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 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.

cd pouch  ASUS DRW 1612BL Lightscribe Drive

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.

box  ASUS DRW 1612BL Lightscribe Drive

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

front  ASUS DRW 1612BL Lightscribe Drive

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.

rear  ASUS DRW 1612BL Lightscribe Drive

The rear features the typical connectors – From left to right: Digital Audio, Analog Audio, IDE Master/Slave/Cable Select Settings, IDE Interface, Molex Power.

open tray  ASUS DRW 1612BL Lightscribe Drive

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 .

drive tray  ASUS DRW 1612BL Lightscribe Drive

There’s only so much you can say about a DVD writer physically, so let’s move on to the speed testing.