Pioneer BDR-XD07UHD Review

Pioneer BDR-XD07UHD Review

Pioneer is a Japanese brand that is mostly known for their digital entertainment products. Especially their car music systems, such as stereos, speakers and of course subwoofers. But they also have other digital devices as well. Like home media players and smaller devices like disc drives for your laptop. And most of them not only play DVD’s but also Blu-rays. The new Pioneer BDR-XD07UHD is the prime example of that. It’s the worlds smallest and lightest Blu-ray drive that we have reviewed and so far we are impressed! Plus it supports the playback of Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray discs!

Technical Specification

  • Dimensions: 133×133×15 mm / 5.2×5.2×0.6″
  • Weight: 230 g / 8.11 oz
  • Blu-Ray Writing Speed: Up to 6x BD-R
  • DVD Writing Speed: Up to 8x DVD+RW
  • CD Writing Speed: Up to 24x CD-R
  • Features: M-DISC, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, PowerRead, Auto Quiet mode
  • Compatibility: Windows and Mac operating systems

In The Box

  • Pioneer BDR-XD07UHD
  • USB Micro B to USB-A 3.0 cable
  • USB-A to USB-C adapter
  • CyberLink Media Suite 10 product key
  • Case

Design

The Pioneer BDR-XD07UHD is one of the most well designed optical drive. First, as I mentioned it’s the worlds smallest and lightest Blu-ray drive. It has an overall dimension of 133×133×15 mm / 5.2×5.2×0.6″. And the most important part is that that’s the actual footprint as well. Unlike many of the other top DVD drives, the BDR-XD07UHD doesn’t open to the front. Instead, Pioneer has taken a note from CD players that used to be really popular during the early 2000’s. What I mean by that, is that the cover is basically a lid that opens upwards. So you just place the disc onto the tray and close it up. As in you don’t have a tray that slides out, so you don’t need any free space at the front.

And despite that, you don’t need to worry about the durability either. It has a really high build quality and that’s evident from even the type of plastic used. The drive it self is matte black that gives it a sleek look. The only thing that stands out from the overall design is the “open” button and the plastic around it. It even has a blue LED light built into it.

Pioneer BDR-XD07UHD Design

Besides the drive, you will also receive a USB-A cable and a USB-C adapter. Which is really useful now that many brands have started to add USB-C ports to their computers. Such as Apple for example. The main USB-A cable though is pretty short. As in you can definitely use it as long as you keep the drive near your port. So preferably near a laptop. You will also receive a very nice case where you can keep the drive inside. It’s mainly designed for if you take bring the drive with you to work for example. It keeps it from receiving scratches and the extra padding does keep the drive safer as well. For anything else though it’s useless.

Performance

This incredibly small design does come at a cost though. And that’s that the BDR-XD07UHD isn’t the worlds fastest Blu-ray drive. In terms of speed, it’s actually average with the 6x read and write speed for Blu-ray discs. The maximum read and write speeds for DVD’s and CD’s are the standard 8x and 24x. Now there are faster external Blu-ray drives out there as well but not only are they almost 3x bigger but they also require an external power source. The BDR-XD07UHD only connects to your computer with the single USB-A connector. You do need to make sure that your computer has a USB 3.0 port though.

Now what does make this drive special is that it also supports 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs as well. As in you can watch the incredibly high quality 4K Blu-ray movies with it. It does not support burning them though, only playback.

The drive does also have a bunch of other features like PowerRead, PureRead and Auto Quiet mode. All of these features have their own usability, especially the PowerRead feature that means that even if your disc has some fingerprints or minor scratches on the surface, the drive should still be able to read it. The Auto Quiet mode I’m not a huge fan of. It basically makes the drive quieter by lowering the transfer speed. So it’s useful when you are watching a movie but definitely not when you are burning discs.

And as you are probably aware, you do need a special program for burning Blu-ray discs. That’s why the drive also comes with a product key for the CyberLink Media Suite 10, which you can download for free off their website. Unfortunately, that program is only compatible with Windows. That said, the drive itself does work with Mac operating systems as well.

Conclusion

The Pioneer BDR-XD07UHD is definitely one of the nicest external optical drives out there. It has that premium build quality and a really well put together design. So overall a solid product. The only issue for me is the $135 retail price, which is definitely expensive. Then again there aren’t many USB drives that are capable of playing 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays. So if that’s something you value, then this drive is worth taking a look at.