If we were to use a gearbox to indicate the progression of DVD-Writers, then first gear would be for 2x, second gear for 4x and third gear for current 8x DVD-Writers. Akin to a stationary car moving off via the first gear, the transition for DVD-Writers has finally taken off on the right footing and gaining momentum as its pace increases. An onslaught of drives featuring this fast write speed has stormed retail outlets in mass quantities, each featuring near identical features but named differently and claiming to be the fastest drive in their own rights. At this point in time, its safe to conclude the hey-days of 4x DVD-Writers are gone and over with. The speed-crown held by 4x drives was brief and has been surrendered to 8x drives and for a good reason as well. The speed advantage of 8x DVD-Writers over its 4x predecessor is obvious. Filling a 4.7 GB recordable DVD takes just a little over 9 minutes while a 4x DVD-Writer takes about 15 minutes to perform the same task. Therefore, its easy to see why 8x DVD-Writers are the talk of the town now, especially since these modern drives can be had for less than $300.
The drive in assessment today is the Imation 8x Dual-Format DVD-Writer. Similar to the majority of 8x drives out there, 8x DVD write speed of this unit is exclusively for DVD+R media, with the exception of our recently reviewed TDK AID+880NA, which is capable of writing at 8x for both -/+ R medias. And since theres an ensemble of 8x DVD-Writers available on the market now, the Imation unit has its work cut out if it wants to standout in the crowd.