March 1
Toshiba Launches First Combo CD-RW/DVD-ROM Drive
$350 system reads 17 GB DVDs, reads/writes CDs

by David Nagel
Senior producer

Toshiba America Electronic Components has launched the first combination DC-RW/DVD-ROM drive, which it's now selling directly to consumers and through traditional distributors. The drive can read and write 650 MB CDs and read DVDs up to a capacity of 17 GB (double-sided, double-layered). The internal IDE drive, called SD-R1002, is currently priced at $349 and ships only with Windows software, and the company says it has no plans to release a Mac driver. However, third-party utilities will work with the drive, according to the company. No third parties currently offer drivers for the SD-R1002, but FWB, for example, does offer custom driver development free for its customers (although you would have to part with the device for five to 10 days). A company spokesman says there's no plan currently to offer support for the device on future releases of its CD-ROM Toolkit.

The drive offers 4X CD writing speeds with 24X CD playback, as well as 4X DVD playback.

Toshiba says the first 1,000 people to order the product through their Web site,, will receive seven CD-R and three CD-RW discs free.

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