Pioneer has launched the DVR-A05, a high-speed DVD that reduces writing time from one hour to just 15 minutes.

Apple stole an industry first when it introduced SuperDrive – a rebranded DVR-A04 – in its Power Macs in February 2001. Pioneer manufactures Apple's SuperDrive in an OEM deal.

Pioneer's public relations representative Sarah Gibbons said she "couldn't comment on when Apple will ship with the A05".

Offering hope – but no schedule - to portable computer users, Gibbons told Macworld: "A slimline version of the A05 is planned but I’m unable to tell you any more at the moment."

The A05 is capable of writing DVD-R at 4x write speeds and to DVD-RW at 2x speeds. It writes to CD-R at 16x and CD-RW at 8x. The unit's capable of reading CD-ROMs at 32x and DVD-ROM at 6x speeds. However, the unit does not support DVD-RAM.

The company claims that writing a full 4.7GB DVD-R disc now takes 15 minutes rather than one hour. The unit offers a data access-time of 140 m/sec for DVD-ROM, or 130 m/sec for CD-ROM. Its dimensions are 148-x-42.3-x-198mm, and it weighs 1.1Kg.

The device incorporates a number of design improvements, including: Liquid Crystal Tilt Technology for fast and reliable playback and recording of DVD/Rs; Smart Laser Driver, for a clearer laser to recorder signal; and Dynamic Resonance Absorber, which protects against unexpected vibrations.

Available to consumers, the drive ships with a number of DVD-authoring applications, and will reach market at the beginning of November. It's set to cost under 400 euros – approximately £250.