ASUS' new external Blu-ray drive does 7.1 audio at a fair price

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ASUS' new external Blu-ray drive does 7.1 audio at a fair price

While ASUS continues to impress us with a slew of PCs and mobile devices at Computex, let's not forget that it still makes some nice peripherals. One thing that surprised us at the ASUS booth was a pretty external Blu-ray drive aimed at audio buffs. Dubbed the Blu-ray Prime, this USB 3.0 device claims to be the "world's only optical drive with 7.1-channel audio output," courtesy of the integrated ASUS Xonar sound card, which packs a Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC and a C-Media CM6631A audio processor, plus optical output. It also features a 600-ohm headphone amplifier and a clean 114dB signal-to-noise ratio. Expect the Blu-ray Prime to hit various markets for about $199 in Q4, after the DVD version is released in Q3 for half the price.

Gallery: ASUS Blu-ray Prime hands-on | 8 Photos

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Photos by Zach Honig.

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