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» Channels :: Optical Storage
Gigabyte Go-W0404A Dual Format DVD Writer
By Justin Ong
Category : Optical Storage
Published by Jimmy Tang on Thursday, 11th December, 2003
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars  


Introduction

DVD writing technology has finally made its way to the masses, with major PC makers pushing DVD writers as an optional upgrade or even standard issue in some of their product lines. It’s a technology that’s been catching on in the PC industry and consumer electronics market for some time. Fueled with ever increasing needs for larger portable storage devices, technology such as Zip drives, CDs and static state flash drives simply just can’t measure up against the larger storage solution provided by the DVD technology. In addition, DVD offers the consumer a more attractive capacity/price ratio. Once perceived as a lavish gadget for the more well-to-do community, due to its sky-high price a couple of years back, the price of DVD writers today has declined to a more affordable range where the technology isn’t exclusively for the fortunate few anymore.

Enter Gigabyte (a popular brand name borned in Taiwan), a reputable company that has grown from strength to strength by producing mainboards at a competitive price, and by bringing innovations such as the world’s first Dual BIOS mainboard to the desktop PC market. In order to keep pace with the rest of its competitors, it has widen its product range in a bid to position itself as a total IT product provider on a global scale. Their latest optical offering, the GO-W0404A, happens to be a dual format DVD writer, which we’ll be reviewing today.

Interestingly enough, Gigabyte has only manufactured one model of each type of optical drive standard, namely the CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, CD-RW and the latest DVD Dual format writer reviewed today. All of which are internally mounted drives. For your information, there are two main DVD writing standards available today, the –R/RW and +R/RW formats. Neither format has been finalized as the industry DVD writing standard to date. So, to cater to both the different market segment, Gigabyte has opt to manufacture a Dual Format DVD writer just so that consumers need not lose sleep about making a purchase that will go obsolete - should either one format be dropped in the future.

First Impression and bundled stuffs

Gigabyte sure knows how to make their first DVD writer’s packaging stand out from the rest of the pack, so as to attract consumers’ dollars. The drive is safely tucked away in a well-padded and strikingly designed box. A plastic carrier is conveniently designed onto the top of the box and a flip cover is added to the front of the box, which opens up to reveal the technical specifications and a quick iconic display of the drive’s various reading and writing speed. Let’s be honest here for a second, how many sub-SGD$300 optical drive's packaging you know of comes with such meticulous designs for the sole purpose of catching your attention? As the good old saying goes, first impression counts.

Checkout the carrier and the iconic flip cover


Well positioned Gigabyte label makes for a professional look..


Very conventional rear layout panel here

Some other findings in the box includes an audio cable, four mounting screws, a quick start guide in six different languages with illustrations on installing the drive. On the software end, Gigabyte has included the popular Nero Burning Rom (version 5.5.10.49) and a Cyberlink Multimedia CD Pack that includes PowerDVD, PowerProducer and Mediashow. The jewel of the bundle would have to be the free Ridata 2.4x DVD+RW media, which Gigabyte has included to let you start writing away boldly without any worries as it’s a rewritable media.

Bundles of joy..

With that said, let’s proceed on to the technical specifications of the drive.

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