Model: BenQ DW1655 16x DVD±RW
Manufacturer: BenQ

While the name BenQ might seem relatively new to some, the company behind it has been around for a number of years. Formerly known as Acer Communication & Multimedia, BenQ made the split from their parent company in December of 2001. Under the new brand, BenQ has continued to offer a wide range of products including LCD displays, digital cameras and even notebook computers. Here at CDRLabs though, they're best known for their optical storage products. Working closely with companies like Philips and Lite-On, they've lead the way in this area, bringing new and innovative technologies to the market.

In the spring of 2005, BenQ introduced one of the world's first LightScribe enabled DVD writers, the DW1625. Developed as an alternative to markers and stick on labels, LightScribe gave users the ability to burn silkscreen-quality graphics and text onto the tops of specially coated discs. Unfortunately, the DW1625 was designed primarily to showcase its LightScribe capabilities and BenQ had to make some sacrifices in regard to performance to implement the technology. Needless to say, the DW1625 was not one of the faster DVD writers available at the time.

With the competition announcing their LightScribe enabled DVD writers, BenQ went back to work, developing a drive with faster reading and writing speeds. The result of this was the DW1655. Sporting specs very similar to the DW1640, the DW1655 is capable of 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD+R DL and 4x DVD-R DL writing speeds and a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. Of course, BenQ hasn't stopped there. Along with support for LightScribe, the DW1655 also includes features like BenQ's Write Right, OverSpeed and SolidBurn technologies.

This is just a sample of what BenQ's new DVD writer has to offer. Over the next few pages we'll take a look at the DW1655's features and then see how it compares to the 16x DVD±RW drives from the competition. Can the DW1655 deliver the performance and features that we've come to expect from BenQ? More importantly, is it the best bang for your buck? Read on to see what we had to say.

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