Computer and peripheral maker Asus wants customers to know it has jumped on the Blu-ray bandwagon with both feet, embracing the high-definition optical format all the way across its product lines. (This contrasts with companies like Apple, which has yet to offer a single Macintosh system with built-in Blu-ray capability.) However, Asus realizes folks with capable machines might now want to replace them to get into Blu-ray—and to that end the company has announced its new BW-12D1S-U external Blu-ray burner, which Asus says is the fastest in the world with a 12× burn speed. And the drive features an unusual “diamond” aesthetic that can be used either horizontally or vertically—but, either way, you’re not going to be stacking anything on top of it.
As a player, the BW-12D1S-U supports Blu-ray 3D technology, so folks with Blu-ray capable displays and HDTVs can tap into 3D content and games. Via the included CyberLink PowerDVD 10 software, users can even do real-time 2D-to-3D conversion with just a button click to add depth to boring old 2D content—users can also upscale standard-definition content to 1080p. The drive supports Dolby Digital EX and DTS-HD 5.1 audio, and features a diamond-inspired case design with an “ice on fire” blue power indicator. And folks who are looking to archive video and other data to Blu-ray media will appreciate the 12× burn speed and USB 3.0 interface (backward compatible to USB 2.0) that makes sure all the data gets across with plenty of time to spare—theoretically, the drive can burn a 50 GB of data to Blu-ray media in under 15 minutes..
Asus hasn’t released any pricing information on the BW-12D1S-U or announced any availability dates, but the drive’s feature set may put it in high demand amongst home theater PC folks looking for serious Blu-ray capabilities.