The Shuttle CR40 has been around for a while, but itâ€™s still the latest DVD writer offered by the small form factor specialist. With this in mind, I made sure that the very latest firmware was flashed onto the drive, so that it could perform to the best of its ability.
Now Shuttle might not be the first name that springs to mind when you think of optical drives, but the CR40 is a bit special. This drive has been designed to complement Shuttleâ€™s XPC small form factor PCs, and it performs that duty with aplomb. The CR40 really does look great, which is a strange thing to be saying about something as rudimentary as an optical drive. The disc tray has a brushed aluminium finish, just like the XPC SFF cases. The rest of the fascia is matt silver and the overall effect is pretty striking. Even the eject button and indicator light look good, while the central manual eject hole looks more like a design feature than a functional one.
But as with most things, beauty is only skin deep and once you scratch the surface of the CR40 things donâ€™t look quite so rosy underneath. Specification wise the Shuttle is the most basic drive here, thereâ€™s no DVD-RAM support and no DVD-R dual layer support either. What the CR40 will do is burn DVD+R at 16x, DVD-R at 16x, DVD+RW at 4x, DVD-RW at 4x, DVD+R DL at 4x, CD-R discs at 40x and CD-RW media at 24x.
The performance produced by the CR40 was par for the course when you consider the specs. It turned in the slowest overall time for the tests that it was able to perform, but that was mostly due to the slow DVD+R DL performance. So, if youâ€™re not likely to be writing a lot of dual layer discs, youâ€™ll find the Shuttle to be around the same speed as the LG overall. But itâ€™s worth remembering that dual layer discs are dropping in price all the time, so anyone buying a new DVD writer will probably want to use dual layer discs.