Plextor has released its new rewriteable CD drive (CD-RW) the PlexWriter 12/10/32A. The PlexWriter comes with a write speed of 12X, via the IDE interface, and offers 10X rewrites – not yet available to users of SCSI drives. To achieve the higher write speeds users will need CD-R media that’s rated for 12X (available for less than US$2 a disc in quantity) and CD-RW media rated at 10X. Though not widely available yet, 10X-optimized CD-RW media will be priced for less than $5 per disc. Plextor ships the drive with one blank 10X CD-RW disc, as well as one blank 12X CD-R disc. The PlexWriter 12/10/32A incorporates a 2MB buffer and the new Burn-Proof technology. Licensed from Sanyo Electric, the technology is designed to virtually eliminate bad discs caused by buffer underrun errors – a premature interruption in the flow of data. Normally when a drive’s cache runs out of data there is no way to go back and resume the write process. However, drives enabled with Burn-Proof technology can realign the write laser at the precise position where writing was interrupted, so the process may continue smoothly. Of course, if the drive has to use Burn-Proof, it will take a little longer to complete the write, but that’s a small price to pay to avoid ruining a disc. Plextor now ships all its drives, including the PlexWriter 12/10/32A, with the latest versions of Adaptec’s Easy CD Creator mastering software and DirectCD packet-writing software: 4.02 and 3.01. Plextor’s software bundle also includes the company’s proprietary AudioFS drivers, which allow transparent audio extraction via the standard Windows interface; an audio capture program; a media player; and Plextor Manager 2000. The PlexWriter 12/10/32A is priced at US$329. Plextor America is in Santa Clara, Calif., and can be reached at

Prices listed are in US currency.