Like its Blu-ray writer that we had reviewed previously (Sony BWU-100A), the Sony BDU-X10S has a similar design, with a front bezel that gives it a space-age feel. This minimalist, sleek design makes this drive seem more than what it actually is: a perfectly ordinary BD-ROM drive. A rundown of its technical specifications showed that in some areas, like DVD and CD read speeds, the BDU-X10S is actually some way behind the average DVD-ROM of today's standards. A DVD read speed rated at 8x and CD read at 24x is definitely slower than what consumers are used to. Obviously, Sony had to make some compromises here, including the absence of DVD-RAM capabilities (arguably a niche market). Blu-ray media read speeds however were uniformly set at a consistent 2x.
The drive itself performed very quietly and with its lower than average read speeds, that could be a reason. The rear of the drive was mostly free of clutter, thanks to the switch to the SATA interface, which has thinner cables. The burst transfer rates are hence now at 150Mb/s to conform to the newer standard.
Sony touts this product as a complete HD solution for the PC and to fulfill this, CyberLink's Power DVD playback software (HD edition) is included. Since this is a read-only drive, consumers should have no need for burning software, though obviously it would have been very useful. Other accessories that we found in the retail package include: