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HP dvd640e External DVD Writer with LightScribe
By Justin Ong
Category : Optical Storage
Published by Vijay Anand on Sunday, 21st August, 2005
Rating : 3.5 out of 5 stars  

The HP dvd640e

Since March 2005, consumers could turn to HP's patented LightScribe technology for quality silk-screen labels without ever having to worry about labeling problems, such as peeling or getting smudged from the use of adhesive labels. Although the etching speed of LightScribe drives is still relatively slow and only available in monochrome, its integrated, permanent and reliable nature is still unrivalled when it comes to consumer level optical disc labeling. As it stands, there are more than 17 LightScribe licensees, including big names such as BenQ, Hitachi-LG, Toshiba, Pioneer, Panasonic and others, all of who are banking on the unique selling point of laser etching to hit the right chord with the consumers.

Although the plus points of LightScribe technology are evident, the market response so far has defied conventional trends, exhibiting instead lethargic adoption rate at best. Probable explanations for this could be the low supply of LightScribe-enabled media and the high retail price of LightScribe DVD writers, which in most cases, are between 15 – 20% more than plain-Jane DVD writers. As such, consumers who already have stacks of media in their possession and those who had earlier invested in adhesive labelers or printers that can print directly onto the surface of optical discs, there is simply no compelling incentive to purchase a LightScribe DVD writer right now and consequentially having to stock up on LightScribe-enabled media.

However, for small media houses and home users intending to move forward in quality disc labeling, HP's LightScribe technology, with its ease and flexibility in label design couldn't have come at a better time. Now, apart from licensing out its patented disc labeling technology to manufacturers, HP is also very much in the ODD retail business and the latest product in their stable, the dvd640e, is as you might have guessed, a LightScribe capable DVD writer.

HP dvd640e Technical Specifications
  • DVD-ROM Read: 16x, Max
  • CD-ROM Read: 40x, Max
  • DVD+R Write: 16x
  • DVD+RW Write: 4x
  • DVD+R DL Write: 2.4x
  • DVD-R Write: 8x
  • DVD-RW: 4x
  • CD-R Write: 40x
  • CD-RW Write: 24x
  • External USB 2.0 / IEEE1394 FireWire
Buffer Size
  • 2MB
Writing Mode DVD
  • Disc-At-Once, Incremental Recording, Restricted Overwriting, Sequential Recording and Random Recording
  • Track-at-Once
  • Disc-at-Once
  • Multisession
  • Packet Recording (fixed & variable packet)
Disc Size
  • DVD: 120 mm
  • CD: 80 and 120 mm
Supported Formats DVD
  • DVD+R DL 8.5GB
  • DVD+R 4.7GB
  • DVD+RW 4.7GB
  • DVD-R 4.7GB (closed session)
  • DVD-RW 4.7GB (closed session)
  • DVD-Video
  • DVD-5
  • DVD-9
  • DVD-10
  • DVD-18
  • CD-DA
  • CD-ROM XA (m1, m2f1/m2f2)
  • CD-R
  • CD-RW
  • Bootable CD
  • Karaoke-CD
  • Photo CD (single & multi-session)
  • Video CD
  • CD-Extra
  • Mixed-mode CD
  • CD-Text
  • CD-Graphics
Physical Characteristics
  • Dimensions (W x H x D) : 168 x 53 x 255 mm
  • Weight: 0.9kg (approx)
Firmware Update
  • Flash memory upgradeable

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