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BenQ DW1800 18x DVD Burner Review


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Full Burner Review



BenQ DW1800 reads, writes and scans both CD media types and all seven DVD media types

Extensive additional functionality makes it a very versatile drive

Good looks (all drives should be this beautiful)

Good writing quality on almost all media types

A "two sheep" CD writer

Quality scanning with multiple CLV and CAV scanning speeds and jitter reporting

Good CD reading speeds: 48x CD-R/CD-ROM/CD-Audio, 36x CD-RW

Good DVD reading speeds: 16x DVD+R/DVD-R, 12x DVD+R DL/DVD-R DL, 12x DVD+RW/DVD-RW

12x DVD-RAM support enabled by the new MediaTek chipset

Bitsetting readily available and on by default for all DVD+ media types

SolidBurn adapts to uncommon media and automatically selects appropriate writing speeds

Overspeeding means many old discs can be burned at 1.5 to 3 times their certified speed

WOPC is a welcome addition in a MediaTek-based drive

QSuite is indispensable for tinkering with settings that are never exposed in other brands of drives

Official firmware updates from BenQ

Enhanced firmware and firmware tools from the enthusiast community

Did we mention good looks?



An occasional, rare coaster with unusual media

Lead-in times can reach 45 to 60 seconds, adding (probably unnecessary) time to all burns

Auto Balance System (ABS) is a great idea but we found its swishing/rattling noise mildly irritating


Final thoughts

We admit, we were initially skeptical about this drive, believing that a MediaTek-based design could not rival previous, very successful Nexperia-based BenQ/Philips drives. But having spent many weeks testing it we were very favorably impressed by this device in the end.


Whether BenQ DW1800 rises to the level of BenQ DW1640/DW1650 is a matter of opinion. We feel that BenQ DW1800 exceeds BenQ DW1640/DW1650 in some respects while falling short in others. Please refer to the lists of positive and negative points above, they may help you form your own opinion on this topic.

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