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(Pocket-lint) - When Betamax launched in the UK some 20 odd years ago it was a revolutionary format that brought the power of the cinema into your living room. Soon after VHS launched offering the same thing. Suddenly to an unknowing public you had two formats vying for public attention, in the end as with all format wars there has to be a winner and that winner was VHS. The same is currently happening to the DVD recorder industry at the moment with plenty of formats all professing to be the right choice. Once again the consumer has been asked to choose.

Iomega, however are asking something different, in fact, it’s more a case of having your cake and eating it, for their latest drive - the Super DVD Writer professes to be able to play and record all DVD and CD formats currently available on the market.

With currently over nine different CD and DVD disc formats for the PC user this drive aims to quell all the confusion, by being able to play and record on all of them. Packaged with all the right software to get you started, you can create your own Music or Data CDs, as well as, DVD archiving and presentations to share with colleagues or your family.

Depending on what media you are creating will depend on the speed available to you. For DVD+RW it is 4x write, 2.4x rewrite and 12x read. For DVD-RW it’s 4x write, 2x rewrite and 12x read. DVD-RAMs are read at 3x while the drive processes CD-RWs at 24 write, 16x rewrite and 32x read making this a good all round performer.


For those wanting to just burn CDs there are faster models out there. However for the recording enthusiast that wants to create multiple media formats this drive makes perfect sense.

Whether it's via the portable model (it connects to your PC or Mac via a USB2.0 or Firewire cable) or the internal drive (pictured), the inclusion of all software you'll need makes for an easy install. Be warned however, to record DVD's you will need almost 5Gb of space hard drive space at a time.

Whether you opt for the portable option or the internal drive this is certainly a good way of protecting yourself against the format wars. If however you're not too fussed by the DVD format then you really would be better off choosing a model a lot cheaper as prices are crashing in the race to the optimal 16x DVD Write speed.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 13 November 2003.