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Pioneer BDR-206MBK BDXL writer review

The Pioneer BDR-206MBK writes to 28GB discs, but is there any point?

For

  • BDXL support
  • Software included

Against

  • Price of discs
  • Slow burning

The Pioneer BDR-206MBK is a first in the disc storage market. Although it looks like a conventional internal Blu-ray writer, it has a neat trick up its sleeve: the ability to write Blu-ray discs in the latest and most expansive optical media format.

Using BDXL disc technology, it can write in triple-layer 100GB or dual-layer 128GB capacities. Brand new, uncharted waters can be expensive though, and the BDR-206MBK is no exception.

Sure, its price has been reduced recently, and it's certainly within the reach of the average person. However, it's not the cost of the writer that's really the problem – it's the price of the discs.

At around £80 for one 100GB disc at present – yes, you read that right – it's just not financially viable and you'll be lucky to find them for sale anywhere.

Thank heavens it at least comes with the software needed to write BDXL discs – in this case CyberLink Power2Go. A 50GB disc costs just £10, so BDXL doesn't make much financial sense unless you really must burn over 100GB of data onto a single disc.

Alternatively, if you need more storage, you could buy a 1TB portable hard drive, which will take up less space than a stack of 10 100GB discs for the same money.

Slow storage

There's also the issue of speed, or lack thereof. In tests, the BDR- 206MBK took around two hours to write 100GB. Admittedly, the data burned to disc was a folder with hundreds of different types and sizes of files, but even so, this is even slower than the lethargic 4x write speed stated by Pioneer.

The final nail in the coffin is that BDXL discs can only be read by a BDXL player – which at the moment is only the BDR-206MBK. If you want to take your media from PC to PC, you'll have to make sure it comes with a supporting player, which is pretty unlikely.

Our advice: wait until the format is adopted and the cost of discs comes right down, or look elsewhere for your storage.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeBlu-ray Writer
Optical Media SupportedBD-R/RE
Compatible Drive Bay Width5.25"
Compatible Drive Bay Height1/2H
Drive InterfaceSATA/150
Media Layer SupportedDouble-layer
Brand NamePioneer
Form FactorInternal
Maximum DVD Write Speed8x
Maximum DVD Rewrite Speed8x
Maximum DVD Read Speed8x
Maximum CD Write Speed24x
Maximum CD Rewrite Speed24x
Maximum CD Read Speed24x
Maximum BD Write Speed6x
Maximum BD Rewrite Speed2x
Maximum BD Read Speed6x
Height42.4 mm
Width148.1 mm
Depth180.1 mm
ManufacturerPioneer Corporation
Product ModelBDR-206MBK
Product NameBDR-206MBK 6x Blu-ray Drive
Manufacturer Part NumberBDR-206MBK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.pioneer.co.uk
Marketing InformationBlu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Writer is the world's first BDXL computer drive.

This revolutionary new product can write up to 128 Gbytes on a single BDXL Quad Layer disc (equal to 27 single layer DVDs). This computer drive allows users to author high-definition Blu-ray Disc content while also delivering the ability for high-capacity data storage. The drive can read BD-ROM discs, read/write triple/dual/single layer BD-R and BD-RE discs, read DVD-ROM, and read/write most DVD and CD recordable media formats.

Pioneer has also incorporated proprietary technologies in this Blu-ray burner to significantly improve recording and playback quality. Its Limit Equalizer technology improves RF signals generated when reading data from Blu-ray Discs and enables improved playback capability. Along with a new, airtight structure that helps keep the drive quiet and protects against contaminants and dust particles, the Disc Vibration Stabilizer feature helps protect the disc from warping during the writing process, resulting in a higher quality written disc.

The BDR-206MBK comes with CyberLink BD software which allows users to write to BDXL media plus author and playback BD and DVD movies as well. For a limited time the BDR-206MBK also comes with a piece of BDXL media, free of charge.

Weight (Approximate)748.4 g