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Old August 11, 2008, 06:01 PM
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Default Lg Gbw-h20l

When we reviewed LG’s GGW-H20L Blu-ray burner in December 2007 we applauded its superior BD-R write speeds and ability to also read HD DVD media. Now that the latter feature is irrelevant, we welcome LG’s new GBW-H20L. It boasts all the same DVD and BD read and write specs as its predecessor, sans the HD DVD reader—and comes with a healthy price cut

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LG makes next-gen optical seem like a viable option.

LG remains the only manufacturer offering 6x write speeds for BD-R media, and it’s a notable distinction. Even when burning to 2x media, LG’s drives are far speedier than the 4x competition at filling a BD-R disc with 22.5GB of data—taking just over 20 minutes (the 4x Lite On drive we reviewed last month took 48 minutes to complete that task!).

LG’s BD burner offers a 16x DVD+R write rating. While it’s shy of the 20x rating you’ll find on top-end dedicated DVD drives, we’re satisfied with the real-world results. When writing 4.38GB of data to a singled-layer DVD+R disc, LG’s GBW-H20L took 5:43 (min:sec), compared with the Lab record time of 5:00 set by Samsung’s SH-S203 DVD drive. Most Blu-ray burners we’ve reviewed have capped DVD+R speeds at 8x or 12x, including the Lite On drive reviewed last month, which took 7:09 to fill a single-layer DVD.

While LG’s previous GGW-H20L wins the majority of our benchmarks, the GBW-H20L comes well within spitting distance of that drive. And at $280, the GBW-H20L is almost $200 less than its predecessor. We like that

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