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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