If you have bought into Blu-ray as your choice for home cinema playback, then you’ll no doubt be interested in getting high definition movies whilst on the move, or watching on your home PC. Of course you can get internal drives to slot into your computer, but a more flexible option is to buy an external drive instead – and this is where the Plextor PX-B310U comes in.
Packaged in a sleek black case, with rounded corners and chrome effect highlights, the Plextor PX-B310U certainly looks the part. The huge Blu-ray Disc logo on the top (or right hand side if you mount it vertically with the supplied clear plastic stand) is perhaps a little excessive but the unit still remains attractive enough to grace any modern PC or HTPC. The overall size of the unit is 52mm high by 162mm wide and 220mm deep and is about as compact at these external Blu-ray drives can get. The player has a 6x BD read and 16x DVD write and is compatible with Windows 7.
The drive is supplied with a USB and power cable, the clear plastic stand mentioned above, brief instructions, case duster and two software discs. The supplied software includes the CyberLink BD Suite and PlexUtilities advanced application and diagnostic tool.
Watching your first movie using the Plextor PX-B310U doesn’t take too long. Plug the device in using the USB cable, plug in the power adapter, and switch it on. It’s then a simple case of installing the BD Suite software and you’re away. The software will require a few updates, but you don’t need to install them straightaway if you’re in a hurry.
The drive starts playing surprisingly quickly and within 20 seconds, our first movie was showing – quicker than many full standalone Blu-ray players. The first thing we noticed was that the drive is very quiet – almost silent in fact. This was unexpected, but very welcome, and it was almost completely free of vibrations too when using the device horizontally – although this noticeably worsened when mounting the player vertically. The drive includes the TruTheatre HD technology to enhance the video and audio quality and this was noticeable as the actual playback from the device was very good indeed – the picture was sharp and the black levels were very deep, although the overall image was perhaps a notch too dark. Audio playback was excellent too with good detail across the range, and the Plextor PX-B310U handled the DTS-HD Master Audio track on our test disk with no problems at all.
What to consider before you buy the Plextor PX-B310U
Whilst suitable for most PC and laptops, you need to have a graphics card capable of playing high definition content. Also, as nice as the gloss black finish is, it does tend to attract dust, and the flashing blur light on the front can becom a little distracting if it is in your eyeline whilst watching a film.
Why you should buy the Plextor PX-B310U
A compact and good looking external Blu-ray player, the Plextor PX-B310U provides good quality high definition video and audio, and does so very, very quietly. Rating: /5
Shout out: Thanks to Plextor for letting borrow the review sample of this drive!