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Lite-On LTR-32123S

WHAT'S HOT: The first 32X/12X/40X drive to arrive at our Test Center impressed us with quick write speeds: 3 minutes, 43 seconds to write 650 MB to CD-R on the fly, nearly half a minute faster than the speediest 24X drive on the chart. And in our CD-RW packet-writing testing, the Lite-On copied a folder containing 100MB of files to a CD-RW disc in 1 minute, 6 seconds--10 seconds faster than the fastest 24X/10X/40X.

WHAT'S NOT: Lite-On provides only a sparse software bundle and a somewhat limited 9 hours per day of weekday tech support. You must pay for the long- distance charges, too.

WHAT ELSE: Its time of 3 minutes, 12 seconds to install Microsoft's Office 2000 Small Business Edition (disc 1) matched most of the 24X/10X/40X drives we've tested. It wasn't the fastest, however. That honor goes to the Teac CD- W524E with its time of 3 minutes, 3 seconds.

UPSHOT: If you're itching to try out the fast new 32X generation, this drive is fast, but slim tech support and lack of software are a couple of shortcomings. By Alexandra Krasne

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