I guess this company doesn’t need my commendations. Mainboards of that brand are well-known and deservedly enjoy popularity among some users. However, all major developers are now trying to extend their product ranges, offering mainboards, graphics cards, optical drives and even PC cases. Gigabyte Technology is in the middle of this list – right before PC cases. But while graphics cards from Gigabyte don’t look like exotic products anymore, optical drives of that brand are still rather rarely seen.
So, I guess it is going to be interesting to examine two such devices from the company, since they are also rarely reviewed.
I think it’s no secret for anyone that Gigabyte’s latest drives have products from Lite-On “under the hood”, but Lite-On seems to have nothing to do with the junior model of the series. Judging by the construction of the device, BTC Company had a hand in its development. This practice is well established – many brands expand their product ranges this way, leaving the priority direction by themselves and giving everything else out to their OEM partners.
But OEM can be different, you know. Drives from Lite-On don’t look like regular Lite-Ons when they are coming out under the Sony brand due to different firmware versions, for example. Sometimes, device integration differs among the clients (Sony’s drives use another optical pickup unit).
Unfortunately, the manufacturer isn’t verbose about its produce and provides just the bare minimum of information. It’s like they advise us to trust the brand and skip reading the specs. That’s why I’m going spend more time testing the drives in practice rather than describing them in theory, but we can’t start out without having some basic data about the products. The junior model comes first.
The drive is shipped in a retail package:
The box is colorful and of a curious design: the front side has a cardboard “door” fastened with a sticker. Some basic info about the product can be read from the face panel, but after opening the door up you can read a more detailed specification. That’s handy, of course. And original, too.
No one can call Gigabyte a miser as the package contains a pack of mounting screws, a 4x blank DVD+RW disc from Ritek (rewriting DVD+RWs at 4x speed is one of this drive’s declared fortes), and software for recording and playing DVD discs. The user manual is quite comprehensive as it not just covers the banal installation procedure and the meanings of the front-panel buttons, but also contains the drive’s specs, at least more detailed that those you will find at the manufacturer’s website.