Plextor PX-B310U External Blu-ray Combo Drive

Jul 3rd, 2009 | By

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Plextor PX-B310U External Blu-ray Combo Drive

: 07/3/09 – 05:13:16 AM


: Optical Devices

Page 1 : Index

: Plextor

The name Plextor is almost synonymous with quality optical drive solutions. For over ten years, if you wanted a quality internal or external optical drive you could always count on Plextor to deliver a top notch product. From CD-ROMs to Blu-Ray, they have remained at the forefront.


Today we welcome Plextor with their external BD Super Combo Multi drive, the PX-B310U. With the ability to read Blu-ray discs and still write DVD and CD's, the PX-B310 is aiming to fulfill your optical drive needs.

Page 2 : Package, Features and Specifications

The packaging is rather simple and effective. A white and blue themed box lists pretty much all of the information that would want to know about the PX-B310U.

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Sides list out all of the accessories in the package along with the included software.

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Once we pry open the top, the drive is well protected inside a Styrofoam shell.

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Accessories include stand, USB cable, power adapter, quick installation guide and software disc.


The drive is enclosed in a glossy black case with a large blue Blu-ray log on the top. The front of the disc tray lists out the supported formats which is essentially everything but HD-DVD. The rear of the drive has the USB and power connection along with a toggle on/off switch.

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On the sides are grooves that work with the stand to keep the drive from sliding back and forth. If you choose to forgo the stand, there are four rubber feet on the bottom that also serve to keep the drive in place.

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Next I grabbed the features and specifications for the PX-B310U straight from Plextor's product page here.


disc panel



Here is a snippet from the features:

Turn your PC into a Hi-Def Entertainment System

Plextor's External USB PX-B310U BD Combo Super Multi Drive gives you an all-in-one solution for playing back Blu-ray Discs, while maintaining the capability of archiving data onto CD or DVD. The PX-B310U BD Combo Drive reads BDs at 6x, writes to DVDs at 16x, and writes to CDs at 48x. It comes bundled with Cyberlink's BD Suite for the ultimate in High Definition playback and CD/DVD authoring. With a Plextor drive and Blu-ray, you have a complete entertainment PC.

Power Software for all your digital media needs.

Take control of several powerful features of Plextor drives. With the power of PlexUTILITIES for Windows® you now have extra support for your Plextor hardware. PlexUTILITIES allows you to view basic and advance drive information as well as offering high quality audio and multimedia capabilities.

By allowing you to measure and control the burn quality of every disc on a Windows® platform, PlexUTILITIES makes coasters a thing of the past. The distinctive design in PlexUTILITIES allows ease of use for newcomers without compromising on the powerful features that experienced burners demand.

We've had a look at the specs on paper, now let's take the PX-B310U for a spin.

Page 3 : Installation and Testing

Installation is as simple as connecting the USB cable and plugging in the power and you are ready to go. There is a blue LED on the front that lights up during drive activity.


Installing the included software is as simple as popping in the disc and clicking a few buttons and you are good to go.


While the included software will satisfy all of your needs, for testing purposes I am going to use Nero CD/DVD Speed for testing, version The following system was used for testing:

CPU: Intel E4300
MB: Gigabyte P35-DS3R
RAM: G.Skill 4GB PC6400 F2-6400CL4D-4GBHK
Video: Sapphire Radeon HD4550 512MB
PSU: Antec Earthwatts 430W
HD: Seagate 1TB SATA
Cases: Thermaltake DH101
OS: Microsoft Windows XP w SP3

The first test will be burning on a Phillips 16X DVD-R.


As you can see it is a nice steady climb throughout to 16x speeds. The buffer remained close to 100% the whole time. The disc was written in just under 5-1/2 minutes.


Benchmark results look good as well, with both random and full access times coming in under the listed specs of 150ms and 250ms respectively.


With quite a few PI errors and failures the disc received a quality score of 48 out of 100, which is kind of low. A perfect surface scan shows that it isn't do due a scratched disc.




Next up I threw in a Memorex 16x DVD+R disc and ran it through the tests.


Results nearly mirror the results from the Phillips disc with a nice steady arc throughout the burn process. Again the disc was burned in just under 5-1/2 minutes.


Benchmark results also look good with random and full access times coming in under the advertised specs.


Disc quality came in a bit better on the DVD+R disc at 70 out of 100. Not quite up to what we would hope, but still a good readable disc that has not shown any errors. PI failures dropped quite a bit and another good surface scan.




For Blu-Ray testing I ran it through the benchmark test using the Dark Knight movie. Read speeds didn't quite match the 6x listed and topped out just over 4x. Random access came in well under the 250ms advertised speed at 89ms.


Page 4 : Conclusion

While Blu-ray might have won the HD war, the platform really hasn't gained too much for use as a storage medium but is gaining some ground with high definition movies. With the PX-B310U you get an external DVD burner with a bonus, the added ability to watch Blu-ray discs. The included suite of PlexUtilities and Cyberlink BD Suite gives you everything you need to fully utilize DVD burning and Blu-ray watching right out of the box.


While the quality of the discs burned may not be as great as we expected, I have yet to burn any coasters with the drive in almost two weeks of use. With the need for a power supply the portability is somewhat limited, but this also allows for greater write speeds and a steadier power source. If you're looking for an external DVD Writer and would like the added ability of viewing some HD entertainment, the PX-8310U deservers a look.


  • Full software suite

  • Blu-ray playback
  • Attractive black enclosure


  • Poor writing quality

Overclockers Online would like to thank Plextor for making this review possible.

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