioneer is still sitting on the fence. This, the Pioneer DVR-115, is an EIDE model.

Pioneer also manufactures a range of SATA drives – the DVR-212 is the current best-seller, although we expect the DVR-215 to arrive very shortly.

So even when it comes to something as basic as the drive interface, the technology seems slightly dated. And there are models that can better the Pioneer DVR-115's write speed figures too.

While the 20-speed DVD-R/+R facilities are currently unbeatable, the Pioneer DVR-115's 10-speed double-layer facilities are no better than decent given that some drives can go up to 12- and even 16-speed.

However, the Pioneers have always done well in realworld testing. And given its EIDE interface, the Pioneer DVR-115 does well. It doesn't manage to get on terms with the chart-topping Samsung SH-S203, of course, but otherwise shows a clear advantage over many of its rivals. Consistency isn't its biggest strength yet, although we shouldn't really expect this from such a new drive.


The Pioneer DVR-115 is another very decent driver from Pioneer. It lacks that killer feature or figure needed to establish it as a must-buy. And it'll be very interesting to see what the SATA-powered DVR-215 can do. But should you need a workable EIDE DVD writer, this'll be a very acceptable product.