As the shortest DVD writer available right now, the SOHW-812S' short length is going to be a major selling point and should be a perfect fit for even the most cramped small form factor (SFF) PCs such as the MSI MEGA PC series. For daily usage with CD/DVDs, the LITE-ON drive should handle data transfer with ease, given that both Nero CD and DVD Speed returned read speed results that was in-line with its rated CD/DVD read speed.
Our only fuss with the drive is the high CPU usage for audio CD, but it's a minor one considering the good overall performance of the LITE-ON SOHW-812S. When the drive was undertaking our suite of tests, vibration and noise levels were found to be mild and tamed. It would have been a nice touch if LITE-ON had included some form of sound proofing at the tray of the drive for that extra noise control.
The last check with our local distributor has the price of the LITE-ON SOHW-812S set at just S$199 (although prices are quickly falling even as we write). This makes the LITE-ON SOHW-812S an affordable optical storage backup and DVD authoring solution. All in all, we were quite happy with its encouraging performance results and its unique short-bodied built. In addition, if you consider the generous amount of software bundled with the drive and its attractive price point, it's obvious why we're awarding this drive 4.5 stars.
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