Package & Accessories
The DRW-1612BL comes in a pretty typical box. The included accessories are:
- 4x Drive Mount Screws
- Software Installation Guide
- Drive Installation Guide
- Nero 188.8.131.52f OEM Suite 2
- ASUS Disc Holder
- 2x Verbatim LightScribe Discs
While the inclusion of burning software (Nero 6 OEM in this case) is a norm, the Disc Holder (pictured below) and the 2 free LightScribe discs are nice extras. The 2 discs were unfortunately missing from the package given to us, so it remains unclear as to whether the two discs included are DVD-R or CD-R media. We can still most likely confirm their presence in the retail package by the prominent "Extra Bonus" label on the box.
Take note that the included Nero 6 only includes Nero Express and Nero Cover Designer. An online upgrade to Nero 7 Premium is available via a special price of 47.99 Euros, but being in Euros those outside Europe are probably not going to be interested, not to mention that I encountered issues using Lightscribe with Nero 7 that I will discuss later.
ASUS also included "ASUS Update" on the Nero CD, a utility that checks for a newer firmware version online and presumably updates your drive’s firmware automatically. There being no updates available at the time of writing, I was unable to confirm that the utility did actually work.
A Closer Look
The drive’s faceplate is off-white (beige?) with several logos denoting the various technologies on it. While silver and black versions are also available, it is a pity that ASUS was not able to use interchangeable faceplates instead.
The disc tray is a standard one. To prevent noise from escaping during operation there is some black material covering the the front of the inside of the drive tray .
There’s only so much you can say about a DVD writer physically, so let’s move on to the speed testing.