March 20
Sony To Release Faster CD-RWs
Four new drives offer 10x recording

by David Nagel
Senior Producer

Sony Electronics, San Jose, Calif., is expanding its line of Spressa CD-RW drives with the introduction next month of four new models, including one that supports FireWire. Each one offers 10x maximum recording speed, which amounts to a 650 MB burn in about seven minutes. Sony says it will continue to offer its 4x Spressa models at reduced prices.

The new FireWire CD-RW, the Spressa i.Link, offers IEEE 1394 (FireWire) connectivity, along with 10x recording, 4x writing and 32x reading. It comes bundled with Discribe CD Creation software for Macintosh, CD Extreme for Windows, abCD for Windows, Retrospect Express for Mac and Windows and Mixman Studio. The drive is compatible with Mac OS 8.6 and higher and Windows 98 Second Edition or higher. It's expected to sell for $399.

The other three drives introduced today offer the same software and speeds and are offered in internal and external SCSI and internal EIDE configurations. The SCSI models allow for 1,200 KB per second maximum sustained transfers in write mode, 1,500 KB per second in record mode and 4,800 KB per second in read mode. They offer a 150 millisecond access time and come with 4 MB buffer. They should sell for $379 (external) and $329 (internal) when they arrive in April. The EIDE drive comes with an estimated street price of $299.

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