In Taipei a few months ago, we had a glimpse at BenQ's entire DVDR lineup for the rest of the year. Anxious to see working samples then, it seems as though lack of media continued to plague BenQ, Pioneer, LiteOn and NEC. 16X media is still difficult to find, but Verbatim and Ritek have some media for sale in the US already.

We have been working on a large 16X DVDR roundup for weeks with burners from Pioneer, Sony, NEC, BenQ and Toshiba, and we plan to reveal our entire findings on the publishing date of the roundups. However, after testing BenQ's newest 16X drive, we thought that we should give everyone a sneak peak at our findings on the unit. This drive review was literally a story of rags to riches. When we first received the unit, we could not get a single media to burn at 16X, and even then, some discs had problems at 8X. Fortunately, we had a lot of opportunity to work with BenQ and had them send us their newest firmware a little ahead of time. Then, the drive completely changed in our favor.

We do not consider it fair to review a drive if we are the only ones who have the firmware, so feel free to obtain a copy of it here. Although, be warned that this was the copy received from BenQ, so we do not support it in any way, shape or form. Enjoy!

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  • Compddd - Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - link

    Is the Pioneer DVR-A08XL still the best one though?
  • lennylim - Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - link

    Firmware link is incorrect, although it doesn't take much to figure out what it should be.
  • Fionavar - Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - link

    Did you say weeks on the round-up? I hope it is much sooner than that as I need a new DVD player and at the moment I am seriously considering the NEC ND-3500 ... the specs and the fact that it comes with the full Nero 6 package is a seeller - of course your round-up might tell me otherwise ...
  • Resh - Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - link

    Why did you guys put this out before the round-up? Seems to indicate you think this one is better than the rest, which makes one wonder about the point of the round-up.

    Anyway, get the damn thing out so I can buy one already. :)
  • Basse - Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - link

    ...and some are missing!

    Looking forward to reading the roundup :-)
  • Basse - Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - link

    Check the mouseover images, they seem a tad large.
  • UlricT - Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - link

    uuhhh... what is this here?

    Page 3:
    "...Unfortunately, the drive lacks DVD-RAM and Mount Rainer support. The drive claims slightly quicker than average access times as well.

    Make a special note of some of the neater capabilities of this drive, including DVD-RAM support,..."

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