Pioneer BDR-XS07UHD Review

Pioneer BDR-XS07UHD Review

Even though it seems like discs are apart of the past, it doesn’t appear like that’s actually the case. Blu-ray discs are still insanely popular and even the newest PS5 has a Blu-ray drive. Sure they have also created a digital version but the standard PS5 is still clearly more popular. And not only that, when you look at different marketplaces, the amount of different optical drives sold is still crazy. And that has caused kind of a deficit.

Luckily though, there’s enough brands that have their own drives. Such as Pioneer for example, whose products I have written plenty of reviews already. And today it’s time to review their so called most premium external Blu-Ray drive, the Pioneer BDR-XS07UHD!

Technical Specification

  • Dimensions: 135×135×18 mm / 5.3×5.3×0.7″
  • Weight: 280 g / 0.6 lbs
  • Loading type: Slot
  • Blu-Ray Writing Speed: Up to 6x BD-R
  • DVD Writing Speed: Up to 8x DVD-R
  • CD Writing Speed: Up to 24x CD-R
  • Features: M-DISC, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, PowerRead, Auto Quiet mode
  • Compatibility: Windows and Mac OS

In The Box

  • Pioneer BDR-XS07UHD
  • USB-C to USB-C cable
  • USB-C to USB-A cable
  • Vertical stand
  • CyberLink Media Suite 10 product key

Design

External drives are really nothing special in terms of their design. If you have seen a couple before then you have basically seen them all. Overall they are pretty much the same. And the BDR-XS07UHD is no exception. It has a square shape with an overall footprint of 135×135 mm / 5.3×5.3″. That’s the largest area that you’ll need around it. Compared to the other best external Blu-ray drives, it is also bit thinner as it’s only 18 mm / 0.7″.

Pioneer BDR-XS07UHD Design

Now what I do really like about the Pioneer BDR-XS07UHD is it has a slot loading system instead of a tray. As in the footprint that I mentioned before is the actual size of the drive. It doesn’t have a disc tray that slides out or anything like that. Instead, there’s just a slot at the front of the drive with an eject button. You insert your disc into the slot and the drive will pull it inside. And when you press the eject button, the drive will just push it out. It’s the same type of mechanism that was first seen on the Apple SuperDrive.

That’s not the only thing that makes this a premium drive though. Unlike most of the external drives, this one is made out of really high-quality plastic, which is covered by a rubber coating. That plus the construction underneath make it solid and yes it does add some weight to it as well (280 g / 0.6 lbs). Which sure can be both good and bad. Good in the sense that the drive will stay on a desk and not slide around when it’s being used. Bad in the sense that it’s not as light to carry around. Which I mean is kind of the whole purpose of an external drive. But overall it’s still light enough to be considered portable.

And unlike the BDR-XS07S version, the BDR-XS07UHD comes in a really nice black tone. I actually prefer this over the silver/aluminium looking version. It’s really sleek. Plus it can be mounted vertically as well with little stands. So if you do that, then the footprint will be even smaller. Oh yeah and this drive does have a USB-C port! That’s something that I have been waiting for a long time as most drives still use Mini or Micro USB for some weird reason!

Performance

What’s good about these external drives is that they don’t require any drivers or programs to actually work. So all you have to do is plug it into your computer. Pioneer has included two cables with the BDR-XS07UHD. One is a USB-C to USB-C cable and the other is a USB-C to USB-A cable. Both of them only have one connector at the end so you only need to have at least one available port on your computer. The cables are also decently long so you can use it with a PC as well. Not to mention with a laptop of course. And the drive is compatible with Windows and Mac systems.

Now once you have done that, the drive will be ready for use. Just insert your disc and you’ll notice it pop up. Now here it can be a bit complicated. If you insert a DVD or a CD disc into the drive then you won’t need to install any programs. The drive has a maximum read/write speed of 8x for DVDs and 24x for CDs. Exactly the same speeds as you would find on any new external DVD drive.

Blu-ray is a bit different story though. If you insert a Blu-ray movie into the drive then you’ll need to have a player capable of viewing it. Such as the VLC player for example, which is free to download and use. It’s a really well known media player. Or you can also install the programs that come with the drive. Pioneer has included the Cyberlink software bundle, which includes the PowerDVD14 UHD-BD media player, a Power2Go8 disc burn software and many more. And with the Power2Go8 you can write your own Blu-ray discs as well. The maximum write speed for that is 6x.

Plus Pioneer has added some extra features as well that they like to add to all of their drives. Such as Auto Quiet mode, PowerRead and PureRead. You most probably won’t ever use those “features” so they probably won’t matter. PureRead basically does so that the drive won’t have any problems reading the disc if it has fingerprints on it. And well Auto Quiet mode simply slows down the disc rotation speed when it can. Which in return lowers the noise.

So what’s the difference between the BDR-XS07S and the BDR-XS07UHD? The Pioneer BDR-XS07UHD supports playback of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. Most drives don’t support it. And the BDR-XS07S can only be used to play normal Blu-ray discs.

Conclusion

If you are looking for an external Blu-ray drive and don’t mind spending a bit extra for better quality, then the Pioneer BDR-XS07UHD is a really good choice. It has the fantastic slot drive mechanism and a premium build quality. Plus it’s one of the only external drives available that has a USB-C port! Even drives with USB-C cables are pretty rare. So if you can find the BDR-XS07UHD and don’t mind spending a bit extra for it, then I definitely recommend checking it out.