Lite-On SOHW-832S Dual Layer DVD Writer Review


The Lite-On SOHW-832S is loaded with features. Let's start of with the most important, the Dual Layer DVD+R9 technology.

The technology was developed by Philips and MKM Mitsubishi Kagaku Media (MKM) with the intension to improve or expand the optical data storage options available to consumers today.

The DVD+R9 media consists of dual recording layers separated by a spacer and semi transparent metal reflector. The second layer will virtually double the storage capacity from 4.7GB to 8.5GB, giving you the ability to store much more data or backup and burn a DVD9 onto just one disc. These first generation drives will be able to write to these discs at a speed of 2.4X. One of the major challenges during development was to maintain compatibility with the DVD-ROM standard to ensure that the new dual-layer discs would be playable on standalone DVD players. We'll be testing these discs on a variety of standalone players to see if there are any issues or if they do indeed play well.


Lite-On drives feature their own exclusive SMART-Burn technology which stands for "Smart Monitoring & Adapting Recording Technology for Burning". What does this all mean? Well, it is a feature that is actually similar to BURN-Proof. Its main features are:

  • Buffer Under Run Protection
  • Running Optimum Power Calibration
  • Automatic Writing Strategy & Burning Parameters
  • Automatically decreases the burning speed when laser power over margin due to poor media quality or high temperatures.

SMART-X stands for "Smart Monitoring & Adjusting Read-speed Technology for Extraction". This is also a Lite-On innovative technology that was verified and improved over a long period of time before going into mass production. It was basically designed to increase the readability of both audio CD's and VCD's. Drive's that feature SMART-X will rip audio or VCD data as fast as possible with the least amount of errors, even when ripping from poor quality media.

VAS VAS stands for "Vibration Absorber System" and is a feature included on a majority of current Lite-On drives that is designed to reduce vibration and noise during recording and reading.

The Lite-On SOHW-832S is a dual format writer capable at writing to a DVD+-R disc at 8X, provided you use the appropriate high quality media. While there have been some press releases on upcoming 12X drives, this is currently the fastest DVDR write speed available. Plextor is the first to release a 12x burner, but you should see additional manufacturers, including Lite-On release them starting in June.

It's not just a fast DVD Burner though! For those who have been using a second high speed CD writer along with your DVD Burner, there may not be a need for both anymore. Unlike the Optorite DD0203 we reviewed a while back, the Lite-On SOHW-832S has a maximum CDR write/read speed of 40X. That's plenty fast and makes it an excellent all-in-one burning solution. We'll be thoroughly testing its writing capabilities in this review.


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