Taking the GGW-H10NI for a quick spin

Until newer drives arrive, the LG GGW-H10NI will remain as the ultimate all-in-one player offering users the ability to use Blu-ray and HD DVD formats while still supporting all existing DVD and CD reading and writing modes. So you can use it for watching high-definition content as well as storing massive amounts of data (in a single disc), that is if you can afford it.

Here are some basic specs for the GGW-H10NI, full details here.

When burning BD-R media at 4x we were able to fill an entire 25GB disc in just under 28 minutes which is just under one gigabyte per minute. Burning dual layer 50GB media is going to take almost twice as long. Burning DVD discs was also done quite quickly despite only working at the spec'ed 8x for DVD+RW media and 6x for DVD-RW media. The CD burning feature also works as expected, and while not setting any new speed records the writing quality was excellent.

While sitting on our PC case the GGW-H10N looked like a typical SATA optical drive, it still managed to impress us when working with standard DVD media. The 4MB buffer that features buffer underrun seemed to work just right and did not cripple our ability of multi-tasking heavily while burning discs.

For $850 you do not get a great deal with the GGW-H10NI, but LG has thrown in a few cables and essential software. The included software consists of Power2Go, Power Backup, PowerProducer and PowerDVD. Add to that a basic manual, some mounting screws along with a SATA power and data cable. The drive does come with a bonus blank Blu-ray 25GB re-writable disc which is a nice little addition. Other than this for your money you just get the GGW-H10NI drive itself which is impressive but still makes justifying the price tag a little difficult for us.

The bottom line for us is that LG has got it working just right from the very beginning with a product that feels as solid as those CD and DVD burners that have years in the market. For buyers it is also a good beginning, if you just don't have the kind of cash the H10NI requires, as we mentioned before LG themselves plan to unleash the second generation of PC drives shortly. Look forward to the GGW-H20LI which is the successor of this drive, a bit speedier and in the $500 price range. For $100 less, the GGC-H20LI will also read both formats but won't burn Blu-ray discs.