HP's LightScribe technology takes another bow.
Much as I like to see records broken, the DVD writer speed battle has become a little dull. Like Formula 1, recent times have seen the race reduced to an endless procession where no-one really cares about a quarter second saved here or a half second shaved off there. Thankfully, for every multitude of samey speed chasers there is always one that want to implement a little more functionality.
The GSA-4166B from LG is a drive which dares to be different. Sure, it can match the speeds of all but the zippiest of burners (16x DVD +/- R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD–RW, 8x DL DVD+R, 4x DL DVD-R and even 5x DVD-RAM) but this isn’t its party piece. That accolade belongs to a technology called “LightScribe”.
Lightscribe, which was developed by HP towards the end of last year, uses the same laser which burns your data to produce high quality engraved labels. Simply burn your disc, flip it over and then “burn” the label. Any design can be reproduced meaning track lists and even complicated album artwork are within your grasp. Obviously there are no problems with smudging and fading like you get with pens or the peeling which occurs with sticky labels.
Sadly, there is a snag and that is you need LightScribe CDs and DVDs to get labels out of the laser. Naturally, LightScribe media is more expensive than standard discs too (around 80p each) so you might want to save them for more special recordings. The drive doesn’t come cheap either at £69.99 including VAT, but if you pride diversity in your drives over every tiny millisecond and you’re an advocate of DVD-RAM this could be the burner for you.
The GSA-4166B will appear in shops this month with a choice of either black or silver bezels. You’ll be able to pick it out as the artsy one holding the easel.