WHAT’S HOT: The Teac CD-W524E drive kit includes the latest version of Roxio Inc.’s software – EasyCD Creator 5.1, which is compatible with Windows XP (earlier versions of Roxio’s software either don’t support XP or require an upgrade patch).
WHAT’S NOT: Though it’s very fast, the CD-W524E was a sub par performer for a 24X/10X/40X drive. It took four minutes, 30 seconds to write our 650MB file of folders to CD-R (the same time posted by the 20X Philips drive), and one minute, 33 seconds to write our 100MB file of folders to CD-RW using packet writing, which put it second-to-last among all the 10X CD-RW drives we’ve tested.
WHAT ELSE: Teac America Inc. offers a one-year warranty and technical support for nine hours on weekdays; tech support calls are not toll-free, however. The better-than-average software bundle includes ArcSoft PhotoBase, an image archiving application.
UPSHOT: Its performance is a little sluggish compared with other 16X offerings, but the Teac CD-W524E comes with a solid array of software tools.
24X/10X/40X, IDE, internal, 2MB buffer, Roxio Easy CD Creator 5.1 and DirectCD 5.1, one-year warranty, nine-hour weekday support (calls are not toll-free).