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Suds McSoapdish
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BW-12D1S-U: USB 3 External Blu-ray

Procrastination is certainly no virtue. We’ve had since about 2006 to get with the program and move on to true HD optical media, but for many people further convincing has been in order. After all, the very capable and hardworking DVD format has been with us for a decade and a half now, and it’s easy to get used to a good thing.

It’s a lot easier to get used to something better though. Even this writer has been slow to make the change initially, but it’s safe to say that Blu-ray has reached its maturation point. Devices such as the new BW-12D1S-U prove this amply. Even better, more recent movie releases, filmed natively in 1080p, have really driven home the importance of making the switch. They just don’t look good in the much lower fidelity of DVD.

Look into the blue...

Tech cornucopia

With the BW-12D1S-U, it’s like ASUS engineers and designers decided to go all out and pretty much throw every new optical media-related innovation into the mix, which is a good thing for us. As you can see above, this is an external drive, so it’ll work great with any PC or laptop and doesn’t require the ritualistic opening of the case/finding room for the cables you get with internal drives (not that there’s anything wrong with that, fiddling with PC hardware is a joy unto itself).

Take note of the blue here below. It’s not just an aesthetic via the oversized blue power indicator. The BW-12D1S-U uses USB 3.0 as its native interface, coded in a cool blue for your convenience. As you may well know, USB 3.0 operates at up to ten times faster than USB 2.0. However, it’s fully backward compatible so all existing USB ports work great.

All-new and super fast USB 3.0 interface

Speed is of the essence with any modern technology, hence the BW-12D1S-U achieves 12X Blu-ray Disc burn speeds, which is quite a feat. Technically it can write a full 50GB disc in 15 minutes or less! This is helped along by the inclusion of Optical Tuning Strategy (OTS) technology, which alters drive and laser performance based on the amount of data being written and the optical media used. It reduces device wear and tear, eliminates needless energy wastage, and also improves speed too.

It doesn’t stop there either; the BW-12D1S-U is a fully 3D-enabled Blu-ray drive, supporting all the newest 3D titles for that deeper impact and cinema experience. It can even enhance certain 2D Blu-ray movies with a real time add-on 3D effect, with the right software. While on the subject of enhancement, lest we neglect to mention the BW-12D1S-U comes configured for DVD upscaling too. While not as good as content formatted in 1080p natively, upscaling does boost the resolution of non-HD material so it’s that much sharper, cleaner and nicer to look at. Meanwhile, audiophiles will rejoice upon hearing about the inclusion of both Dolby EX and 5.1-channel DTS-HD support too.

Dressed for success

As an external drive, the BW-12D1S-U needs to look good sitting on your desktop or in your living room, and so once more ASUS Design has flown in to rescue us from the mundane and bland OEM “charm” of so many a generic Blu-ray drive.

In addition to the sturdy, diamond-inspired form factor, there’s that eye-catching blue light to remind you this is HD you’re dealing with, plus a convenient stand for vertical placement. The BW-12D1S-U can also be placed horizontally, as it comes with rubber feet for a good grip on any surface.

Stand and deliver

So, time to spin on forward. Kiss your trusty DVD drive goodbye, thank it for a long and distinguished career of great service, and join the high definition era in style.

Let us know how that goes for you – leave your comments below!

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