The drive came with a fairly decent bundle of media and documentation.

Dantz Retrospect (Demo), Roxio DVDMax Player, Easy CD & DVD Creator 6 and one DVD+R are included in the box. Typically, we favor Nero over Roxio in terms of bundled burnware, but the contents were acceptable. Undoubtedly, ASUS’ DRW-040P/D and Gigabyte’s W0404A both come with far better bundles. One CD+R seemed kind of weak too, as most of our combo drives at least come with one DVD+R and one DVD-R. Fortunately for Plextor, there are a lot of things they are better at than bundling media.

The included documentation was excellent. However, it is clear that ASUS, Pioneer and NEC have a little more experience with “short and sweet” type documentation. One interesting item we found was that Plextor’s 60-page manual continued to misidentify DVD-R as “DVD minus R” (it’s “DVD dash R”, according to the DVD-R forum).

Click to enlarge.

Compared to some of the other DVDR drives on the market, the 708A deserves an award for design. Most noticeable is the black stripe in the front of the unit. Ejecting the tray reveals that the inner contents of the unit are black. While it might be a stretch, the 708A manual claims that the tray components are black to reduce optical distortion on the read lasers.

Similar to the Pioneer A06, Plextor cut a few holes in the rear of the unit for exhaust.

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  • tazdevl - Monday, September 15, 2003 - link

    TDK is just a rebadged NEC. Only difference is that TDK updates their firmware a tad bit more often and does a better job supporting their drives in general than NEC.

    In any case, both are not in the same league as Sony, Pioneer, Plex or TEAC.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 15, 2003 - link

    Can someone please do a review on the Plextor 708A, Sony DRU510, the new Pioneer and the new Lite-On DVD+-R/RW. Somebody tell Anand.
  • tazdevl - Monday, September 15, 2003 - link

    Litle light reading... according to NPD Sony has a 39% share of the DVD burning market.#1.
  • Ian@CDRlabs - Monday, September 15, 2003 - link

    Ah yeah. You guys wanted to get the "first exclusive look." :)

    I have to agree with tazdevl about Sony's DVD writers. While they have used drives from other companies in the past, the DRU-5xx series is their own design. A design just as ground breaking as the Plextor.


  • KristopherKubicki - Sunday, September 14, 2003 - link

    #23: They did sent it to us. Unfortunately, they sent it to us UPS ground ;) Rather than wait around for our sample I thought it best to go grab one before every review site on the net had a unit.

    I believe the unit is still in transit =)

  • Anonymous User - Sunday, September 14, 2003 - link

    If you had to buy it, why did you say they sent it to you? Just curious. Anandtech is a well-respected site -- you certainly don't have to pretend like manufacturers are doing you favours. In fact, the idea that you guys go out and buy stuff to review just makes you look more impartial and might shame a few people into giving you review samples in the future.
  • Falco. - Sunday, September 14, 2003 - link


    if u have to buy the tdk.. u can have mine relatively cheap :-)
  • KristopherKubicki - Sunday, September 14, 2003 - link

    #20: I have the OEM drive here. Its in an upcoming review.

  • tazdevl - Sunday, September 14, 2003 - link

    #7 I think you're getting into semantics. Your point makes no sense.

    Sony doesn't manufacture their own drives, they outsource manufacturing to other companies, which is not unusual. However, the design is their own and they don't private label anyone else's drives.
  • KristopherKubicki - Sunday, September 14, 2003 - link

    I will see if TDK can send us a drive. We actually went out and bought our 708A, so we may end up doing the same for the TDK.


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