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Like the Asus, the Toshiba turned in some strange times for DVD+R writing at first, but rerunning the tests a few times saw it turn in times that were consistently as expected. In fact, once it got over its initial hiccup, the SDR-5372 turned in the best set of DVD+R times I’ve seen. DVD-R performance at 16x was also impressive, while the DVD-/+RW results was solid and in line with the competing drives. CD-R performance was up there with the best, but the Toshiba’s game did drop off a bit when it came to CD-RW.
Physically the SDR-5372 looks unremarkable, with a single eject button, an indicator light and a manual eject hole. There’s no headphone socket, volume wheel or CD controls in evidence, but these are getting less common now.
Toshiba sent me a retail box version of the drive, which ships with a pretty generous retail bundle. In the box you’ll find an IDE cable, an audio cable, mounting screws, a blank CD-R disc, a blank DVD+R disc, a paper manual and a CD labelling pen. Software wise, you’re getting Pinnacle Instant CD/DVD and Studio SE – I would have preferred to see Nero, but I guess you can’t have everything.
Unfortunately, after spending more time than I would have liked trying to find the retail box version of this drive for sale, I couldn’t find a single retailer stocking it. In fact eBuyer is the only retailer I can find that’s even stocking the bare drive. That said, at a price of £38.19, the bare drive is a bit of a bargain – it is a few pounds more expensive than the NEC ND-3520A when bought as a bare drive, but then the Toshiba does offer faster performance.
So, once again there’s another DVD writer that’s top of the performance tree, and once again it amazes me that you can get cutting edge performance at such a low price. If you’re in the market for a new DVD writer, the Toshiba SDR-5372 is definitely worth considering, just make sure you flash the firmware.
It seems that the DVD writer performance bar just keeps rising, with the first Toshiba drive to appear in the TrustedReviews lab grabbing the crown. No doubt there will be a faster drive appearing any day now, but for the moment, if you’re after a new drive, the SDR-5372 should be high on your list.