DVD recorder drives are at the top of the food chain until drives based on Blu-ray or HD-DVD start showing up. HP’s DVD 740i Writer drive supports double-layer media and LightScribe technology, putting it at the top of the heap for the current DVD technology.
The drive is available in internal (that we used) and external models. It supports all major formats including CD-R (40x), CD-RW (32x), DVD-R (16x), DVD-RW (8x), DVD-R DL (8x), DVD+R (16x), DVD+RW (6x), and DVD+R DL (4x).
The Lightscribe technology works with Lightscribe media (see the figure). The unadulterated media has a gold light sheen. Other colors will be available soon. Grayscale text and images can be drawn on this side of the media using the drive’s lasers. Just flip the disk over after digital data is written to print the images on the disk.
Lightscribe write time is based upon the complexity of the text and images. Plain black text is fastest and can take a few minutes. Complex, full disk images can take a good bit longer but the results are worth the wait. Incremental updates are possible. Just reserve an area for writing new text and images.
HP provides Lightscribe labling software and Nero DVD burning software with each drive. HP provided a collection of media, including double-layer DVDs. Lightscribe media costs a little more but the results are worth the price.