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LG has carved out quite a niche for itself in the DVD writer market, producing one great product after another. However, the problem with being ahead of the game is that it’s all too easy to slip up and find the competition passing you on your blind side. But it seems that the R&D guys at LG are well aware of the fact that complacency is the route failure, and once again we see the Korean giant pushing the boundaries of optical technology with the GSA-4120B.
This latest drive from LG is a huge step forward in terms of performance and functionality. First and foremost, this is the first dual layer drive to break out of the LG stable and is only the second such drive that has made its way into the TrustedReviews offices. LG has also broken new ground with single layer DVD+R performance, by rating this drive at 12-speed, rather than the more common place eight-speed. Unfortunately, after hanging onto this drive as long as I could, I was unable to source any 12-speed media to test this capability. Another step forward is the five-speed DVD-RAM performance, but once again there is no media available to take advantage of this feature, although a little future proofing never hurts.
In the past the LG DVD writers have suffered from disappointing CD performance, with the last generation model still only managing 24-speed CD-R and 16-speed CD-RW performance. Thankfully, this is another area that the engineers at LG have addressed and this latest device will write to CD-R media at 40-speed and CD-RW discs at 24-speed, making this a far more acceptable all round solution.
So, let’s take a look at the full spec rating. The GSA-4120B will write to DVD+R discs at 12-speed and DVD+RW at four-speed. Moving onto DVD-R you get the standard eight-speed and similarly four-speed for DVD-RW. As already mentioned DVD-RAM performance moves up to five-speed, but I can’t really comment on what this equates to in real world terms due to a lack of compatible media. And finally the GSA-4120B will write to DVD+R DL discs at the standard 2.4-speed.
Physically, the GSA-4120B looks pretty much identical to previous LG units. The front fascia sports a single eject button, an indicator light and a manual eject hole. The design still looks good though, with the grey section at the base of the fascia dipping under the eject button and creating a wave-like effect.
The drive that LG sent me was a retail package. Inside the box was the drive itself, an IDE cable, an audio cable and a set of mounting screws. Strangely, for a retail package, there was no blank media included. Thankfully LG has finally moved away from B’s Recorder Gold as the bundled burning software, and gone with the much preferred Nero. Unfortunately it’s only Nero Express, but this is still an improvement on B’s Recorder Gold. You also get InCD for packet writing, PowerDVD for movie playback and PowerProducer Gold for a bit of movie making. The price at the top of this review is for the retail box from dabs.com, which was the only online retailer I could find selling it. If however you just want the bare drive there are quite a few online stores selling the OEM unit, with Scan being the cheapest at the time for writing at £68.49.