Even with a clear winner in the HD format struggle, Blu-ray movies are anything but mainstream at the moment. Retailers and manufacturers are starting to get their act together, with Blu-ray movies becoming more affordable. The main barrier to adoption however is the need to have a decent HDTV to pair along with the Blu-ray player and that could cost a bundle even with the all time low prices now. For the PC user, a Blu-ray drive has its uses, for data archiving purposes for instance. Those who fancy watching HD movies will also find it an attractive proposition, especially with large widescreen 1080p-capable monitors becoming less expensive nowadays (and significantly cheaper than a HDTV).
LG's recent hybrid drives have been a boon to those early adopters with its combination of competitive pricing and multi-format support. When we reviewed the GGC-H20L, we found its price of less than US$300 quite enticing. The GGW-H20L, with its additional Blu-ray writing functionality ups the ante, with online retailers listing it for US$260. Not only does that make it one of the cheapest Blu-ray writer that one can buy at the moment, it is also the fastest. However, one would probably need to have the proper media for such speeds (currently, we only know of the Verbatim 4x BD-R). Read and write speeds for DVD media on the GGW-H20L are quite ordinary but then they are not the main highlights for this drive. Together with the HD DVD-ROM read feature on the LG GGW-H20L, this is one optical drive that may just persuade you onto the Blu-ray bandwagon.