iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Ricoh MP7200A

Specification of the Ricoh MP7200A:
Firmware version 0911
Recording modes Disc-At-Once, Track-At-Once, Session-At-Once, MultiSession, Packet Writing
Recording formats CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, Photo CD, CD-I, CD-Text, CD+G, CD-Extra, Video CD
Read/write support in Raw-mode RAW-DAO - supported
RAW-DAO Write Simulation - supported
CD+G RAW-DAO - supported
RAW-SAO - supported
RAW-SAO Write Simulation - supported
Average access time 100 ms
CD-R recording 4x, 8X, 12X, 16x, 20x
CD-RW recording 2X, 4x, 10X
Buffer underrun error prevention technology JustLink
Reading 40x max (6000 KBytes/s)
Interface Ultra-DMA33
Buffer size 2048 KBytes
Production date March 2001
Manufacturer N/A (Japan, presumably)
Price as tested up to $240 in Japan
up to $280 in Europe

We have already mentioned that we received the device as is, i.e. only the drive.

You can see that 2x speed is not supported, it might disappoint those users who mainly record AudioCDs. No secret that people with a good ear can tell a disc recorded at 2x from that burnt at 8x. That is why some music lovers prefer to record at 1X, while the MP7200A has the least speed equal to 4X.

Lack of the software played a mean joke. While we found rather quickly the software for packet recording (the ahead InCD 2.11), searching for a program for recording CD-Rs in usual ISO standard took a great deal of time. We tried nearly all latest software versions of different companies. The beta-version of the Nero that we had insisted on only 12X speed. We did our best to get the Nero (yet unreleased that time), but it still failed to give the requied 20x speed. The problems was solved easily. I hadn't much time to reinstall the Windows completely. And it seems that experiments with the software for disc recording contributed their share, and the Nero misunderstood the recorder. After a complete reinstallation of the OS everything worked as it had to.

Having installed the Nero on a "blank" computer, we felt right away that the JustSpeed is watching the process. So, loading a CD-R Mirex and starting up the Nero, we revealed that the program again took the recorder as a 12x model.

But it is not a bug of the application, it is just a correct work of the JustSpeed. If you don't want it, then disable it in the options.

After that all speeds will be available.

How CD-R discs are recorded at the forced set 20X speed will be said a bit later.

A small digression from the subject. When looking for software for the Ricoh MP7200A, we have found a solution from Padus - Disc Juggler 3.00.780. If you have several CD-RW drives on your computer this application will help you to make copies of discs.

But in the first turn we were interested how the program works with the MP7200. The Disc Juggler recognized the Ricoh model and set 20X. But the recording was made at the speed near 12X-14X on any disc. That is why we stopped any further experiments with this program.

Let's return to the subject. The front panel is traditional for Ricoh, but for a tray which now makes a single whole with the front panel. Earlier Ricoh used a spring panel that was separated from the tray and opened when the latter was coming out. I think that they refused an old construction due to a cheaper production of a solid design and due to its higher reliability.

In all other respects, nothing has changed: a headphones jack, a mechanical volume control, a roundish open button, an indicator and an emergency ejection hole. The drive can be mounted both in vertical and in horizontal position. The rear panel has a digital output.

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