Blu-ray burners have gotten much attention lately, as their speed increases, their prices drop, and they gain the ability to write dual-layer, 50GB discs. However, those drives are still very expensive, and while a select few users are relying on them to back up their Linux ISO collections, everybody else continues to use good old-fashioned DVDs. For all their popularity, though, DVD burners haven't gotten much speedier recently, and even new Serial ATA models are rarely able to write dual-layer discs faster than 8X.
That's where Samsung's new SH-S203N DVD burner comes in. Freshly announced, the drive is a SATA model capable of burning single-layer DVDs at 20X and—most importantly—dual-layer DVD+R discs at 16X. That adds up to 22.16MB/s, which means an 8.5GB DVD+R can be theoretically be burned in as little as six and a half minutes. Samsung claims this drive is the "world's fastest DVD burner," although folks with stacks of dual-layer DVD-R discs will only be able to burn those at 12X. They will nonetheless be able to use the drive's LightScribe support to etch pretty designs onto their discs.
According to Samsung, the SH-S203N is already shipping, and it has a street price of $79.99. Newegg stocks the drive and sells it for a much more reasonable $35.99, though.