8X Blu-ray Disc Writer from Sony

Sony's Blu-ray Disc writer is hitting its third incarnation. The new BWU-300S is the third-generation burner, and the price ain't too shabby.

Suggested retail price is $400 for this single- or dual-layer burner. It burns at up to 8X speed, which translates into 25GB (single layer) in 15 minutes or 50GB in 30 minutes. The burner can also record to DVD or CD. The DVD burner records at 16X, CDs up to 48X, and it supports DVD-RAM. For computer backups, thee BWU-300S is ideal.

How is Sony sweetening the deal?

To make sure folks don't forget that this can also play Blu-ray movies, Sony's including Men In Black (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) on Blu-ray, with BD-Live features.

Sony included their BD authoring and viewing software package.

"Sony's new 8X Blu-ray Disc writable drive significantly improves the BD recording speed, a key feature in the optical storage technology," said Wolfgang Schlichting, research director for removable storage at IDC. "The explosion of digital media usage by consumers, whether in the form of high-definition video, music or data, continues to grow at exponential rates. Innovative products such as this next-generation drive will help fuel the acceleration of Blu-ray adoption in the years ahead with more than 100 million drives shipping worldwide by 2011."

If Blu-ray isn't catching on quickly in the home theater, perhaps Sony can entice users through the home office. -Leslie Shapiro