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HP 640i


HP 640i

“Burn Flip Burn” could be the title of a movie, but in truth it is simply the claim that enhances the advertising campaign of the HP DVD 640i burner. An IDE model compatible with digital media DVD ± R / ± RW (Single Layer and Dual Layer), and CD-R / RW3, which thanks to the presence of the LightScribe function also facilitates all labeling operations.

Using compatible optical media (currently marketed by HP, Imation, Memorex and Verbatim) after the burning phase just change the side of the CD / DVD, and using the bundled tool, create imaginative labels to be “imprinted” directly on the plastic surface. .
The final result is qualitatively appreciable, much higher than the Yamaha DiscT @ 2 technology which, while achieving the same goal, exploits a peripheral portion of the surface normally used for writing data.

The version currently available is black; the design is rather minimal, with only the drawer opening button, the operating LED and the small hole that allows emergency opening with a hairpin. The logos that certify compatibility with optical media and integrated technologies are highlighted.

Laboratory tests and conclusions

According to laboratory analyzes carried out by Tom’s Hardware Italia, the DVD640i does not seem to have been developed to achieve record-breaking performance. Using Imation media, the writing time on CD was 3.21 minutes, on DVD + R around 6.14 minutes. The average transfer rate for CDs was 4.5 Mb / s, while for DVDs it was 10.7 Mb / s. The maximum access time to CD media reached 169 milliseconds; for DVDs, on the other hand, a slightly higher result recorded in 172 milliseconds.

Undoubtedly the most interesting tests concern the use of the LightScribe function, analyzed in great detail by Hardware Upgrade and Extreme Mhz. The bundled tool, Sure Thing’s LightScribe SE Plus 4, has proven itself up to every need, but HP still recommends the applications marketed by Nero, Cyberlink, Intervideo and Sonic, obviously compatible.

The LightScribe SE Plus 4 wizard allows you to initially decide the type of label to create: on paper, or directly on optical media. The “labeler” enables the acquisition of images in the most common formats, and if desired, allows further editing processing. The Hardware Upgrade technicians, of course, recommend having fun with Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro and then proceeding with the next step.

To write is it sufficient to remember to insert the optical support with the face to be engraved facing downwards? however, if there is confusion, a diligent alert will warn of the error. At this point a dialog window displays all the writing phases, also checking that the optical media is compatible with the LightScribe technology. The sore points come from the times of “impression”, at least according to Extreme Mhz: 8 minutes for a simple decoration in “Draft” mode and 15 minutes for “Best” mode. And if you want to transform your CD / DVD into a work of art, the wait is extended to 13 minutes and a good 25 minutes respectively.

The final result is however always appreciable, perhaps limited by the shades: the supports are gilded and the decorations always with similar colors. The manufacturers, however, seem willing to market media with different colors.

In conclusion, one cannot but be pleasantly surprised by the final result, decidedly professional and totally manageable independently, thanks to an easy and immediate software interface. The cost of digital media is above average, at least by 50 cents. As well as the same burning unit which, with the same speed performance as other models, boasts a rather high list price.