[ Go to January 1997 Table of Contents ]

Interactive Buyer's Guide
CD-ROM Drives

- Plasmon Afterburner CDR4240e

- Product Comparisons
- More Standalone Reviews

WinLab Reviews
Plasmon Afterburner CDR4240e
Afterburner Propels You to the World of CD-

-- by James E. Powell

Novice CD-ROM creators and would-be CD producers have a new creative outlet. The Afterburner CDR4240e is a Plug-and-Play 2X write/4X play CD-Recordable drive with software that lets you make your own CDs.

The Afterburner comes in an internal version ($599) or an external ($699) SCSI drive version. Various packaging options include a SCSI card or exclude software. I tested the external SCSI model with the AdvanSys AdvanSCSI PCI ABP930 adapter card.

Setup on my AST Pentium 166 system running Windows 95 was a breeze. The Adaptec Easy-CD Pro software properly identified the Afterburner drive and its capabilities. To record a CD, you can write files on the fly or create an image on your hard disk to be copied in its entirety. The Afterburner supports a variety of recording formats, including CD-I , CD-ROM XA and four recording options (track-at-once, packet writing, multisession and disc-at-once, the last being best for audio CDs)

To get started, I inserted a fresh CD-R disc in the tray, dragged and dropped files from Windows 95 Explorer into the main Easy-CD Pro screen, and clicked on the Write button. The Easy-CD Pro software allows you a trial run to ensure that you won't hit the buffer underrun (and thus create an unusable disc). Creating a 613MB CD took 35 minutes to test and just under 37 minutes to write.

The Afterburner 4240 reports itself as a Type 5 device, so it can work as a "normal" CD-ROM drive. As a 4X drive, its random access time is approximately 230 milliseconds, making it faster than previous models but by no means a speed demon in these days of 8X and 12X drives.

The Afterburner's easy setup and use makes it a good choice, especially for the newcomer to recordable CD.

W Info File

Plasmon Afterburner CDR4240e
Price: Internal with software, $599; external with software, $699
Pros: Easy setup; software
Cons: Slow 4X playback
Platforms: 3x, 95, NT
Plasmon Data
800-451-6845, 612-946-4100
WinMag Box Score: 4.0

Copyright 1997 CMP Media Inc.

(From Windows Magazine, January 1997, page 148.)