Iomega’s Super DVD Writer; Quick Backup On High-Capacity DVDs

If your current computer lacks a built-in DVD burner, and your hard drive is getting clogged with image files, or you just want to plain start getting all those CDs onto DVD's higher capacity storage discs, then the Iomega Super DVD Writer might be for you. This latest model handles all sorts of CD and DVD media and formats, although you should check to ensure that whatever DVD reader you have is compatible with the disc format you choose. Yes, there are a number of formats, and each has its adherents and uses, and the format wars, as ridiculous as they seem to you and me, are ongoing. But to top it off this new product also handles the latest DVD+R double-layer discs, for up to 8.5GB of storage.

The attraction of DVDs over CDs becomes apparent as soon as you start shooting a high-megapixel count digital SLR, and even some of the latest 7-megapixel digicams. For example, on a recent test of Canon's EOS-1Ds Mark II, each shot of raw+JPEG brought 20MB per image file, and sooner than you know it any 4GB card will be filled. With CD backup each night we were going through a pack of CDs quicker than you can imagine and wish we had this DVD burner along for the trip. At around 640-700MB per CD storage capacity that's six CDs per 4GB card load. With a DVD it's one per load. Think of the shelf space alone you save and DVDs begin to make lots of sense. And with an 8GB card filled it's one double-layer DVD per load.

The Super DVD Writer couldn't be simpler to operate. The included software has both a DVD Wizard and Iomega's HotBurn Pro, which is where you drag and drop images like many burning software programs. The unit is USB 2.0 compatible, although you can also work with USB 1, albeit at a slower pace. It's both PC and Mac compatible, although you need OS 10.2.7 or higher for single-layer and OS 10.3.6 for double-layer burning on the Mac. While rated at 16x you'll get different speeds depending on the media used, with DVD+R/RW giving the fastest speed of write (16x) and read (8x), with 16x in Iomega's book being 21.6MB/second and 8x being half that. We used DVD-R format discs, those being the most universally compatible and the ones Iomega suggests using if you're in doubt about the reader you'll use later.

The Super DVD Writer can handle many tasks as well as dragging and dropping images from cards or hard drives, including handling data, MP3s, music and disc copying. All you need do is open the HotBurn software, click on explore and your directory window opens at the top of the screen. You then just drag the folders, etc. onto the HotBurn template, click on settings to choose the device and go. Or you can use the Iomega DVD Wizard as a guide, and it will walk you through whatever you want to do, including creating automated backups on your files.

List priced at $169, which includes the unit, USB 2.0 patch, and software, the Iomega Super DVD Writer makes perfect sense as a desktop companion. The manual, however, is only available online, and takes some navigational skills should you encounter any problems. But given Iomega's track record in the memory storage department you shouldn't have many problems, especially if you've ever burned a CD.

For more information, contact Iomega Corporation, 10955 Vista Sorrento Pkwy., San Diego, CA 92130; (858) 314-7000;