After a few good months with the '88' DVD writers and having expended a heap of media, it's time for us to collect and brace ourselves for the next big wave in optical storage, the 12x DVD writers. Though 8x DVD writers are considered fast enough for folks wanting a hand in DVD storage, our constant and innate cravings for all things fast will always exist. In terms of optical storage, this would equate to faster write speeds and shorter recording times. It's the same scenario when 8x was introduced to replace the slow 4x DVD writers. After a brief period of research, testing and fine-tuning, the successor, or rather sequel to 8x writers is finally available at a faster 12x speed. This write speed is reportedly driving down write time to less than eight minutes, making DVD storage all the more appealing.
Only announced recently, the TDK AID+1280B is amongst the handful of DVD writers to boast the speedy 12x write speed. Some other brands featuring this double-digit write speed include CyberDrive, Plextor, LG, LITE-ON, OptoRite and Artec of USA (a subsidiary brand of Taiwan's Ultima Electronics Corporation). For the rest of the industry, the move towards 12x write speed was shelved and a hurried push towards 16x mass production was executed instead. While it's true that the shelf life of 12x drives will be a short one (the very reason why 12x was forgone by some manufacturers), they still have a role to play nonetheless, filling the transitional void from 8x to 16x.
In order to give you an idea of what 12x drives have to offer, we'll walk you through the new TDK AID+1280B DVD writer and detail its performance in our tests. At the end of the day, we'll provide you with our results and opinions, but it will still be up to you to decide whether or not it's time for you to ditch your slower 2x, 4x or 8x DVD writer. In the meantime, flip on to the next page to check out the technical aspects of this new drive from TDK.