Joining Plextor and Sony in the first-in-field 8X DVD+R category is TDK's AID+840, a Multiformat DVD Burner boasting 8X DVD+R, 4X DVD-R, 4X DVD+RW, and 2X DVD-RW. The drive also offers 40X CD recording speed, again a welcome speed jump that eliminates embarrassingly slow CD-R speed as the ugly secret of DVD recording drives.
The TDK got one shot at 8X DVD+R and made the most of it, tearing off our 4.35GB test project in a fleet, to-spec 8:32. It also performed well with that and other projects using DVD-R, DVD+RW, and CD-R media from our Verbatim test stash. Tested on the Compaq Pentium 4, from installation to testing and burning, everything with IndiDVD went according to Hoyle.
TDK distinguishes IndiDVD with a well-thought out, generous software bundle. Eschewing the tendency to ship frustratingly feature-limited recording tools in DVD±R/RW packages, TDK has included the full version of Roxio's Easy CD & DVD Creator 6. This gives users DVD Builder, for basic DVD movie creation; Disc Copier, which copies all manner of non-copyright-protected discs, including DVD-Video for set-top playback; Creator Classic for the full range of CD recording tasks; Drag-to-Disc, the recently renamed DirectCD for variable-length packet writing; and a fair CD/DVD label design tool (are these ever more than "fair"?).
Rounding out the package are PhotoSuite Lite (a stripped-down version of a Roxio image management/slideshow creation tool), and DVDMax, PC-DVD playback software that's useful if you plan to make indiDVD your first option for watching DVDs on your computer (here's hoping your PC isn't your first option for watching DVDs in general).
TDK IndiDVD AID+840 8x4x4x2 DVD±RW Drive: $249.99
System Requirements: Pentium 2 300mHz with 128MB RAM running Windows 2000 Pro/XP Home & Pro with 1GB free HDD space; Pentium 3 800mHz with 256MB RAM and 10GB free HDD space for MyDVD projects