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(Pocket-lint) - To be honest with you, we find it very hard to get too excited about a DVD ReWriter, but we’ll do our best.

Wow! It’s SolidBurn enabled and features Tilt Control and Walking Optimal Power Control 2, as well as featuring LightScribe printing.

Blimey! That means it automatically learns the optimum writing quality for the media you use and the data you burn.

Cripes! It manages to maintain control over both the angle of the laser beam and the power rates it projects onto the disc while burning, making errors pretty much a thing of the past.

Whoopy bleedin’ doo! It supports up to 16x DVD speeds and covers all format bases (+R, -R, +R DL, -R DL, +RW, -RW). OK that’s it, we can’t keep this up, it’s a black (or cream if you’re feeling daring) drive that you shove into your PC and which works as expected.

Being a LightScribe enabled device, means that you can print labels directly on the disc from within the drive itself. Well, directly onto an expensive LightScribe disc that is, once you've taken it out and flipped it over and waited for half an hour.

It achieves this using a laser that heats a thin dye coating on the disc, changing the colour - to anything you like as long as it's grey. By using the bundled Nero software you can easily add text and images via a Wizard to your CDs and DVDs, but Benq are pretty mean in only providing one free LightScribe enabled CD-R disc to play with.

But it’s not just a DVD burner, oh no, it does CDs as well. Which is good as you’ll need that to burn those totally legally obtained audio MP3s for the car.

So how does the Benq fare when it comes to burning CDs? With a performance of 32x for CDRW and CD-R up to 48x it shouldn't be a slouch, and our real world testing confirmed it not to be.

We were impressed that such a relatively cheap drive hasn't skimped on technical prowess, such as the ability to "over-burn" a CD up to 99 minutes in total. If you like to squeeze every last drop of storage out of your media you won't regret this purchase as it will also happily over-burn DVD+R and DVD-R media as well, something not even many more expensive burners can claim.


So it’s not exciting, but it doesn’t need to be because it’s well made, quick in operation (apart from label printing), highly specced yet bloody cheap to buy.

If your PC is still struggling with a snail-pace CD burner, this is the excuse you’ve been waiting for to upgrade.

Writing by Davey Winder. Originally published on 12 May 2006.